‘The Moral High Ground’: Occupy Atlanta Saves Wounded Iraq War Veteran Brigitte Walker’s Riverdale Home from Chase Foreclosure
To all those who stubbornly maintain that the Occupy movement hasn’t accomplished anything positive…
Brigitte Walker, now 44 years old, purchased a $139,000 home in Riverdale, Clayton County, in 2004 while she was in her 20th year as an active-duty soldier in the U.S. Army. Walker was deployed as one of the first American troops to enter Iraq in February, 2003. She proudly served in Iraq until a mortar explosion crushed her spine in May, 2004. After having titanium plates inserted in her spine, Walker lost much of her range of motion and still experiences severe pain. In addition to the physical pain, she also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that make loud noises, even Fourth of July fireworks, difficult to bear.
In 2007, the Army medically retired Walker even though she didn’t want to be discharged. Since then, she has had to rely on disability checks to get by. It wasn’t long before she fell behind on her mortgage, after which Chase began foreclosure proceedings.
“I didn’t have problems until they put me out of the military,” Walker, who lives in the home with her girlfriend and her two children, told the HuffingtonPost. “It was just overwhelming.”
Then, along came the Occupy Wall Street movement. After being cleared out of parks and other public spaces around the nation, Occupy protesters focused on saving homes of people in danger of foreclosure. Occupy Atlanta protesters began occupying Walker’s home on December 6. By the end of that week, JPMorgan Chase, the bank that issued the mortgage, entered into talks with Walker and the Occupiers about modifying her loan. A deal was reached this morning; Walker’s payment has been reduced by hundreds of dollars per month.
Walker faced eviction on January 3.
“I strongly believe Occupy Atlanta accelerated the process and helped save my home,” Walker told the Huffington Post. “If it had not been for them standing up, I probably wouldn’t be having this happy ending.”
Tim Franzen of Occupy Atlanta told the Huffington Post that the group felt compelled to help Walker because hers was a case of a “very clear injustice on a woman who had literally been injured in one of our wars and suffered legitimate hardship.”
“When Chase suffered their hardship, they were just given all this money,” he added.
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