Kelly Wells, US Marine Corps
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.
In preparation, Kelly started saving for her recovery, which doctors told her would take no more than a month. Shortly after she was discharged, however, Kelly contracted COVID-19 and started having complications that put her back in the hospital an additional three months. The medical center she was being treated at was more than an hour drive from their home, so Kelly’s husband was forced to stay at a nearby hotel.
“For some reason, we didn’t qualify for assistance from the VA,” Kelly explains. “So, we paid out-of-pocket for my husband’s hotel.”
Before long, Kelly’s savings ran out, and everywhere she looked for help seemed to be a dead end
“I was told I had a really good job and I’d be fine,” Kelly said. “But I wasn’t working. I was in a hospital with no income.”
Finally, Kelly found USA Cares. After explaining her situation, Kelly’s case was approved, and USA Cares paid for her family’s rent, alleviating her financial stress and allowing Kelly to focus on her health.
Now fully recovered and back at work, Kelly is committed to giving back to fellow veterans.
“I was terrified to reach out,” Kelly said. “I didn’t want to do it, and it was hard to do, but I want other people to know it’s OK, and you should reach out for help right away. Don’t wait until you can’t un-bury yourself.”