Triumph Over Trauma


Maggie, 26, enjoys cuddling with her baby daughter, settling in to their new apartment and planning a wedding for the near future. 

female veteran browardBut Maggie wasn’t always in a good place, emotionally and physically. While stationed in Oklahoma, the Army private was savagely assaulted by three men and became pregnant. She hid her condition until she was discharged and went on to have the baby (now 2 years old), but the brutality of the attack continued to haunt her and she suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). The PTS and other mental health issues led to difficulties with employment, finances and housing. Her young daughter had to live with a friend out of state. 

Seeking greater stability in her life, Maggie moved to South Florida, where she met her fiancé. The two lived with his mother for a while but were kicked out after Maggie became pregnant; they found themselves sleeping in his truck and on friends’ sofas.

Fortunately, Maggie received a modest income through the VA, which referred her to United Way of Broward County. Through United Way’s MISSION UNITED program, Maggie received assistance with housing, utilities, household items and employment, as well as case management services, training in financial matters and much more. Among the items she has purchased are a bed for herself and her partner, and another for her 2-year-old daughter, who is expected to join them soon.

Today, Maggie looks forward to a bright future, running a successful home renovation business with her fiancé, going back to school and planning a wedding. And, she is grateful for all the assistance she and her family have received. “United Way put a roof over our heads,” she said. “You literally saved our lives.”

Maggie is one of more than 10,000 veterans who have received some sort of assistance through United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED. This unique program, created in 2013 in Broward County serves the needs of those who served our country by providing assistance with case management, housing, employment, pro bono legal services, behavioral health and more. Click here to learn more about MISSION UNITED.