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Texas Iraq War Vet Faces Eviction As Disability Claim Lags

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - A McKinney veteran returned from war but now faces the fight of her life.

Crissy Cornell has waited nearly a year for the Department of Veterans Affairs to act on her disability claim while facing eviction notices from the landlord of her McKinney apartment complex.

"Right now I'm afraid I'm going to be homeless in a matter of two weeks," says Cornell.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

After three years in Iraq, the weight of transporting 100 pound guns and other equipment took its toll on the knees and back of the Air Force Airman. "I was 100 pounds soaking wet and they decided to have us wear all of our Kevlar just to protect us and weighed about 70 pounds with the equipment," she says.

Surgeries and other procedures helped but Cornell still finds it difficult to even climb stairs.

She says the Veteran's Administration hospital would only provide prescriptions for her medical problems so she went to private doctors.

"I could schedule an appointment and they would tell me it's going to take three months to see a doctor," she says. "I was just in so much pain I didn't want to put up with it anymore."

The vet says she had to quit her job as a 911 dispatcher because of the pain.  It's led to eviction notices while waiting for the government to increase her disability benefits.

"It [federal paperwork] says that the claim will be finished by October 2012 and here we are in September 2013 and I'm still waiting," says the 28-year-old.

A spokesperson for The Department of Veteran's Affairs tells CBS 11 News they will look at Cornell's case but whether help will come before she's out on the street is uncertain.

A woman proud to serve her country but ashamed of her government.  Cornell said, "It's not fair to any of the veterans to come home and worry about being homeless."

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