Years Served: 2005-2009
Rank: E5 Petty Officer Second Class
Military Occupation: Yeoman then in Afghanistan Convo commander for US Forces Afghanistan
Hometown: Parkland, FL
Twitter Handle: @hoffman4america
Tell us a little about you outside of the military:
- Once I separated from Active duty, I attended the University of Central Florida and then the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
- For the past 6 plus years I have run one of the largest Veterans Disability law practices in the nation.
- I am married and I have two children, a 7-year-old boy, and a 5-year-old girl.
Why are you participating in the fly-in with IAVA?
- I am very excited to be part of this year’s group. I believe that I have a unique perspective on the issues facing my fellow veterans because I have the honor of representing so many of them in their fight for the proper benefits. I firmly believe that we must work with our representatives to make them aware of what is really needed and what really matters to our community.
How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?
- The military shaped me in many ways. When I joined, I had just dropped out of high school and was looking for an opportunity to prove myself. The military gave me that and a lot more. I was able to see much of Asia and live overseas which gave me a different perspective on how the world works.
- I saw and experienced things in Afghanistan that I could not have imagined, which also taught me a lot about the world and its capacity.
- I was exposed to some absolutely amazing leaders and some of the worst ones on earth and I believe I learned equally from both.
- I learned what hard work really looks like and what has to be done to accomplish the mission.
- All that said, I think what shaped me the most was the people I served with. I can’t think of another place in the world where people from all parts of the country and in some cases the world are all put together and told to figure it out. Many of the people I served with are still very close to me and we do our best to support each other. That bond is one that cannot be replicated outside of service.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities for you believe is the most pressing? Why?
- I think my answer may be different than most which is modernization of the VA. The reason for that is simple. Fix the VA at both the VHA and VBA levels and many of the other priorities will see major improvement. By bringing more veterans into the system and providing them with the proper support, I believe we will see a decrease in suicide rates as veterans being cared for will be less likely to resort to such a permanent solution.
- I believe that it helps with women’s veterans’ issues by welcoming them into a system that communicates properly and has the appropriate services.
- Finally, modernization of the VA will vastly improve the ability of the VA to support those dealing with burn pit related issues.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?
- Again, I would have to say modernization of the VA for the reasons listed above and because I live inside the world of the VA every day as part of my practice. I can tell you without question that it can be improved and it must be improved.
More #AllStarAdvocacy videos are available in IAVA’s 2023 All-Star Advocacy Fly-In video showcase.