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en Español

But for the government, I wouldn't be where I am today.

I was thirty-something, with three kids, married and working hard. I had to ask my boss for a raise - I worked hard and I deserved it. I helped an accountant classify expenditures. He had the degree, I had the talent. The accountant made three times what I made but I didn't have a college degree so I didn't deserve even a 10 cent per hour raise. I got a nickle an hour but I cried while I asked. That day I decided I would get a degree and never be in that position again.

I got student financial aide and got my degree (in accounting!). My personality doesn't fit with that profession even though I have a specific talent for accounting. I was encouraged to take a look at law school. I did and I completed that, with loans again. I have been an attorney for 20 years, 13 of that as a public defender. I love my job - its a calling not a "job." Everyday I am thankful for all the "government" assistance I received to get here.

And beyond all that, I was a young mother, just missing the hippy era. I had my first two kids on government assistance. My last child was delivered courtsey of military medical insurance (Champus) because my second husband was retired military. I remain eligible for military retirement benefits including an annuity. I don't use TriCare because I have insurance provided by the governmental entity for which I work, helping low income individuals with criminal legal matters.

—MarciaNM
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