FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Heather Morris is a loving mom. She had never been away from her son, Triston, for long periods of time until she made a drastic career move.

“That has been the hardest thing that I had to wrap my head around, not being able to see him everyday,” Morris said from Pensacola, Florida.  She’s there training to work on airplanes one day.

CBS 11 first met Heather in October of last year. The single mom from Frisco has 2 degrees and 15 years experience in marketing, but Morris couldn’t find a job.

Struggling to make ends meet, she and her son moved in with friends. She felt she had no where to go so she joined the Navy.  “I never thought at my age of 38 years old I’d be starting a new career,” she said before enlistment this spring.

Morris isn’t alone. UTA professor Allan Saxe says there are many more like her who are still bogged down by the economy.  “We’re talking millions of people unemployed on labor day and its not good,” said Saxe.

The national unemployment rate is at 9.1 percent which doesn’t include the underemployed or those who have given up. Saxe says that number may be as high as 20 percent in some areas of the country.

Saxe believes it is time for lawmakers to think out of the box to come up with economic solutions.  “Today we have a very different economic cycle a very different play a much more of a global economy than what we were perhaps in the 1930’s.”

As for Morris, she definitely got out of the box. She graduated from boot camp this summer, her ceremony was the first time she’d seen her son in months.  “I hadn’t seen him for so long and when I saw him and had him in my arms, I was home again.”

And while its tough being apart, Morris says she’s focused on the big picture.  “I’m getting that financial security that I didn’t have in corporate America.  It is also an emotional security for me to know that I have the ability to provide for my son.”

Morris, who is serving in the Navy Reserve, will be finished with training this fall.  She hopes to return to Frisco by October.

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