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Warrior Blog – Meet Kristal Kent, US Army Veteran

Kristal Kent is a Veteran suffering with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Cord Compression and other Injuries incurred while in service. Kristal’s injuries resulted from being a passenger in a Deuce and a Half (2 ½ ton) Army truck that crashed. Subsequently the injuries Kristal sustained led to needing several surgeries and led to the development of a Central Nervous System Disorder called Fibromyalgia.

Kristal decided she could do one of two things: “Wallow In My Own Self Pity or Pull Myself Up By The Bootstraps (HOOAH) and Use My Experiences to be a Positive Agent of Change for the Veteran and Fibromyalgia Communities.” Utilizing her 20 years’ experience working in Social Services, Kristal became an Educator and Awareness Coordinator on behalf of the Veteran and Fibromyalgia Communities. Kristal helps Veterans and Fibromyalgia sufferers better understand their illness/injuries, help individuals understand the process of applying for SSDI Disability and VA compensation benefits, support people with advocating for their medical needs and communicate on their own behalf. Kristal also supports Veterans with submitting letters of formal complaint when their patient rights have been violated. Kristal also has a Veteran Initiative (Veteran Voices For Fibromyalgia) which works towards promoting awareness, educate VA medical providers on Fibromyalgia, advocate for funding to research Fibromyalgia more thoroughly amongst veterans and military personnel, and advocates increasing the service connected percentage for Fibromyalgia up to 100%. Currently, the most a veteran can receive for service connection for Fibromyalgia is 40%. Further, Kristal often collaborates with other Fibromyalgia and Veteran Advocates and Veteran Organizations to elicit positive changes for both communities. In addition, Kristal is often lending her voice and advocacy skills to promote legislative changes at the VA and speaking at public events, conferences and healthcare panel discussions.

BIO:  Kristal Kent is an Army Veteran, Fibromyalgia and Veteran Advocate and Patient Leader Expert. With 20 years of Social Service experience, Kristal’s advocacy work focuses on educating the Fibromyalgia Community on their illness, how to best advocate for their healthcare needs and apply for Medical Disability Benefits. As a Veteran with Fibromyalgia, Kristal also advocates on behalf of Military Veterans diagnosed with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and Fibromyalgia and works beside other Military Veterans and Veteran Organizations to bring about legislative changes at the VA. Her advocacy efforts have garnered several recognitions and awards. Kristal Kent serves as Board of Trustee Member for the “Fibromyalgia Care Society of America” and served on the 2018 “WEGO HEALTH” Patient Leader Advisory Board. Kristal is also a member of “Society for Participatory Medicine,” and a Co-Op Member of the “Savvy Cooperation” for Patients. Kristal is the Founder of “The Fibromyalgia Pain Chronicles,” Founder of the “National Alliance of Fibromyalgia Advocates” and Co-Founder of “Veteran Voices For Fibromyalgia.”