C.K. served in the United States Marine Corps from 1998-2001 doing Signals Electronic Intelligence Warfare and was the first female marine to attend the Combat Direction Finding course. But after experiencing military sexual trauma (MST), which resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder, she was given an other than honorable discharge (OTH) for smoking marijuana to try to ease her symptoms.
Upon returning home from her service, C.K. faced many barriers to getting the help she needed. Unable to receive any Veteran’s Association (VA) benefits due to her OTH, she became homeless and began living out of her truck and a storage unit. With her inspection and registration about to expire, a friend referred C.K. to the Easterseals Veterans Program, where she met Adam Costello.
“Adam listened to my situation and assured me that he would do everything he could to help, but no promises,” she said. “I was simply amazed when two weeks later, I had two new tires, an alignment, and my registration all taken care of!”
Before reaching out to Easterseals, C.K. struggled to get the help she needed, saying “The organizations I had reached out to seemed to want to help, but I felt as though I kept getting the run-around. Go here, go there, fill this out but with no outcome that was actually of the real help I needed…[Adam] helped to save me from the destitute situation I was in quickly and with care.”
Because of the support from Adam Costello and Easterseals, C.K. has been able to attend her last semester of college and looks forward to receiving her associate degree in cybersecurity. “My hope is to one day open my own cybersecurity company and donate back to Easterseals. I would not be able to attend my last semester if it wasn't for Easterseals. They have assisted me more than I ever expected or hoped for. I can't thank them enough!”