USA Cares

Client Stories

LaSaige Francis

LaSaige Francis always knew enlisting in the US Army was not her forever plan.

“My thing was always that I wanted to be a judge,” LaSaige said.

After 12 years in the service, which included deployments all over the world, LaSaige knew that it was time for the next chapter of her life…

Breanah Scarbrough

Not many people know the true location of Breanah Scarbrough and her family.

They’re in hiding, under the advice of law enforcement officials, from a dangerous man they can’t locate. The man, a former employee for Breanah, is facing three felony charges including rape and false imprisonment.

Tonya Noland*

Tonya will never forget the night of Jan. 30, 2024.

“We actually were having a great night,” Tonya remembered of her dinner date with her husband, Justin. “The kids were with my parents and we went to a Mexican restaurant.” 

All names have been changed

Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins enlisted in the Army with the hopes of a better future and, really, to spite his brother.

“I signed up because my brother didn’t want me to,” Mark said. “He didn’t want me in the Marines with him, so I went Army.”

It was 1979 and after completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he had just begun specialized schooling when…

Ashanti Milow

After 20 years, 2 months and 15 days, retired US Army Major Ashanti Milow said goodbye to the service and found herself, in a way, right where she started her military career.

“This is a full circle moment for me,” Ashanti said from her JROTC classroom at North Hardin High School…

CODY BROWN*

Cody Brown’s separation from the service still doesn’t sit well with him.

“Honestly, I’m not happy with being out of the military to this day,” Cody said.

In October of 2023, Cody was med boarded after nearly seven years in the Army. He had been told it would only require surgery, but instead, it ended his military career…

LIAM DUNCAN

Liam had submitted the comment along with his very first donation to the organization. It had just been a few weeks since USA Cares assisted his own family of six with two months of rent.

“I’m not totally caught up yet, but one of the first things I thought of was, and this is legitimately what I thought, is that they saved my neck,” Liam said. “I can at least give them a couple of bucks.”

Dusty Bieniek

Dusty Bieniek knew transitioning out of the military would require some planning and flexibility when it came to his professional career. He didn’t, however, expect that finding safe and affordable housing would prove to be just as challenging.

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Roselyn Young

Roselyn Young was not the average reserve soldier.

“Monday through Friday I was a military technician, so, a government employee,” Roselyn explained. “Then, on the weekends, I was on base in uniform. You would have thought I was active duty because my whole world was military regardless.”

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Jesus Martinez Rodriguez

When Jesus Martinez Rodriguez sent his family’s Christmas photograph to his case manager, he knew it wasn’t required or even necessary.

Fran Wiedenhoeft

Fran Wiedenhoeft

The bloodied, chaotic scenes of even the most true-to-life war movies pale in comparison to the memories Fran Wiedenhoeft has of her deployments to the Middle East.

Aaron Fritcher

Aaron Fritcher

By the end of 2018, Aaron Fritcher had spent nearly six weeks in the VA’s psychiatric ward. His first stay lasted two weeks, his second was almost a month. Each time he’d been hospitalized for severe suicidal ideation.

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Darrian Kelly

After more than six years in the Army and two deployments to Iraq, Darrian Kelly faced the daunting task of transitioning to his civilian career. He was given the usual resources and training before his discharge but, for some reason, none of it really stuck.

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Julia Hutt

“You never knew when you were going to kick the bucket, you know, because there were mortar and rocket attacks all the time,” Julia said. “Good day was like 10, bad day was like, over 30.”

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Chris Wilburn

“I lost everything I had in a fire,” Chris said. “All of my own military stuff – gone.”

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TIM METHENY

“If I can prevent anyone from going through the pain and anguish and trials that my family had to go through, that’s my success,” Tim said.
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TYRA ANDERSON

Tyra Anderson can’t help but smile as she describes her father, Tim Anderson.

“He had this personality that was bigger than life,” Tyra said. “He would talk to everyone. My mom will tell you I get my outgoing side from him.”

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Victoria Benton

Victoria is no stranger to hardship.

In 2018, her husband tragically passed away at the age of 25. Two weeks later, she found out she was pregnant.

Victoria gave birth to her son, Cesar, less than a year later and began raising him as a single mother.

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Chelle Thompson

When Chelle Thompson joined the Navy, she welcomed challenging work.

“I was an ABH, which is an Aviation Boatswains Handler,” Chelle said. “I pretty much did the chalking and chaining of the aircraft to the flight deck. I would climb under the helicopter and chain them to the flight deck.”

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Jason Glidewell

I was unexpectedly separated from service in June 2014 due to an injury sustained during a combat deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan. My family and I had a few months notice of my pending separation, but were in the process of finalizing immigration paperwork for my two step-daughters.
Kelly

Kelly Wells

Kelly was honorably discharged from the US Marine Corps on Sept. 30, 2002. After four years in the service, she decided it was time to take her computer expertise to the civilian workforce.

By all accounts, Kelly was doing well outside of the military, but in June of 2022,
“I was having massive stomach issues and it was service-connected,” Kelly said.

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Mike McGregor

I remember reading this instruction manual from cover to cover in preparation for the birth of my first son. Pages were dog-eared, sage advice and pertinent points were highlighted in every color imaginable, and there were more sticky tabs hanging out of that book than one human being could possibly count.I was more than prepared; I was a pro and I was ready!

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JENNIFER MCCLOUD

Jennifer’s biggest call to duty was becoming a mother in 2005. So, she didn’t think twice when the role required her to take a leave of absence from her job as a procurement analyst to care for her child in October.

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GENE MCLAURIN

Gene was desperate and clinging to hope when he finally dialed the phone number for USA Cares. 

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GREGORY MIDDLETON

The physical toll of 9 years of service isn’t obvious with Gregory Middleton. Most people don’t know about the bullet fragments still lodged in his skull from a sniper bullet . . .