Feb 26, 2016

Clairissa Herrera’s dad, Rocky Herrera, was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Clairissa believes his sacrifice means that she gets to live another day in a free country, receive a great education and lead a successful life.

“It was difficult to adjust to not having my father around to teach me those skills every father should teach their daughter, like how to drive or change a tire,” explained Clairissa. “Not having him a phone call away for advice when I just ‘needed to call dad’ was something that took me a long time to get used to.”

Though ordinary to most, Clairissa no longer has her dad to hug. She only has the memories she holds in photographs and in her heart. Fallen Patriots is asking donors to send virtual hugs to students like Clairissa, by making a small donation during Hug a GI Day.

Clairissa thinks her father would be most proud of her recent graduation from the culinary program and the great advances she has made within her career. She hopes to utilize her culinary degree and travel the world like she did as a child in the military.

“Nothing will ever replace my father, but the opportunities I have today are due to the sacrifice he made for our country and for me,” explained Clairissa.