She served four years in the U.S. Army and went back to civilian life in the early 1980s.

She worked and raised a family, but a lingering knee injury from her time in the military and other health problems piled up.

Last year, the 52-year-old Cleveland, Tenn., woman had three boys living at home. She was the only one bringing in a paycheck and she couldn't work anymore. She'd applied for disability but hadn't been approved.

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