VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Many organizations will be represented at the American Music Festival in Virginia Beach this weekend, but one group in particular is on a unique mission to honor fallen heroes.
The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation is creating new beginnings for families of fallen servicemen. The impact they’ve had is nationwide, and Sara Cramer is one person who’s been on the receiving end.
“He passed away March 3, 2001,” Cramer said. “I was 10, and it was incredibly shocking. It was completely unexpected. We did not see it coming. He just went down to Florida for training. He wasn’t deployed overseas or anything. And then all of a sudden he was dead.”
The organization’s goal is to make sure every child that loses a parent while in the line of duty gets a college education without financial complications.
“It seems that surviving family members tend to be forgotten. So, it’s a great opportunity to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Eric Heineman with the foundation. “We really lean on the community to help us find those families, and then for every child we do serve, it’s between $32,000 to $34,000 for every child that goes to a four-year college. We have over 5,000 in our database, from three-years-old to college age, and we’ve helped over 400 with grants so far.”
There are so many who know the pain that Cramer came to know well when her father, Staff Sergeant Paul Cramer, died during a plane crash. But after grieving, Children of Fallen Patriots gave her a way to make her hero proud.
“All of a sudden, my mom called and said, ‘I found this organization that’s going to put you through school,’” Cramer said. “’You don’t have to worry about any expenses at all.’ And I was like super overwhelmed. It was unbelievable.”
Sarah graduated from college in May, debt free. Now she’s paying the kindness forward by working for the organization.
If you want to learn more about The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, check out their website by clicking here. If you want to donate to the organization, you can do so at their website or text “$10 college” to 80077 from any mobile device.