Tracey Cooper-Harris went back to school after serving in the army for 12 years, discharged in 2003. While deployed in Iraq, she worked as an animal care specialist looking after drug and bomb-sniffing dogs. When she returned home, she discovered she would need two years of schooling to get a special license to use her veterinary skills. The 38-year-old from Pasadena said her friends who worked as medics faced the same problem.
Rather than relearning what she already knew, she earned a degree in kinesiology from Pasadena City College with the goal of becoming a physical therapist, but that didn’t pan out. Now she’s looking into government jobs.
Tired of politicians saying they support the troops with little concrete action, Cooper-Harris went to Washington in April with a veterans advocacy group to lobby for benefits.