Beth MacDonald understands the ins and outs of military life — the good days, the bad nights, the ugly cry. She’s been there. She credits those experiences with inspiring her desire to give back as an accredited veterans services officer with the Green Beret Foundation.
“I help retirees, transitioning soldiers, active-duty soldiers and widows with their paperwork, anything they might need,” said MacDonald, “because I know how frustrating the process can be.”
Her first husband, Master Sergeant Gregory Trent, was serving with the 3rd Special Forces Group on his fifth deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when enemy forces attacked his unit. Trent died from his wounds Aug. 8, 2012.
Her current spouse, Mason MacDonald, is a retired Kiowa pilot who served 20 years in the Army. A longtime family friend, Mason was widowed four months after Beth. Together they’ve built a new life together, raising their children from their previous marriages and settling permanently in Moore County.
MacDonald had previously worked in customer service, healthcare and addiction counseling; with the Department of Defense in antiterrorism, crime prevention, casualty affairs; and the U.S. Army Special Forces Command family programs office.
When Trent was killed, a veterans services officer assisted her with paperwork. Only recently, she discovered that one document, tied to her daughter’s educational benefits, was not correctly filed. It could take up to two years to resolve the issue.
MacDonald also saw how frustrating the process was for Mason to retire and transition out of active duty into civilian life. She was inspired to help others and completed training to become a VSO.
In her role with the Green Beret Foundation (GBF), MacDonald advocates on behalf of Special Forces soldiers and families from North Carolina to Maine.
“You fought for your country, you should not have to fight for your benefits. Having someone else like me step in and say ‘Let me take your hand. I’ve been there, let me help you.’ is one less thing to have to stress about,” she said.
Based in San Antonio, GBF is a nonprofit, accredited service organization that invests in programs to assist the Special Forces community including scholarships, casualty support, health and wellness activities, transitional support, and assistance to Gold Star families.
Find out more at greenberetfoundation.org or call (844) 287-7133.