Kylie Owen Willis is the daughter of fallen U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kirk Owen. She was fifteen years old when he died while deployed in Afghanistan. Owen was a leader in the Scout and Sniper Platoon on the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat team and was killed in action by an improvised explosive device.
Kylie will always remember her dad’s smile which she says, “could light up a room”. He left a legacy of kindness with a big heart which he passed on to Kylie. The last thing her father told her was to “be good,” and she strives to do that every day.
With the help of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Kylie graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Promotion. Before that, she received her associate degree in Health and Human Performance at Tulsa Community College. After receiving her associate degree, she worked in the fitness industry since health and wellness has always been a passion of hers. This passion was further developed through her love of basketball which she both played and coached at the high school level. Basketball was always an important part of her life. It was something that her and her dad shared and bonded over. “I pride myself in not only knowing how to play basketball, but in knowing how the game works and the strategy behind it,” explains Kylie. “That’s what my dad helped me learn and now that’s how I approach everything in life.”
When a Scholarship Administrator position opened at Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Kylie decided it was time to pursue her other lifelong passion of representing and serving Gold Star Children like herself. Now through Fallen Patriots, Kylie gets to advocate for Gold Star children and families everyday while also giving back to an organization that gave her and her sister so much.
She will always be grateful to Fallen Patriots for making her father’s dream of her graduating college a reality.