I was a Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class in the U.S. Navy. I was a 5th generation veteran. My great-great-grandfather served in “Big Red One” in WWI. He was from Belleport, ND, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Tribe. He wasn’t considered a citizen. Citizenship wasn’t granted to Native Americans until 1924. My great aunt was a WAC in WWII. My great uncle served in Vietnam. I served at the tail end of Desert Storm/Desert Shield. I served in a conflict zone in Haiti in 1998. I was sexually assaulted by another corpsman at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego after being roofied. I was taken back to my room. The rape kit is pretty invasive. Everyone on the base started pointing at me—“She’s a liar! She deserved it!” I convinced them to transfer me to another base. There was an altercation at a bar and I was wrongfully charged. I was convicted and received an “other than honorable” discharge. The Innocence Project intervened and I got out in 1½ years. I got pregnant with my first son right after I got home. I stayed in San Diego 6 years after that. My husband was an abusive drunk; tried to kill me. I moved back to Chicago in 2006. I got into another abusive relationship. Since 2008 we’ve had small bouts of homelessness. I wound up staying with my abusive boyfriend. When we were homeless we stayed doubled up with friends and family. When I couldn’t stay with friends I’d call my ex and ask for help with rent, food, rides. I know I shouldn’t have called him—he beat me, stalked me; tried to kill me. I had no choice. My kids have special needs and need therapy. I finally got into the VA system last year. We got a place through Volunteers of America. I go to job fairs looking for work in management. I ran a salon. I’m also a licensed phlebotomist. I do volunteer work at my kids’ schools. I volunteer for Homeless Veterans in America Foundation. I can work from home. I don’t need a dollar, I need a job.