WAAY TV 31 | By: Alyssa Martin
April is a month to recognize military children.
According to Children of Fallen Patriots, there are 2 million children whose parents serve in the military and from that number, approximately 20,000 have lost a parent in service of our nation.
Veronica Crouse was 4-years-old when her father, a member of the U.S. Army, passed away while their family was on vacation.
"It was the World War II Memorial, he had a heart attack and that's where he passed away," said Crouse.
Before her father's death, Veronica remembers the multiple nurses who would help take care of him amid his on-going health problems.
"Cause they would give him advice because he had heart problems, try to get him to have a healthier life style," said Crouse.
It's those memories that led her to pursue a degree in the medical field.
"It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to help people but the more I kept thinking back, the more I kept remembering that and it kept pushing me forward. And I finally made the decision and figured it out. It's the perfect fit, nursing is for me," said Crouse.
Veronica is able to attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville and pursue her nursing degree thanks to the organization Children of Fallen Patriots.
The group finds children who have lost a parent in the military and grants scholarship money to help them afford college.
For Veronica, the scholarship allowed her to pay out of state tuition to attend UAH.
"The V.A. doesn't pay out of state tuition, so I needed extra to cover it and UAH is known for their Nursing program. So I really wanted to go here and I have friends in the area, it was just perfect," added Veronica.
Since 2002, Children of Fallen Patriots has given out more than $21 million dollars in scholarships.
WAAY 31 reached out the organization to talk about the work they do. The CEO sent a statement that reads in part quote “We believe that one of the best ways we can honor our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is to invest in the future of those they loved most in the world – their children. "
Veronica hopes more military families won't let the financial strain stop them from pursuing their education.
For more information on Children of Fallen Patriots and their mission visit : http://www.fallenpatriots.org/who-we-are/