Kaanan Mackey’s husband Matt was serving in the Iowa National Guard when he sacrificed his life in order to save others. He was on federal orders and driving home from a drill weekend when he came around a bend and saw an accident. There were several people out of their cars and in the street. Instead of crashing into them, he swerved to avoid the accident. He fought to stay alive for 18 days, but didn’t survive.

“Every day he served, he did it to keep them, and their country safe,” said Mackey.

Today, she does everything she can to make sure all five of their children know who their dad was and what he wanted for their future. Her fondest memory is watching him wrestle on the floor with all five kids at once. It was his decompression time and they all miss that so much.

On Veterans Day, the family normally goes to the community Veterans program. After, at his grave, they let balloons go with messages to Matt. This year the family is in a new state, so they’re sending flowers and balloons to be let off by one of Matt’s battle buddies.

 Kaanan is currently a college student at LSU, balancing playing both roles of parent and student, while doing it all alone. Children of Fallen Patriots helps ease the burden of trying to put all five of her children through college someday. New opportunities that the children may not have been able to afford have opened up, such as out of state tuition. She and Matt had always talked about how important it was for all of their children to receive a college education.