Marine Corps veteran Jessica McCue proudly served in the military for four years, but a back injury forced her to medically retire.
Settling into civilian life was harder than she imagined. Even with her bachelor’s degree and having a job in the accounting department at a large corporation, Jessica was still struggling, and always worried about providing a stable life for her three kids.
After leaving an abusive marriage, where the divorce left her financially drained, Jessica did not see a future that was financially stable enough to buy a home and provide her kids with the life she wanted to give them. Then a friend who works with veterans told her about Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront (HOTH) program. Jessica applied and was accepted into the program. On May 11, she celebrates Mother’s Day (a little belatedly) by moving into a mortgage-free, three-bedroom, 2-bath house in Wantage, New Jersey.
When she got the notice that she was selected, she did not believe it.
“After a couple of hours, it sunk in and I just cried for a little while.” She said. “Not because I was upset, but knowing that I’m finally, hopefully, going to be in a position to provide a better life for my family. Just knowing that felt surreal.”
As part of the HOTH program, Jessica will work with financial counselors to save money and increase her credit score. Upon graduating from the two-year program, Operation Homefront will deed the home, donated by JPMorgan Chase, to Jessica.
She has already put down roots in the area. She enjoys her job and she volunteers as a domestic violence victims advocate. Plus, her two oldest boys, Landon, 17, and Carter, who turns 16 on May 10, will get to continue attending their current school in Vernon, New Jersey. Her youngest son, Emilio, will start a new school in the fall.
If she got a chance to meet Operation Homefront’s donors, she would “probably cry a lot and hug them,” Jessica said.
“I just want to say thank you for how much this is going to do for us, for my credit, and my children,” she said. “It’s giving them more than the home but the ability to go to college without worrying about how things will be paid for. I just think of how awesome it will be for me and my family, how much it will help us, how much I can build a future and give them a better life. I’ve never been able to take them on a vacation anywhere. The things that I feel that kids should have growing up, I’ve never been able to give them. This will help provide that for them. It’s just not giving us a house.”