Broken But Not Destroyed

During the week of the Army’s 236th Birthday, Army Senior Leaders and the president and chief executive officer of Operation Homefront, Jim Knotts, marked the launch of the “Army Homefront Fund.”  The Army Homefront Fund is one of the newest programs created to provide emergency financial and other support to the families of soldiers, with a focus on wounded warrior care and transition assistance.

Today, we have a guest blog post from Mrs. Betty Easley. Her and her husband, SPC Greg Easley, and their six children were classified as “homeless” when SPC Easley was retired from the Army after suffering injuries. Mrs. Easley discusses how grateful they are for programs like Operation Homefront and the Army Homefront Fund.

I never imagined being a military spouse with an injured husband, six children, and homeless. How does this happen….and what do we do next?

Mrs. Betty Easley and her husband, SPC Greg Easley, tell their story at the kickoff for the Army Homefront Event June 13, 2011

My husband’s military career was cut short after serving for 13 years in the Army when he was found unfit for duty and then medically retired.  While serving in Iraq on his first of two deployments, Greg was injured in an IED blast and suffered a great deal of pain. It wasn’t until 6 years after the deployment Greg was medically diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, severe depression, and head, neck, & back injury.

After being diagnosed, the lights came on for me because I had truly been in the dark as to what was happening with my husband. At this point Greg had been demoted twice, from an E6 to an E4 which placed extreme financial hardship on the family. I had come to the point in which I learned to live with the “no pay dues”. Greg and I just always believed that God would make a way out of no way.

After being retired, it was now time for a new beginning for our family and Texas was the place. Our family of 8 was living day to day in hotel rooms with only disability income as our credit was destroyed and we were without a savings account or credit cards. We had exhausted all of our resources while we were waiting for VA benefits to begin. It was difficult to understand being at the place in our lives when we were homeless. Think about it, we were a military family- “homeless” was not a word in our vocabulary. I can honestly say that it was our faith in God that kept us together and moving forward. Our prayers had truly been heard in Heaven when we received a phone call from Operation Homefront Village offering us a place to stay at no cost to us.

It was an honor to attend the Army Homefront Fund kickoff in Washington DC earlier this month, as the Army joined forces with Operation Homefront. We are truly grateful for the many military supporting organizations that assist families just like ours every day.