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July 1, 2024

Elite Member Success: Holliday Edition

Last updated on July 2, 2024

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One Elite Member’s Determined Road to 100% VA Disability.

Oakland, California—’According to what I see here…you should be dead. It’d be a lot less paperwork on my end, too,the chief corpsman said.

Holliday stood up. “Well, sir, you’ve given me a lot to think about,” he replied and walked out of the corpsman’s office. He wandered the halls of Oak Knoll Naval Hospital until he found the chapel, where he entered and sat down.

The chaplain walked over to where Holliday sat. “You look like something’s bothering you,” he remarked, clueless about Holliday’s exchange with the corpsman minutes earlier.

Two months prior, Holliday was ordered to lift a rotary pump out of his ship’s fuel room for repair.

The 2-ton winch ordered to hoist the pump never showed up, and his lieutenant wanted the job done yesterday.

Despite help from shipmates—the 500-pound pump fell back—dragging Holliday down into the bilge. 

Injuries to his back and pelvis landed him in the hospital. 

Following the accident, the corpsman wanted to put Holliday on sick leave. Perhaps the lieutenant feared blowback for pressuring Holliday to bypass safety procedures. Whatever the case, the misguided response to Holliday’s injuries left Holliday feeling confused and betrayed.


Holliday joined the US Navy in 1987 and served as a Fuel & Calibration Specialist. His ship patrolled the US border from Mexico to the Bering Strait—often playing cat and mouse with Russian submarines or intercepting cocaine barges, courtesy of Pablo Escobar.

Holliday enjoyed the work and planned on a career in the Navy. However, only months after his accident, he was honorably discharged by the Navy.

Discouraged and frustrated, Holliday moved back to his home state of Tennessee. A month later, he was summoned to the state’s VA headquarters. He thought he might finally get the help he needed.

Instead, they tried to revoke his VA disability.

Angry but unintimidated, Holliday stood his ground. He drove back to Knoxville with paperwork acknowledging his injuries and shook off the incident as best he could. He enrolled at UT Knoxville, where he took morning classes and continued physical therapy for his injuries.


Despite setbacks from his injuries, Holliday continued to push himself and live life to the fullest. When a friend challenged him to climb Mount Rainier, Holliday trained harder than ever. Together—they climbed 14,000 feet to the summit.

By then, Holliday had spent years struggling and paying for private medical care. He decided to give the VA another chance. 

After being reevaluated, his VA disability rating increased to 30%, but the VA would only treat his physical issues. “They more or less just brushed me off,” he said.

Discovering VA Claims Insider & Becoming an Elite Member

Frustrated again, Holliday began researching veteran disability claims when he came across Brian Reese’s VA Claims Insider YouTube videos. “I realized this guy is legit. He’s putting himself on the line. Maybe he can help me,” he said.

Holliday joined the VA Claims Insider Elite Program and was assigned a Veteran Coach who guided him through the VA claims process. It took a year—but he increased his 30% VA disability rating to 100% Permanent and Total (P&T).

“I believe in VA Claims Insider,” Holliday said, “What they do is priceless—and it’s worth every penny.”

Holliday still deals with the long-term effects of his injuries, and his days range from good to bad to ugly. Still, he doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for himself and says he has a lot to be thankful for, including his family.

Holliday advises other veterans to continue to fight for themselves, saying, “If you have issues with your mental or physical health, don’t let others persuade you it’s not important. Get it documented.” He encourages fellow veterans facing similar situations not to give up when things get hard.

“Don’t quit, and don’t lose hope,” he said, “because there are people like Brian Reese and VA Claims Insider who can help you.”


Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call with an experienced Team Member. Learn what you’ve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you’ve earned for your service.

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