USA Cares

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.

To add to his stress, Cody said finding a civilian job felt impossible.

“Nobody was wanting to hire a broken, mentally challenged soldier,” Cody said. “The only thing I knew how to do was drive a truck and pull a trigger.”

With mounting expenses for his family and a costly move from Texas to Kentucky, Cody estimates he spent more than $10,000 during his first few months of transition. It was more than the $7,000 he had saved for.

“It caused a lot of mental health issues,” Cody remembered. “I spiraled.”

Without income, it wasn’t long before Cody and his family faced eviction and car repossession. He remembers lying to his daughter that he’d already eaten when there wasn’t enough food in the house for both.

“This is the first time ever that I do not have the funds to pay my own rent, to have food in my house for my kid,” Cody remembered. “And that’s the worst feelings as a parent that I don’t have everything situated like I should.”

Cody said he reached out to eight organizations before the VA finally referred him to USA Cares. When he was notified that his case had been reviewed and approved, he was surprised to learn the assistance was a grant, and he never had to repay it.

“I was sitting waiting on an email to say how much I owed (USA Cares) and when I’d have to pay it,” Cody said. “I’m still in shock that I don’t.”

USA Cares’ assistance saved Cody’s home and car and provided food cards for his family. He is now working full-time and said things are looking up.    

“Whenever I got out, I got hit with a reality check,” Cody said. “I was already not really wanting to get out and I knew I wasn’t prepared, but everybody kept making it sound like I’ll be good to go. I wasn’t, but USA Cares was a blessing from the sky. It saved me and my family.”