With two kids, she couldn't afford to go without ...


“I was at a breaking point and I needed help from someone,” said Shelly Renea Lay, wife of Sgt. Christopher Lay, from Bowling Green, Ky. “I just broke down crying one day and I knew I had to ask for help.”

Since Christopher deployed to Iraq, Shelly had been struggling. With two children—Brittaney, 17, and Corey, 10—Shelly couldn’t afford to go without.

“A week after Chris left, the engine of our truck blew up,” said Shelly. “Then I lost my job. I needed food to feed my kids, but I didn’t have a way to the store. I didn’t know what to do and I don’t have much family to lean on.”

Shelly had been working full-time caring for her grandmother but, without a vehicle, she had no way of getting to work.

“I knew my grandmother needed me, and that’s what really stung,” said Shelly.

Fortunately for Shelly, a Family Readiness Officer was on-hand at the local armory to connect her with the assistance she needed.

“I reached out to two different organizations, but both of them turned me down,” said Shelly. “I was devastated. Then I heard about VFW Unmet Needs.”

Two weeks later, Shelly was approved and received a $2,500 grant, which she used to fix her truck.

“I’m so grateful for this grant,” said Shelly, “and for the kind lady who pointed me in the right direction.”

Shelly hopes that by sharing her story, she can inspire other military families to reach out and ask for help.

“Now I have my truck, things are looking up and, most importantly, my husband has peace of mind,” Shelly concluded.



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