Chevalier, Keli

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Main contributors
Center for Public History, University of Houston; University of Houston Libraries, University of Houston
This is an oral history interview with Keli Chevalier conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Major Keli Chevalier, the founder of the nonprofit Trauma to Triumph, discusses how she came to join the military to pay for her education and describes, her almost twenty-year career that included a tour in Kosovo and two in Iraq. She began her military career demonstrating biomedical equipment and later moved into logistics, responsible for getting U.S. Army service men and women and supplies in and out of the world‘s trouble spots. She describes coming under fire the moment her plane touched down in Iraq in 2003, being raped by a non-commissioned officer just days later, how that incident impacted her personally, and the Green to gold scholarship that enabled her to finish her degree at the University of Houston. In 2009, she was called up to return to Iraq and she describes how the Army and the war had changed since her first tour, including the shift from IEDs to suicide bombers to attack U.S. troops. After being injured, she had long-needed back surgery and retired from the military. Upon her return to Houston, Chevalier felt it was critical to address the incidence of PTSD seen in returning troops. While acknowledging the VA tries to address the problem, it lacks the resources, necessitating the private sector to step in. She formed the nonprofit Trauma to Triumph to help women getting out the military transition to civilian life, assisting with a place to live, clothes, food, their children‘s needs, whatever it takes to get them back on their feet.
Women's rights; Military service; Chevalier, Keli
Houston, Texas
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted


University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
Houston History Archives
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
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Preservation Location: ark:/84475/pm4982x5050
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