“My wife has medical issues and my three children were dealing with some as well, so I tried to get back to work right away. A few months after my discharge, I began working for a trucking company doing long haul deliveries. I was given a severance package from the military, but it didn’t take long before that ran out.
“Soon we had to sign up for welfare. Then we lost our cars because we couldn’t afford the payments, and then we had to move out of our house because we couldn’t afford the rent. At this time, my family split up. My children went to live with other family members and my wife moved in with my mom, while I continued driving. It was impossible to keep everything together, and soon my split with my wife was permanent.
“In April 2017, after driving trucks for almost five years and finally making good money on a dedicated route, I checked myself in to the Loma Linda University Hospital for leg pains. It turned out that I had multiple blood clots in my leg from driving long periods of time. After a month in the hospital, they had to amputate my left leg below the knee. I could not afford a prosthetic and was using a wheelchair. I became homeless, living in the bathroom at the VA. The VA was able to get me into transitional housing in San Bernardino where I reconnected with my wife. I started getting SSDI, disability pay, and then in February 2018 I moved into permanent housing at March Veterans Village through U.S. VETS.
“We are now in low-cost housing but still can’t afford to buy a car, living paycheck to paycheck. We both have doctor’s appointments we need to attend regularly, which takes us anywhere from three hours to all day on the bus to get there and back. It is exhausting. I’ve already looked into a program at Loma Linda University for this and can get my degree in 4--6 years."
After giving away vehicles for the past 10 years, Ben Clymer's knows how to find good cars that are ideal for each recipient.