Like many Veterans, Brandon brought the war home: Combat had changed him. This proud son of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation, whose family members include the tribal chief and a Vietnam combat Veteran, needed help.

Encouraged by loved ones, he sought care at the Minneapolis VA — and by using his VA benefits to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and get an education, this young Marine Veteran built a new life and career, producing Native American music.

Hear and share Brandon’s story.

“Anything that you might have going on,” Brandon says, “that’s what the VA’s for and there are plenty of people there to help you.”

Brandon shared his experience in hopes of helping other Veterans. He’s one of dozens of Veterans telling their stories at Explore.VA.gov, a site that allows Veterans to learn about and apply for the benefits they’ve earned.

Beyond benefits like health care and education, which all eligible Veterans may receive, VA has programs and services specifically for Native American Veterans like Brandon.

For instance, through a partnership with the Indian Health Service, VA is expanding home-based primary health care services to tribal lands and adjacent rural areas.

Direct home loans are also available to eligible Native American Veterans who want to buy, build, or improve homes on federal trust lands through VA’s Native American Direct Loan program. (All qualifying Veterans also can use VA’s home loan guaranty program.)

VA’s Office of Tribal Government Relations, established in 2011 to strengthen collaboration between VA and American Indians and Alaska Natives who served, coordinates these initiatives and other VA benefits, programs, and services for Veterans living in tribal communities

Hear from Brandon and others and learn more about VA benefits for Native American Veterans — and all Veterans — at Explore.VA.gov.

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Published on Oct. 28, 2014

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

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2 Comments

  1. Danny October 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    brandon,I want to thank you for serving our country! We, the native people should always take pride in doing our duty and serving our country. Young man the nightmares you have seen and still experience in your sleep may never totally go away but I want you to know that what you did is something that our people have done for hundreds of years.many of the veterans today ask themselves the very same question you do why not me – it was not your time – the Creator has great plans for you! He sent His Great Spirit to protect you so you could help others through your music. stay strong young man, your time will come soon enough, when the Creator calls you to the other side, it will be in His time. I’m an old Cherokee man,and you know us old guys, we know everything!

  2. Donald October 29, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I know of two dishonorably discharged persons, both are got service connected disability from the Detroit Dept. of Veterans Affairs with in 30 days….. One was discharged for drug use the other for too many blanket parties lost his teeth to a baseball bat!!!!!! And honorably discharged people only get the run around from the Detroit Dept. of Veteran affairs … Seems that the people who decides who gets service connected disability dislike veterans that served their country honorably!!!

    So it is the policy of the VA to serve dishonorably discharged persons better and faster than an honorably discharged people! And a lot of you feel that a dishonorably discharged person should come before an honorably discharged people when it comes to getting service from the VAs!!!

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