Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation Helps College-Bound Students

Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation Helps College-Bound Students
  • Opening Intro -

    The men and women who serve in the military and pay the ultimate price leave behind spouses and children that are devastated by their loss.

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That devastation goes beyond the death of the loved one and often extends to unimaginable financial pressure that the surviving spouse may not be able to handle alone.

Paying For College

Fortunately, there is an organization that is dedicated with helping the offspring of dead military personnel move on with their lives. The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation has a mission that is a simple, yet challenging: ensuring a college education for those that have been left behind.

Essentially, the foundation provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military offspring who lost a parent while serving. Grants and college scholarships can provide some help, but the foundation seeks to close the financial gap.

Two-Fold Appeal

With Veteran’s Day on Monday, the foundation has renewed its appeal to Americans as it seeks to help more children. Its appeal is two-fold: to remind people of what it has accomplished thus far and what it would like to accomplish in the future, and to reach out to eligible families that may not know that the foundation is available to help them.

To date, the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation has provided more than $6 million in education grants. However, that amount represents just a small amount of the money needed, with its estimate coming in at $107 million for all eligible children. That figure reflects an average $30,000 “gap” for four years of college, what surviving children and their families must otherwise handle.

Expanding its Database

Besides the funding challenge, the foundation has been finding it hard to locate eligible military families. Privacy laws make it difficult to track down everyone, although aid organizations do provide some help. Those organizations, however, typically focus on one branch of the military with untold numbers of survivors falling through the cracks. Often, when a spouse dies, the family is left with young children and the surviving spouse moves away from the military support network in pursuit of civilian opportunities.

With more than 4,000 children currently in its database, the foundation has asked everyone to help them identify all others who may qualify.

One of the first recipients of the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation was Tabitha Bonilla, who lost her husband of three years in a helicopter accident in Baghdad. Just 11 months earlier her father was killed in Iraq, a two-punch blow that affected the young woman. With the foundation’s assistance, Ms. Bonilla was able to complete her education at Campbell University and now serves as the foundation’s program manager.

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