Patrick, my son, served for almost 12 years when he was one of 3 Marines and a military working dog who died in a devastating fire in Herat while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
A parent should never bury their child, that isn’t the correct pecking order. If we never loved, we will never experience this loss. I am GRATEFUL to have had Patrick in this life for 29 years, but the grief will stay with me forever, until we are reunited.
Many people are afraid to talk to someone about their loved ones who they lost. This is why I feel so strongly about holding the “Remembrance LOVE WALK”. People need to remember their loved ones, talk and share their stories with others. This also helps with grief.
I know too many Gold Star Mothers who lost their children to suicide due to their military service. There is enough loss in this world and NO-ONE should die by suicide.
This can and could be prevented, with the correct help. That is why I would like the proceeds to go to Mission 22 and Out of the Darkness (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). If we can educate people with the signs, and where to go for help, maybe we can stop someone from following through with suicide.
—Jean Uffalussy, Gold Star Mother of Staff Sergeant Patrick Dolphin