Since a freak motor accident pushed him into an early military retirement, Paul Febbraro, 28, has learned to bounce with the punches.
“I joined the Marine Corps because I always wanted a strong challenge,” he said. “I wanted to join the strongest fighting force. Getting hurt was just another strong challenge.”
He joined the Corps during his sophomore year in college where he was studying business management. “I needed a change of pace and wanted to do something different, so I just dropped out,” said Paul.
“I thought then that I might go back one day – and I can. But I got into the Marine Corps and soon after knew that was where I belonged.”
In the Corps, he got trained as a canon mechanic, or an artillery technician, and served a rigorous tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2008.
But in 2009, a freak auto accident caused injury to his head and affected his motor skills.
He got a 100 percent disability rating from the Veterans Administration, but the “comfortably retired” life wasn’t what he wanted.
After serving for nearly 6 years, he focused on continuing to serve his nation – in some type of capacity. “I lost my military career, but I was determined to continue to serve our country,” he said.
That is where USA Cares was able to help.
“I got an interview for a career job at NAVSEA in Carderock, MD.,” he said. “But it’s hard to find money, sometimes. I asked (USA Cares) for shelter assistance – with the hotel cost,” during the interview.
With money donated by a grateful American public, USA Cares was able to assist with $246.34 for an overnight hotel stay.
Paul got the job at a warfare center in Dahlgren, VA. “I definitely needed USA Cares,” he said. And even though he won’t be in uniform at his new job he says getting back to work in service to the nation will ease that difference.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn a new challenging job with the Navy. No matter what current and future challenges I will be faced with, I just bounce with the punches.”