Save Smitty's Midwest Boxing Gym

100% disabled Veteran who opened gym with my back pay from Military to help get kids off the streets and keep them graduating High School and becoming productive citizens in our community.  Fast forward 25 yrs later after get out of the military I find out that the 14,000 almost 15,000 dollars that I got for Separation pay when President Clinton was down sizing the military turns into a loan once the VA makes me a 100% disabled Veteran due to my military service.  I was told they missed it when they paid me my back pay years ago and they missed it again at no fault to me when they raised my disability to 100%  even though I inquired about it twice myself.  Because of the way the law was written by Congress back during the Vietnam Era their hands ae tied and they cannot help me in any kind of way.  They have to take it all check by check and leave me with nothing until it's paid back 26 years later.  Now I donate $1100 a month to pay the gym lease to keep the kids off the streets and have done so for going on 7 years now!  I teach these kids education, have tutors and B average requirement to box.  I also have speech classes and encourage to go to college or vocational school/military if they are doing nothing but standing around on street corners.  I have had lots of success and the program is growing each and every year.  The VA cares nothing about this or about the wife and 11 year old Son I have at home.  They will take my next 4 paychecks completely leaving me not one red cent.  I do not know how they expect me and my family to make it and it is putting me in a position as to where I might have to close the gym in order to pay my own house note and take care of my family.  I never wasted money and I never tried to get over on Uncle Sam.  I was unaware of this rule as from what I am finding out now are many other veterans.  Congress waste millions and they want to come after a 100% disabled combat veteran from the gulf war for a 26 year old debt of 14,000 that I was totally unaware of.  they claim it is in the small print and lots of veterans do not know this law exist.  So if I become 100% disabled veteran through the VA I m then punished to pay back my separation pay that is suppose to help me relocate and find work in the civilian world.  Sorry people just seems unfair to me.  I still love my country and I still will defend my American citizens if I have to even as a civilian but this simple is not right and I am worried about losing my gym for the kids.  Lots of kids turn to Smitty's as a save haven and place to learn to become tomorrows future leaders in our society.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  God Bless!
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    • $500 (Offline)
    • 42 mos
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    • $5,000 (Offline)
    • 42 mos
  • Madeleine Hooper 
    • $75 
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  • Christopher Carlson  
    • $10 
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    • $5 
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See all


Darrell Smith 
Springfield, MO
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