My Father passed away when I was four years old. I don’t have any specific memories of my dad, but I have heard from my mom and older siblings how honest, generous, hard-working, and funny he was. He was a man of great integrity and was highly regarded in the community as someone you could count on for just about anything.

Dad, who served in the U.S. Navy, passed away due to larynx cancer. The cancer was caused by Agent Orange – the chemical that the military sprayed to clear brush away on the beaches of Vietnam before our troops made beach landings. The brush was great cover for Vietcong soldiers to hide behind, so spraying the beaches to kill the small bushes and shrubs helped as U.S. troops landed on the beaches. However, Agent Orange is highly toxic and extremely dangerous to breathe or consume.

It is only by God’s grace that my family made it through the death of my father. My mom is an incredibly strong woman and refused to let our family fall apart. I have five siblings. All of my family are excelling at what they do.

The education I receive at Patrick Henry College in Virginia will equip me to better serve others on an international level. I have a passion to help those who cannot help themselves. Last Christmas vacation I spent some time in Guatemala helping to build houses for widows who had virtually nothing. It was such an eye opening experience, and helped to cement the passion I have for service. I also spent about three weeks in Jordan, near the Syrian boarder, helping Syrian refugees a couple years ago. I hope that an education in Government will equip me to better understand how to work with foreign governments and even with my own government to help those in need.

I especially have a passion for missions work, as I am a Christian and believe in sharing my faith with others. Jesus set the example by helping those in need and serving others sacrificially. I want to follow that example and serve others internationally.

The Scholarship from Children of Fallen Patriots Foundationhas made it possible for me to attend college debt free so far, which is a huge blessing and has enabled me to help others in greater capacities. I am thankful beyond words for the help the Foundation has given me. There have been times when I have just been blown away at how generous the people who donate to the Foundation are and how much of a blessing the donors have been to me.

There are a lot of hardships that come along with not having a dad, but I am thankful for his service to our country and his steadfast legacy of generosity and honesty. I am also grateful that there are so many other generous people who appreciate my dad’s service and are willing to assist the children who have been left behind by heroes who have died defending our country.