Army Combat Veteran Teris Gosier, also known as "Reese", is currently a work study (student employee) at the Marion VA with the www.myhealth.va.gov program. Reese is a happy-go-lucky and talkative guy utilizing VA services and programs to complete his education. At the age of 17, Reese joined the Army in the 1st Calvary Division Aviation Brigade as a supply tech, stationed in Iraq. He was soon attached to a MEDEVAC unit (a Blackhawk helicopter) as a door gunner. After serving 4 years, Reese came home.
Reese didn’t come home the same person. He said, “At first, I was just trying to figure out where my next paycheck would come from, then I started having emotions I didn’t know how to deal with and I knew I was depressed, something wasn’t right.” Reese was homeless for over a year, living in his truck. He spoke with a Veteran Service Officer from the American Legion and they made contacts for him with the St. Louis VA and Jefferson Barracks. At the age of 21, Reese spent 6 months at the VA, working with staff to improve his physical and mental health. When prepared to move on, a VA social worker suggested he look into the Job Corp program. Reese quickly enrolled and successfully completed his CNA/LPN Advanced Training Certificate through that program.
Utilizing the VA Vocational Rehabilitation program, Reese attended Ivy Tech and received his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and then transferred to SIU, where he will graduate cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2014.
Reese will start working on his master’s degree this fall in St. Louis and he will continue to participate in the VA work study program at John Cochran VA Medical Center. “I love to talk to people and I want to be able to mentor and help others, like I was helped,” said Reese. “The programs that I’ve been able to use and the health care that I’ve received from the VA have changed my life, that’s why my career goal is to be a VA social worker with the homeless program.”