Shelly Hall, a Gold Star wife, lost her husband, Kelly, just a few months after being stationed in Germany for his job in the Army. He was killed in a training flight accident. Instantly, Shelly became a single mom to five children ages six and younger.

The death of her husband left a huge hole in her life, but it’s what her children have missed out on that really gets her. Her youngest son, Tanner, was only 11 months old when Kelly was killed. With such an emphasis on family togetherness, the holidays can be a hard time for Gold Star families.

Shelly’s approach to life is all about choosing what to focus on. We ask donors this holiday season, to focus on the endless possibilities on how they can #EasetheBurden financially for Gold Star military families.


“I miss being a military wife so much,” Shelly shared. “It was such a good life. Simple, but so rewarding.”

There was even a time that she considered enlisting because she felt the entire family had been removed from the honor of serving their country.

Shelly realized it was possible for her to not only support her children, but also make a difference in others’ lives who share the same hardships she has had to overcome. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees “while the kids were sleeping.” Since then, Shelly has dedicated her life to helping people through loss and tragedy as the director of a victims-witness program.

“Let your last happy memory be what engulfs you and let the bad go,” stated Shelly.

To Shelly, education is the one thing that can’t be taken away; it is powerful, enlightening and opens so many doors. Once Kelly died, planning a future education for her children has been a struggle. Knowing there are organizations like Children of Fallen Patriots, for financial support, is an absolute blessing to her.

Shelly has always stressed to her children that they still have a father, he is just deceased.  “He will always be their dad,” she explained.  “He was an amazing man and a fabulous father.”

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