You are my personal heroes. Over the years I have found that being around other combat Veterans is comforting for me. There’s just something about knowing the shared horrors of war, the loss of buddies and the discomfort of living a warrior lifestyle. It’s an unspoken story of who you are. It speaks volumes of the sacrifices you have made with good intentions for the faceless Americans who have no real clue of just how much that price tag for freedom really is.
I pray that you will have the ability to reorganize your thoughts and recapture who you were, before your deployment poisoned a part of you that once tasted the carefree lifestyle of freedom and liberty that so many millions of Americans in history sacrificed to provide for us. When I returned from Vietnam, something in me was different. I had “issues” that I didn’t understand, outwardly I didn’t even know they were there. It took a number of years to sort-out the scrambled eggs that grew in my mind before I could see life as a gift worth enjoying again.
God speed, my friend.
There is one area of your future that I can provide resources that are meant to enable a brighter, quicker financial foothold for you. I found that home ownership was an important piece of finding a good path to quieting some of the voices that still haunted me years after my return home.
Having a home of my own where I could work on little projects that I wanted to tinker with was almost like having my own fortress of solitude. It brought a calming tweak back within my grasp. Don’t laugh, you have some of these demons in you…you just haven’t identified them yet. Do you find that when you enter a restaurant or a bar you want a seat preferably with your back to a wall that offers full view of at least two alternative exits? Are you aware that you secretly size-up every new addition to the room for a split second that allows you to assess their risk level to you? OK, the list goes on. Believe me when I say finding and buying a home offers mental therapy.
Financial rewards are also part and parcel to home ownership. If you’ve read my book, you know something about leverage and inflation, and both will help you to multiply your net worth when you use your VA Eligibility to finance your home. No other home financing product can touch the level of benefits that your VA home loan provides. I would suggest that you put down only as much as you must and get maximum leverage. That is not to say that I’m suggesting that you should blow all your cash reserves on “stuff”, the VA financing will allow you to keep a larger amount of cash reserves to keep you comfortably viable financially.
Take my advice, as a 40 year mortgage and real estate industry insider, use this benefit for all it’s worth. I’ve had two VA home loans and when I retire I may do another. I think the home loan benefit to be even more valuable than the education benefits, which you should also use until they’re gone.
To start the process, you will need a copy of your DD Form 214. Your lender can get your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA for you using this form. If you’re not ready to start the buying process yet, you can take your DD Form 214 to the VA and they will issue the Certificate of Eligibility directly to you, and it can be used by all lenders providing VA financing when you’re ready.
Welcome home my friend. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. God Bless America.