Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Post-9/11 GI Bill

August 24th, 2009 No comments

Back on July 2nd, I applied for education benefits from the VA. My application was received by the Buffalo New York processing office on July 13th, and I was told it would take about 4-6 weeks to get a response. Sure enough, 6 weeks after they received my application, I got a letter from the VA. It stated:

You’re entitled to receive 100% of the benefits payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program for training offered by an institution of higher education. We determined this percentage based on your length of creditable active duty service.

Awesome! With the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, you are awarded education benefits based on your length of active duty or reserve service. You will be given:

  1. Cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education (list of states and max tuition)
  2. Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as your school (look up your zipcode)
  3. Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1000 per year

To calculate how much you can be awarded, check out the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits calculator. For those who want to know more about the eligibility requirements, see the VA’s Post-9/11 GI Bill’s website at

Banned for life

July 11th, 2008 1 comment

I’ve always wanted to be a bone marrow donor, but could never remember to research it. I was reading someone’s blog tonight and they had a link to the National Marrow Donor Program website. I got excited about signing up, until I read:

If you have any of the following conditions, you will not be allowed to register:

  • Chronic back pain requiring ongoing medical treatment (including chiropractic care) and/or daily or frequent prescribed pain medication
  • Herniated, bulging or slipped disc anywhere along your spine diagnosed in the past 2 years
  • Single back surgery in the past 2 years
  • History of a spine fracture, if caused by bone disease
  • History of a spine fracture in the past 2 years, if caused by injury
  • Placement of rods or pins for scoliosis
  • History of a hip or pelvic fracture and/or repair

Figures. I can’t donate blood until March of 2009, due to the 4 units of someone else’s blood I received during and after my surgery. At least one day I’ll be allowed to do that again, and I’m not banned for life.

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I’m an EMT!

March 13th, 2008 No comments

I showed up to the testing center in Charlestown 40 minutes early for my exam. After one last read through of my study material in my car, I made my way inside. I signed in, had my photo taken, and was told to sit at desk #5.

I patiently read through the tutorial and began my test. 120 minutes to answer 100 questions.

30 minutes later I was finished. The proctor printed out a score sheet and handed it to me while saying, “ya done good.” He then printed out my identification and said I could leave.

I thanked him and left, doing my best to contain how happy I was to be finished with everything.

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Halfway to being an EMT

March 8th, 2008 2 comments

Just got a letter in the mail telling me I passed the first half of my Massachusetts EMT exam that I took 3 weeks ago. I just got off the phone with the scheduling center and have scheduled the second half of my certification exam for this Wednesday. If everything goes well, I’ll be a certified EMT on Wednesday at around 11:30AM.

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EMT course ends

January 25th, 2008 No comments

The EMT-Basic course I was taking ended a few weeks ago. Got my scores back from the final exams and was happy to hear I did better than I thought I would. Now I just have to pass the state exams and I’ll be a certified EMT. I take the practical exam on February 16th (yes, 3 days before my surgery).

We finally had our ambulance ride-alongs. I rode on Saturday from midnight until 8AM Sunday. We got called for a woman in labor, a child that got his wrist stuck in a pair of handcuffs, a stroke, a shortness of breath, an overdose, and a man with pancreatitus. They usually get twice as many calls, but I thought it was a nice variety.

Next weekend I’ll be spending the night observing in the emergency department at Boston Medical Center. Hopefully it will be a good experience and I’ll learn some things.

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