PORTLAND, Maine (PRESS HEARDL) -- Hundreds of Maine parents are filling out applications this month in hopes that the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund can provide holiday presents – and joy – for their children.

One of them is a 28-year-old Army veteran working hard to start a new life with her 2-year-old son. Her application arrived Nov. 9.

READ MORE AT PRESSHERALD.com

She enlisted at 21 and then spent two years in uniform, working as a wheeled-vehicle mechanic at Fort Hood in Texas. She had learned the basics while working on cars with her father.