I Was Living in a Tent

Navy Veteran, Nizarah Dragon, served as a ship’s serviceman from 1994 to 1997. “I served on the Samuel Gompers, the Alameda, and the Frank Cable out of Guam.” Ms. Dragon received an honorable medical discharge after multiple shoulder dislocations. 

After leaving the service, Ms. Dragon used her skills to work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico on workboats and crew boats. “Workboats shuttle supplies, crew boats shuttle people. But I dislocated my shoulder again in 2005 and had to leave”.

She went to school and became a machinist and worked in that field until dislocating her other shoulder. “I couldn’t find a job, and my brother needed care, so I took care of him for seven years. He had some anger issues that kept getting worse, and I had to leave. I was living in a tent in Perry when I hurt my knee. I went to the hospital and came back for a follow-up a while later. My knee was still swollen, and they wanted to know why. It’s hard to keep a knee warm and elevated in a tent. When I told them where I was living, they made me promise to go to the Veterans Day Treatment Center. Then the Veterans Day Treatment Center made me promise to come to St. Francis House.”

Ms. Dragon, an accomplished seamstress who sews everything by hand, spends a lot of her time sewing. “It’s therapeutic for me. I make all my own clothes, and I love making things.” She has recently been approved for a place in The Cottages in Conway and is looking forward to getting back out on her own. “I’ll also be close to my cousins and can spend time with them. I’ll continue my sewing, but I really can’t work full-time, and my income is from my VA disability, which is enough.”

Good luck, Ms. Dragon, and bright blessings on your new home!