Devin Wozniak

Name: Devin Wozniak

Branch: US Army

Years Served: 2003-2005

Rank: Spc

Military Occupation: 91W/68W Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)

Hometown: South Lyon, MI

Twitter Handle: @THEDocWoz (new) and @tankpkdw (old)

Tell us a little about you outside of the military:

  • I am the father of two amazing daughters and an awesome stepson, and trying to be the best ex-husband possible.
  • I’m a proud federal employee who’s previously worked for the Veterans Health Administration, and a current Veterans Benefit Administration employee.
  • I’m a fan of Detroit and Michigan sports, a lover of the outdoors, a big reader, and life-long learner, and am currently on a pretty interesting journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
  • I’m also eagerly rediscovering my love of travel in this post-COVID world.

Why are you joining the IAVA Cavalry?

  • It’s the perfect avenue to continue my service to my country and community and to make a much-needed impact, while being a voice for my brothers and sisters in arms, and their families.

How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?

  • My military experience taught me the value of a having a mission in life, and the ability to direct my entire focus towards that mission.
  • It taught me how to serve something bigger than myself and my own personal desires, and how to be effective as both a leader and a member of a team.
  • It allowed me the opportunity to meet people from a diverse array of backgrounds, and to appreciate how those differences can be valuable assets.
  • It also showed me some of the darker aspects of humanity, and the importance of working for the betterment of all mankind. If I’m being honest with myself, I have not always taken those lessons to heart, or lived the values that I espouse. I’ll never make that mistake again.
  • And perhaps most of all, the struggles that I went through, both in-service and during the isolation and dark periods post-service, showed me that I have the strength to accomplish anything I set my mind to, and that I don’t need to doubt my ability, intellect, or judgement; I simply need to channel them using the skills the military taught me. 
  • Resolving my own complicated feelings about my service and the GWOT-era of military expeditions has also helped me discover a passion for a new mission: helping my fellow Veterans.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why?

  • All of the IAVA policy priorities are important, but if forced to pick a “most pressing”, it’s hands down the ongoing fight to combat veteran suicide and address toxic exposures.
  • That’s not to diminish the advocacy for education benefits and alternative therapies, etc, but we aren’t dying from a cumbersome GI Bill process. Suicide and the lasting effects of toxic exposures are killing Veterans daily. It’s an existential issue that we cannot afford to not address.
  • A close second to those is the fight to close the gap in care for women Veterans, as well as those in the LGBTQ community. There are specific health care needs for those communities that the VA has been slow to address, and in a broader sense, the potential for women and LGBTQ Veterans to feel excluded from portions of the “veteran community” has contributed to the rising percentage of those communities within the larger veteran suicide epidemic.
  • And since I’ve already exceeded the answer for “most pressing”, I might as well add another. We need to have the back of our Afghan and Iraqi allies who served alongside us; fought, worked, and lived with us; and whose families are now at risk because of their service to us. We can’t forget them, and must ensure that Congress does what’s necessary to support them.
  • We also need to support our allies and commitments to NATO, and the coalition nations that were there for us.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?

  • As a survivor of a suicide attempt who still struggles with the occasional dark thoughts, and having lost significantly more brothers-in-arms to suicide since returning home than we lost during our sixteen-plus month deployment, I have a personal stake in this mission.


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