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John D. Barnes with his motherOn March 14, 2006, John D. Barnes was unloading a military vehicle in Iraq when an enemy mortar changed his life forever. The soldier took the brunt of the blast that injured 17. Shrapnel tore through Barnes’ helmet and cut into his brain. He suffered memory loss, seizures, paralysis and depression.

He couldn’t care for himself and lost his identity as a soldier. His marriage fell apart. He would have been alone if not for the love of his mother, Valerie Wallace, who became his primary source of support, care and advocacy.

“When a son or daughter is wounded, you find out there is a world of unmet needs, said Wallace. “There were times when the challenges we faced seemed insurmountable.”

Barnes slipped into a cycle of self-medication with alcohol and drugs. But, through love and support, he found sobriety.

He and his mother’s shared sense of concern for others is the reason why they support the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust.

By giving to the Trust through workplace giving campaigns like the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), donors support programs that meet the needs of veterans who suffer a wide range of disabilities.

The Trust supports rehabilitative therapy, family assistance, prosthetics research and other critical programs.

“I was proud to serve my country and I don’t feel sorry for myself,” Barnes said. “My concern is for my fellow veterans. When someone supports the DAV Charitable Service Trust, they are donating to a worthy cause and giving those who’ve served a chance to make the most of their lives.”

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