She’s Upward Bound

Chantell Patton, a soft-spoken young lady with a beautiful smile, is a navy Veteran currently housed at St. Francis House under the VA Homeless Veterans Program. She served her country from 2011-2015.  “I was a bosun’s mate. Yes, we piped people on board and I got to drive the ship, but I think my favorite thing to do was being on the anchor team when we would drop anchor.”

A native of Arkansas, Ms. Patton joined the Navy to serve her country and “do something else for a change. I had never been out of Arkansas. I was stationed in Washington and in 2013, deployed to the Red Sea.”

Ms. Patton stayed in Washington after leaving the service. She married and held various jobs including running her own business. “A series of bad luck brought me back to Arkansas. My husband left and I was on my own with a lot of bills. Then I was in a car wreck and my car was totaled. I couldn’t run a business without a car and I didn’t have the money to get another one. I decided it was time to come home.”

Ms. Patton stayed with family until she got into St. Francis House.  “I want to stay here until I get back on my feet. I’m in the Upward Bound program taking classes to get ready for college. This fall I should be able to start the college program. I’m planning on being an Aviation Maintenance Technician. There are so many opportunities in that field, working on military, commercial, cargo and shipping, even drones. I’m planning on going to school part-time and working as well. I’ve already been hired by a new hotel opening here in Little Rock so I’ll start once they open. I was in Washington for ten years so I’m also I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my family- my dad, my sister, and my niece and nephew are all here in Arkansas.”