Press Releases

Family Entertainment Centers Rally Around Survivors of Fallen Heroes

Aug 31, 2015

Jacksonville Beach, FL— Keri met Chief Patrick Wade while serving in the Navy in Spain. The couple married and eventually relocated to Washington state. They made plans to one day settle into civilian life and raise their two daughters, Noelle, 3, and Esme, 10 months, in a quiet and comfortable town.  

Just over 7 years later, however, Keri raises their two daughters on her own. In 2007, four days before celebrating 20 years of service to our country, Patrick Wade was killed in an attack on his convoy during his first tour of duty in Iraq, leaving behind the three loves of his life.

Patrick and Keri Wade with their two daughters. Patrick was killed in the line of duty in 2007.“He would have done anything for [our] girls. He’d have climbed a mountain with them on his back just to spend time with them,” Keri said.

Military communities across the country are painfully familiar with this overlooked casualty of war—the death of not just a father and husband, but of a family’s future together. The resulting emotional and financial burdens can have a significant impact on their quality of life.  

“Our research has found that the majority of surviving spouses make less than $50,000 annually, but that they face an average cost gap of $32,000 for a four-year degree for their children,” said John Coogan, chief operating officer of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation (Fallen Patriots).

“They have sacrificed so much already; it’s our duty to make sure their fallen soldier’s dreams for them can be realized.”

Recognizing these complex adjustments and struggles gold star families face, more than 50 family entertainment centers (FECs) across 15 states have partnered together in the 2nd Annual ForeverLawn Putt For the Fallen initiative benefiting Fallen Patriots.

During the month of September, guests of participating FECs will have the opportunity to donate $1, $3 or $5 in exchange for a paper golf ball. Donors will receive recognition by writing their names on the ball and will receive a FREE round of mini-golf with the purchase of a round on their next visit.

Ensuring the dreams of those left behind, 100% of the donations will go directly to scholarships and long-term educational counseling for the children of fallen heroes.

Even though her girls won’t be ready for college anytime soon, it takes a load off Keri’s back to know that Fallen Patriots and family-focused partners like America’s FECs are there to assist and support them in major life transitions.

“It allows me to feel secure and that’s a challenge when your whole life changes and you’re starting from scratch,” she said.

The national event raised over $30,000 last year.

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To learn more about events in your area, visit puttforthefallen.com.

 About Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation

Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation honors the sacrifices of military heroes by ensuring the success of their children through college education. Since 2002, Children of Fallen Patriots has provided more than $9.8 million in total assistance, including college scholarships, supplemental grants and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. Nearly 20,000 children from all across America will need future assistance. Help today by visiting fallenpatriots.org.

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