Savanna assumed the role of a parent at a very early age. Her mother—consumed by her addiction to alcohol and drugs—was seldom home to take care of Savanna and her four siblings. Despite this, Savanna longed for her mother to come back to them.
Before Josh and his younger siblings were taken into foster care, Josh Kelchner played parent to his sisters and brother while his mother succumbed to drug and alcohol addictions. After the children were taken into foster care, Josh did everything he could to try to keep his family together. But it almost wasn't enough.
As a boy, my three sisters and I suffered just about every form of abuse you can imagine. When I was 13 years old, we were all removed from our home. After that, I bounced around, from a children's emergency shelter to an aunt's house, then back to the shelter. Without knowledge or the power to speak up, I felt like a victim.
A year and a half later, I met my CASA volunteer, Robert. And everything changed.
Long before my feet touched Iraqi soil—before I even joined the United States Marine Corps—I was a veteran of a long war for survival....
Read an article about Laura and Sally in the American Legion's magazine.