USA Cares

Client Stories

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Jesus Martinez Rodriguez

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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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“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 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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Kenya Freeman

Kenya Freeman was hours away from losing her car in 2013.

“I ended up leaving the state just to keep my car,” Kenya said with a laugh. At the time, Kenya’s only income was her monthly VA check and the meager wages from her part-time job. It wasn’t enough to cover all her expenses and soon things began to unravel.

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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.”


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 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.

mike mcgregor

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!

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

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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 . . .