Roselyn Young, US Army Reserves
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.”
A single mother of two, Roselyn served 26 years in both the US Army and Army reserve. During that time, she was deployed to Iraq in 2005, and spent most of 2017 to 2019 in Kuwait after volunteering for mobilization.
“I actually raised my hand because of my credentials,” Roselyn said. “I had accumulated a few MOS while I served, so when they needed a body somewhere I said, ‘OK, I can do it.’”
Then, in early August of 2023, Roselyn medically retired, forcing her to leave her government job and the reserves.
“The whole PTSD thing was starting to get the best of me,” Roselyn said. “Also, the injuries were piling up. I have problems with my left hip, pain in my feet, my ankles are just tore up. I can’t even wear heels anymore.”
By all accounts, Roselyn did exactly what she was supposed to do during her transition. With some money saved for her expected lapse in income, she applied for unemployment and received a 100-percent disability rating from the VA.
As August begin to wind down, Roselyn feared that her payments were not going to come in time for September.
“Us military people, we’re not exempt from what’s going on in the civilian side of the house,” Roselyn said. “We know these agencies are backlogged.”
Roselyn said she could feel the panic setting in. Determined to stay proactive, she started reaching out to housing assistance programs and agencies.
“The stories I was hearing make you want to cry because there’s so many people going through the same thing,” Roselyn said. “Nobody had money to help because they were tapped out for the month.”
“I felt myself running into a brick wall,” Roselyn continued. “I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before, but in that last week of August, I finally reached out to the VA.”
With the help of her case worker, Roselyn compiled a list of veteran assistance organizations.
“It was probably 50 or 60 on there,” Roselyn remembered. “I called every last one of them and USA Cares was the one that called me back.”
With approval of her case, USA Cares was able to pay for Roselyn’s September rent and help her and her family avoid eviction.
Sadly, USA Cares couldn’t help Roselyn with all of her needs.
“(USA Cares) helped keep me in my home, and that was the biggest thing, but I still have other bills hanging over me,” Roselyn said. “A lot of things I had to just suck it up, but my energy bill? I need my utilities. I can’t go without those.”
Despite the lingering stress, Roselyn said she feels hope and relief with the help USA Cares was able to give her.
“You guys have the perfect name because, with me, I really felt alone,” Roselyn said. “When you leave the military, that’s the biggest thing, you feel alone. You feel like nobody cares. This whole experience showed me that somebody, strangers, care.”