John Nagle is a member of the GoVA team focusing on business development and outreach. His military experience drives his passion for helping other military members, their families, and veterans.
Q: Hi John, can you summarize your military experience?
A: I received my commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force out of Penn State Air Force ROTC in 1992. I entered active duty in May of 1993 as a student pilot at Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas. After graduating from flight school, I served in various positions in the US and overseas, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. I have operationally flown the UH-1H, UH-1N, TH-67, and MH-53M. I finished my career as the Director of Operations for the Air Force’s largest helicopter squadron and retired as a Lt Col after 20+ years of service at Andrews AFB in Maryland.
Q: Have you used your VA benefits for a VA loan? If so, what was your experience like?
A: The first time I used my VA loan was not very smooth. I didn’t know much about it other than I didn’t need to have a down payment, and the rate was lower than a conventional loan. The lender didn’t provide much information, and I had to figure it out as I went.
The additional times I used my VA loan benefit were a little better each time, but that was due to my own experience. My best experience was when I refinanced my current home through TowneBank in Raleigh. Their expertise made the experience the smoothest and easiest VA loan transaction I’ve ever had.
Q: What other benefits have you used that have enhanced you and your family’s quality of life?
A: The 9-11 GI Bill helped send all three of my children to the college of their choice and reduced our out-of-pocket expenses. My medical insurance through Tricare has a considerably lower annual premium than insurance provided through civilian employers. Using it with civilian employer-offered health insurance lowers our family’s overall out-of-pocket costs. The VA provides medical care and devices based on service-connected disabilities that I would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket.
Q: What advice can you give to active military members that you wish you’d had before retirement?
A: Start planning and educating yourself a year before you think you may retire. Take advantage of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) as early as possible.
Network with recently retired veterans on how the process went for them.
Obtain a copy of your medical records as soon as possible and make multiple hard copies and digital copies for your personal use. Meet with a Veteran Service Organization (VSO) representative early to review your medical records for completeness. It will make your VA claim process more straightforward.
Create a separate filing system in which you can consolidate all your pertinent military records. You will need to reference them more times than you realize.
Review your personnel records six months to a year out. It will give you time to find and correct discrepancies before you begin out-processing appointments.
Q: Why do you want to help military members, their families, and veterans?
A: I know the sacrifices they make firsthand. Anything we can do to make their lives easier so they can concentrate on their mission of protecting our freedom is worth it.
GoVA Inc. began in 2019 when our CEO and founder, Phil Jawny realized he had the opportunity to give back to the military community. Our mission is simple; we are devoted to being a trusted and credible resource for all military community members.
You served for us. Let us work for you.