Air Force vet helps others with disabilities

Instead of settling into retirement and putting up his feet after 26 years in the Air Force, John Prater headed to the college classroom.

However, somewhere along the way he began to suffer the effects of memory loss brought on by a chemical imbalance in his brain.

Extensive time at a veterans hospital, disability programs at Clovis Community College and restructuring the way he had always done things helped the former master sergeant from Alabama to cope with the affliction.

“I live by a very rigid routine every day, and that’s one of the ways people with disabilities function best,” said Prater, who served two tours in Vietnam before retiring at Cannon Air Force Base.

Prater overcame his disability to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Now he is an outreach specialist for disability services at Eastern New Mexico University, where he conducts study sessions and coordinates testing and a variety of other services.

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