Navy veteran, has big dreams for her future...thanks to you!


I’m Hazel, I’m 54 years old and I’m from Akron, Ohio. My mother died at 17, after she gave birth to me. It was a void in my life not having a mother in my life. My grandmother did her best to raise me.

I served my country but my military experience was not great.

I wanted to serve my country and be somebody because at that point, I thought I was nobody.

I was molested by my sergeants. I no longer felt safe and so therefore, I didn’t serve that long.

When I left the military, I was married to an abusive husband. He was very possessive. He told me he hit me because he loved me. I was accustomed to this because my mother was abused by various men. I thought that’s what I was supposed to do.

I eventually got divorced. My life spiraled down because I was using drugs. I used to drink, smoke, and do drugs. I had deceived a lot of people and done a lot of bad things to people.

What led me to drugs was remembering being molested at five years old by my brother and uncle. Your loved ones are supposed to protect you. But he didn’t. He hurt me. It’s hard to forgive a person who does that to you. I no longer trusted anyone.

I was always reluctant to ask for help because I didn’t know what I would get out of it and I thought that no one could help me.

I wanted to be the giving, caring and loving person that I know I am.

My son, the joy of my life, always tells me, “Be the person I deserve to be.” He’s my strength.

I believe God brought me to the Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park. It’s helped me tremendously. They have great programs here to help with things like post-traumatic stress disorder and cognitive behavior therapy. The staff here is amazing because they give you the tools that you need but it’s up to you to use the tools.

It’s the best thing I ever did.

I learned that I do deserve to be loved, by me and I know that God loves me. I have big dreams that I want to accomplish.

With your support, we can help female veterans, like Hazel, continue their journey