“This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” Elmer Davis
Before my husband deployed, before I knew the fear of ‘the knock on the door’ and before I understood (the best I can) the needs of military widows I became a part of The Got Your Back Network. Got Your Back Network was founded by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Dr. Andy Baldwin who has been honored on the Washington D.C. Most Influential People under 40 list in 2009, and Outside Magazine's Top 100 Influential People of the World list in 2006. His true passion, though, lies with the families of our fallen military. Created after losing 2 friends in the war and seeing the challenges that it posed to their families.
As a fully volunteer organization, we are proud that every dollar donated goes back to fund events and programs for our surviving families. Our goal is to provide the children of our countries fallen service members the opportunity to intimately interact with our country's most talented leaders. Through diverse coordinated events along with one on one interactions with corporate executives, politicians, professional athletes, and entertainers, Got Your Back Network provides the avenue for the children of the fallen to learn and be inspired by the most successful leaders of our generation. We also provide the network for surviving spouses to find the resources that they need. By bringing together small groups of families we are able to create bonds and a family environment needed to lean on each other.
I have loved every moment of being part of this organization and family. Over the past several years I have been a part of Project Gratitude taking widows and their daughters to Miss America, organizing events to see local sporting teams, fundraisers and get togethers. Each event has brought me new friends, an enlarged family and a better understanding of something that is virtually impossible to understand. Each widow that I have met provides and insight and another piece to our network of surviving spouses.
This year, through the urging of several of our surviving spouses, I will begin running to honor the surviving families. My first run will be the San Diego Color Run, a 5k in November. I am currently collecting donations toward this run, all funds will be directed to programs assisting the families of our fallen. Please support me in this endeavor by making a donation.
I am honored to continue my work with the families of the fallen, Got Your Back Network and our military community.