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Veteran’s challenges leads daughter to study psychology with Hazlewood benefits

A veteran father’s challenges with mental well-being lead his high school daughter to change her studies to forensic psychology. He wondered how much could his veteran education benefits help his daughter in college?

The veteran contacted the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Veteran Education Services (VES) with questions about his daughter’s use of the Legacy component of his Texas Hazlewood Act education benefits.

Upon learning of the veteran’s 100% disability rating, including Traumatic Brain Injury, VES Program Specialist and Air Force veteran Marcela Clay informed the veteran of Hazlewood’s spouse/dependent expanded benefits for each family member due to his VA disability rating.

“The VA Dependent Education Assistance stipend benefit was highlighted, with instructions on how the stipend might assist the veteran family members, how they may apply, and how it works with Hazlewood,” said Clay.

After his initial call in January 2023, the veteran called several times over the following weeks. These calls began to reveal the severity of his brain trauma and he was repeatedly talked through the process. In March, his spouse and daughter joined the call.

“They each asked questions, received answers and follow-up resources,” said Clay.

His daughter is now studying Forensics Psychology at Southwestern University in Georgetown.  She plans to use her veteran parent’s Hazlewood tuition exemption to earn a master’s degree at Texas A&M. Her interest in this field of study was influenced by watching her veteran father navigate mental health issues which were a result of his combat experiences. She was a high school student when he was admitted by the VA to a mental health facility for treatment.

“She was so inspired by the science she was introduced to while her veteran parent underwent treatment at the mental health facility, that the experience changed the trajectory of her education and future career.  She hopes to work for the FBI as a forensic scientist,” said Clay.

In assisting the daughter, Clay introduced her to the Texas Workforce Commission student paid internship program.

“The family will see if their daughter can apply for and receive a paid internship working to gain real-life experiences with a forensics psychologist this summer between semesters.  Most of the student paid internships are tailored to fit the student’s summer schedules between Spring and Fall semester,” said Clay.

His spouse also received assistance. “The spouse asked for a referral to TVC for entrepreneur program, which was provided, and she was told the United Way in the DFW area could assist her in her business endeavors,” said Clay.

“This veteran family is solidly on their individual paths to building their education portfolios.”

Veterans interested in assistance with their Texas Hazlewood Act education benefits may contact TVC Veterans Education Services at . For other veteran education benefits, please contact .

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