When Senior Airman Lakisha Williams was living in San Diego, California, with her mom, it seemed to her like everyone in her family was having problems. Lakisha was not where she wanted to be in life .
Lakisha was inspired by family members who had gone before and saw their legacy of military service. Lakisha’s mom, dad, uncle, and several cousins had all served in the military. Their service inspired Lakisha to join the military too and signed up for the Air Force.
During her Air Force career, Lakisha was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Unfortunately, Lakisha was seriously injured and processed out of the military with a 90 percent rating from the Veterans Administration.
“I was improperly prepared to leave the military,” said Lakisha. “things were rough. The military was the best part of my life. I moved back to San Diego. I ended up being homeless for a time. My life was very sad. I was in a really bad marriage: we ended up divorced.”
But Lakisha would not give up. She started working for the local VA and becoming an advocate for other veterans. Eventually, she was offered a new job in Arizona with a significant pay raise. “I had to take the opportunity. The raise was really good and would allow me and my kids to get off assistance.”
But the move was more expensive that Lakisha had planned. She faced unexpected security deposits and advance rent payments. She first called Wounded Warrior Project to see if they could help. She was referred to Operation Homefront.
Thanks to Operation Homefront, Lakisha and her children have settled into their new apartment and she’s successfully working at her new job.
“When I was helping veterans to get jobs, it was hard to see veterans having to compromise, lie, or lose everything to qualify for help. I like that Operation Homefront is different and wants to know that you have a plan for the future and can move forward.”
Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and rent-free transitional housing for wounded veterans and their families.
“I am so happy that I moved away from San Diego,” said Lakisha. She had to return for a bankruptcy hearing and she commented, “being back today is a good reminder of why I left the area, and I can’t wait to get back to my home in Arizona.”
“Operation Homefront was able to help me quickly,” said Lakisha. “The help was much appreciated, and I am really glad that things like this are available. Although there are lots of programs out there, like the VA, they don’t really help to prevent homelessness. Operation Homefront is the middle man—you step in where others can’t.”
Join in the conversation with us as we celebrate those veterans among us, by sharing stories of your own. Through Facebook or Twitter, please use the hashtag #11days11stories to share your own inspirational story of a veteran in your life.