Jas Boothe is a Chicago Native, Disabled Army Veteran, Cancer Survivor, and Author who gave over 16 years of service to this great nation.
She deployed during the Operation Iraq Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns and her military career has been dedicated to working with and advocating for Soldiers and their family members.
In 2005, she was a single parent in the Army Reserves living in New Orleans. That spring, she learned she would soon be deploying to Iraq. During her mobilization, Boothe’s life was torn apart by two significant events. In August she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina. She tried to shift her focus to her platoon that was counting on her for leadership through the deployment. The very next month in September, she received a devastating diagnosis of an aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer, and was now unable to deploy.
Boothe’s options were limited and posed some very hard choices for her. Because of her illness, she was facing discharge from the military. But she needed complex full-time medical care, a job, and a place to live with her young son. When searching for what assistance might be available, she was told there were no existing programs for female Veterans with children and that she should explore welfare and social services as an option, just like every other single mother. Jas then realized that America had forgotten about the women who have served, fought, bled and died along side their male counterparts. She found these options unacceptable for a woman who had honorably served her country and after extensive cancer treatment, including radiation therapy that left life-long side effects, at Brooke Army Medical Center, she was able to stay in the Reserves and immediately began looking for full-time employment and a place for her and her son to live.
Jasmine found herself unemployed, then homeless. As if that wasn’t tough enough, she was also diagnosed with cancer and is a single mom.
They say it’s not what you face in life that matters, but how you handle it. Army Major Jas Boothe can truly say she’s not only seen it all, but handled it pretty well, too. Not only did she come through all of this adversity, she is doing so while helping others.
Here’s some of her incredible story:
Watch her tell NBC’s Megyn Kelly about her inspiring life: