USA Cares

Gene McLaurin

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

An Army National Guard veteran, Gene had recently been evicted from his apartment and was living out of his Volkswagen, which was now days away from repossession.

“I just needed help for a few months to get back on my feet and remain stable,” Gene said. “I was about to lose the last thing I had and be forced to start over.”

The trouble, Gene said, began when he returned from his deployment to Iraq in 2009.

“When I came back from overseas, I was dealing with a lot of adjustment disorder,” Gene said. “I was behaving different around people and in large crowds.”

Despite receiving treatment from the VA, Gene’s PTSD eventually caught up with him.

“It affected me in my career,” Gene said.“I wasn’t really stable because I was having issues with my PTSD. I had a great job for a couple of years but then I became unemployed in August.”

After being denied VA disability, Gene reached out for help, but received nothing but more phone numbers to call. Frustrated, Gene googled ‘veteran assistance programs’ and found USA Cares.

“I would say within a period of two weeks, USA Cares kind of solved my issues, and one of those weeks was just me gathering the information they needed,” Gene said.

USA Cares was able to save Gene’s car from repossession and provide temporary housing for Gene while he looked for his new home.
“What they did, should make (USA Cares) the number one veteran assistance program, because USA Cares did so great compared to a lot of other organizations,” Gene said.

Now in a much better spot, Gene said his assistance has inspired him to one day do the same for someone else.

“The help I received makes me want to help other veterans,” Gene said. “I know I’m not the only one who has faced this, and I don’t want them to be alone either.”