Last week, Popular Military received a request from one of our readers. He asked that we help to tell the story of his veteran friend, who is going through a series of unfortunate events. After finding out more information, we have decided to share the story with you. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the people involved in this story.
Summer is a single mother, a United States Army veteran, and a Purple Heart recipient. Our reader, Stan, first met Summer while they were both serving in Afghanistan. Stan explains that Summer’s commitment to serving and protecting her brothers and sisters in the Army is matched only by her commitment to her own girls.
Summer’s time with the Army ended after she took a sniper’s bullet to her chest. Throughout the course of her recovery, Summer had to give up a portion of her lung in order to survive. She was medically discharged from the Army, but she wasn’t done trying to help her fellow soldiers.
Summer began taking on contractor jobs in the Middle East, driving cargo trucks and helping set up communications with bases in Afghanistan. After taking another bullet while working, Summer finally decided to retire from her dangerous work overseas to spend more time with her daughters back in the states.
While back in the U.S., Summer continued working contract jobs in support of the troops overseas. One of these jobs ended up taking Summer and her family to Florida, where they purchased a new home. Shortly after moving to Florida, however, the company Summer was working for began downsizing, and Summer lost her job. She was able to find more work, but it was a 2-hour commute from the house she’d just purchased.
Summer began staying close to her job during the week and with her daughters on the weekends. During one of these weekends, Summer discovered that her daughters were taking a classmate to school. Summer found out that the classmate came from a veteran family who was struggling tremendously. They were living in a hotel room and did not have enough money to continue paying, so they were facing eviction. Summer decided to open up her house to the family, knowing she couldn’t let a fellow veteran go homeless while she was able to help in some small way.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Summer’s good intentions were taken advantage of. The new family in her home began to grow, inviting more family members to stay with them. Summer hoped that this would help them be able to pay more of the bills and mortgage, but that did not come to pass. The family began refusing to pay the bills altogether, and Summer was forced to find a higher paying career just to keep up with the mounting bills in her name.
Summer found new work in Washington D.C., and told the family that she’d opened her house to that they needed to leave so she could sell the house. Summer traveled to begin her new job, but the family has refused to move out. Summer disconnected the utilities to the house in hopes this would force them out, but somehow, the family was able to turn them back on. When Summer hired a lawyer to help her get this family out of the house, they countered with a lawyer of their own and have claimed “squatter’s rights.”
All throughout this time, Summer was dealing with another huge issue with her family: Allegations that a family member had molested one of her daughters surfaced. Now, while Summer fought to get her house back, she also had to begin fighting with members of her own family over these allegations, causing estrangement and even more stress.
While Summer struggles to keep her family afloat and afford the bills and mounting mortgage payments, she continues to try to get this family out of her house so she can sell it. Summer and her daughters have been forced to live in a friend’s basement in D.C. due to these struggles to get the family out of her house.
Stan has started a GoFundMe campaign to help Summer pay for her legal expenses and past due bills. Unfortunately, with the sensitive nature of Summer’s work, she is unable to allow her real identity to become public knowledge or she’ll risk losing her job. It is Stan’s hope that the money he can help raise through this campaign will finally get Summer and her family back on their feet.
*To learn more, visit the GoFundMe campaign here.
By Brett Gillin
*Popular Military has not been able to independently verify the details of this story and is not promoting or soliciting donations in any way.