This Memorial Day, Help Children of Fallen Patriots Attend College
by Vianne Healy
My children’s father, Daniel R. Healy, was killed in 2003 during Operation Redwing. Shortly following his death, we were notified that the college tuitions of my children, Jacob and Chelsea, would be covered in full. It was the kind of hope I knew would help my children survive their loss. This was the beginning of Dan’s legacy.
The news was not taken lightly because Jacobs’s situation was special. Dan and I had not yet completed the adoption process before he deployed and therefore Jacob was not eligible for Veterans Affairs benefits. It truly felt as if Dan was watching over him to ensure his college.
After a couple of years of attending a public college, Jacob transferred over to the University of San Diego, a private institution. Two weeks into the semester we learned that all of the grants he received at the public college were not given to private institutes and the military foundation that assisted Jacob with the remaining fees also had guidelines to follow. Unfortunately, Jacob and I were left to figure out how we would come up with a large chunk of his steep tuition. To say the least we were frantic.
I called every military affiliated foundation I could find. Somehow either Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation (Fallen Patriots) found us or we found them but we came together. Again we believed Dan had a hand in it. Fallen Patriots heard Jacob’s story and stepped up. They assisted him 100 percent and then some.
At first we thought Jacob would only attend a semester at USD and then he’d return to the University of California due to their tuition being so much more. It was a confusing time because Jacob was a first generation college student and we weren’t aware of the differences between private and public or how the various organizations work – it was all new to us.
Remarkably, Fallen Patriots offered to help Jacob out fully to receive his degree. We were beyond grateful that the foundation understood his special circumstance and welcomed him readily. Fallen Patriots assisted with tuition, housing and study abroad fees, which allowed Jacob to solely concentrate on his studies and study in Europe. As luck would have it a year following his graduation the foundation was hiring and Jacob now works for Children of Fallen Patriots. He is completely engulfed in the foundations efforts to assist our military’s children and truly enjoys what he does.
The impact of Fallen Patriots on Jacob has been life changing and he’s determined to pay it forward. I’m convinced there’s more than one hero in this story and we thank the founders, their administration, and the many supporters for their generosity.
To learn more about Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, please visit www.fallenpatriots.org.
To help Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation in their Memorial Day Challenge to raise $30,000 (the average cost of a scholarship for just one student), donate at: www.crowdrise.com/MemorialDayChallenge.