When a severe back injury changed their plans, the Scaramozzas called on VFW for assistance


It all started with a nagging pain in Spc. Michael Scaramozza’s back.

“I was training for deployment,” he said. “The field training exercise included a lot of heavy lifting. My back started to really ache.”

Like most soldiers, Scaramozza tried to ignore the pain and push through it. But then suddenly, he awoke to find he couldn’t walk. Scaramozza was diagnosed with a ruptured disk and other major back problems. He needed multiple surgeries.

“Our plans went out the window,” he said. “I went from being active to bedridden in less than 24 hours. I couldn’t even lift my daughter Makayla, who was 13 months old at the time.”

Making matters worse, Sharon, his wife, had to miss many days of work. The family started to fall behind on bills.

“It was awful,” Scaramozza said. “There was nothing I could do. Sharon was taking care of me, Makayla—who was sick a lot—and trying to work as much as possible to keep us afloat.”

An employee at the hospital suggested the Scaramozza family contact VFW for emergency assistance. VFW Unmet Needs awarded the Scaramozza family much-needed gift cards to Wal-Mart and funds to cover an electric bill, car insurance and rent.

“I thought it was a long shot,” Scaramozza said. “When help arrived, we were in disbelief and completely speechless.

“We will never forget the way you have helped our family,” he shared. “We will always remember that there are people in this world who still have compassion and empathy to assist struggling military families. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Scaramozza has undergone two back surgeries and will soon have another procedure. He is entering a Warrior Transition Unit and hopes to continue his military career.



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