Staff Attorney Matthew Gaudin first met Cameron* in 2015 through our partnership with the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation of Indiana (HVAF). Although Cameron served faithfully in the U.S. Army for many years and was honorably discharged in the late 1980s, he had encountered many difficulties since that time. As a result, he became addicted to drugs. This addiction affected every aspect of his life, snowballing until he was homeless, without a job, and carrying a lifetime suspension on his driving privileges.
But thanks to HVAF’s programs and his own determination, Cameron was ready to turn his life around. Eventually, he was able to get clean and to secure a job, but he still needed a way to get to and from work—and that wouldn’t be possible without a Driver’s License. “We tried to get him what’s called Specialized Driving Privileges. That’s when the court allows you to drive to and from certain places,” Matt says. “It’s a restricted license, essentially.” Because of the necessity of the request and the evidence provided to speak to that necessity, Cameron was granted Specialized Driving Privileges. He was again able to go to and from doctor’s appointments, legal appointments, the grocery store, church, and his place of employment.
For the next three years, Cameron followed all of the requirements of his Specialized Driving Privileges. “We thought it was time to ask the court to rescind his lifetime suspension so that he could get his full driving privileges back,” Matt says. “And so we filed for that and then we had a hearing and were able to show that he had served his time and had taken steps to better himself.” Together, Matt and Cameron demonstrated that Cameron had gotten and retained employment. They showed that over the three years he had never gotten in trouble for not driving places he wasn’t supposed to. And they provided proof that he also had expensive, high-risk insurance. Ultimately, the judge granted their request. “And so he got his license back,” Matt says.
When he found out that his license would be fully reinstated, Cameron was filled with such relief. “He was very happy and he felt like it was a weight lifted off of his shoulders,” Matt says. “His license had been suspended for close to 20 years.”
For Matt, serving clients like Cameron—veterans who now find themselves in difficult situations—is the best part of his job. It affords him an opportunity to give something back to them after they gave so much for our country. “[Cameron] is a really hardworking guy and he took pride in his job. And he wanted to contribute to society by working,” Matt says. “He didn’t want to just stay home. He wanted to reintegrate into society by having his full driving privileges reinstated. And that’s exactly what we were able to do for him.”
To learn more about our partnership with HVAF, please visit our website.
*Name has been changed