Solomon Island veteran glad that he reached out for support
Clark Williams, 35, joined the New Zealand Army in 2003. He deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2004 as part of Operation RATA and left the Army in 2011. He now works as a chef in Canterbury and reached out to Veterans’ Affairs last year after a chance meeting with a Kiwi veteran based in Australia. “He told me about what he got with hearing aids, transport problems to appointments, and other benefits. That made me look in to Veterans’ Affairs to see what they could do” Clark said.
After checking out the Veterans’ Affairs website, Clark applied for coverage for tinnitus and hearing loss which began during his deployment to the Solomon Islands. “The case manager I was assigned was a true bro, he made it easy for me to understand the process and informed me that a tinnitus claim and a hearing loss claim were different” he said. Clark received his hearing aids through Triton Hearing and his case manager and rehabilitation advisor made sure that his aids were suited to a kitchen environment, which is steamy and noisy.
At 35, Clark was sceptical about needing hearing aids but after receiving them, he feels that they have changed his life. “Everyone I knew sounded different, my six-year-old son sounded like a totally different kid. They have improved so much in my life now and I’m so glad I got them.” he said. At work background noise is now cancelled out, which means that he can hear orders and his workmates. “All in all, I’m glad I know now what I do about Veterans Affairs’” he said “they are here to help people like me and others who have served.”
If you’re a veteran and are experiencing issues with your hearing, check your eligibility and get in touch with us. Veterans’ Affairs are here to help.