I grew up in Marshall, Texas with nine other brothers and sisters. I was the second-youngest in the mix of 10 children. My father was never in the picture. He left my mother long before I could even remember. My mother had only an eighth-grade education and was prone to severe anxiety, and so we lived on welfare. There were times in my early childhood when my mother found work cleaning homes and would take me with her to help scrub floors and clean toilets. I remember making shoes out of plastic bread bags, and many nights without food. My mother’s sisters looked on us with pity but did not help because they felt our house had too many problems to solve.

Me, age five.
Me, 15, with my grandfather.
Me in my ROTC uniform.
Family photo with my kids.
Me with my husband.
Kathy, her husband, and her grandbaby.
This story first touched our hearts on March 26, 2018.

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