By Michael Barrett
Posted Apr 27, 2016
Hogan was one of dozens of people eating in the base's crowded chow hall tent during lunchtime when a suicide bomber disguised as an Iraqi National Guard soldier detonated an explosive vest, killing 22 people and injuring 72 others.
U.S. Army veteran Lauren Hogan with her daughter Roxanne, and her father Otis Whitehurst during the Mission Kickoff at her Bessemer City home that will be renovated by the Purple Heart Homes organization. JOHN CLARK/THE GAZETTELauren Hogan's burden from her time in the Iraq War is symbolized by the shrapnel she carries in her spine.
The bothersome piece of metal has come with her across the country in the decade since she left the Army. It has followed along on her job interviews, on efforts to further her education and during her constant quest to find a permanent, fulfilling home for herself and her two daughters.
As a disabled veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Hogan's journey is similar to those taken by tens of thousands of other soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. But she and her family are closer to finding solace and a path to a positive future, thanks to a nonprofit that works to help get wounded veterans in reliable homes.
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