Roberto served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1992 until 2010, completing tours in Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia, and Iraq. While stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was diagnosed with PTSD. For some time after his diagnosis, Roberto seemed to manage the condition well, until he suffered a setback, coupled with depression, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). As a result, Roberto was forced to medically retire. "It was a low point for me," he recalled.
In time, Roberto decided to focus on his education and earn a bachelor's degree. During this time, he worked two jobs to make ends meet - the James Haley VA Medical Center as a housekeeping aide and Centurum, Inc., as a recruiter. Roberto worked long hours and yearned for employment that would better fit his skills and capabilities as he continued to further his education.
Roberto was initially introduced to PAVE when he sought representation for his VA claim. PVA's service officer introduced Roberto to Elizabeth Goldin, PAVE's Tampa-based vocational counselor. Together, Roberto and Elizabeth began the process of job development, vocational counseling and initiating an aggressive job search, with sights on federal positions. "It was a process," says Elizabeth. "We all did our parts."
As a result, Roberto was offered a position with the James Haley VA Hospital as an HR Specialist, where he continues to thrive today.