NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The 11th day of the 11th month is a day set aside to honor service, but it’s also a day to remember the ultimate sacrifice some have made in defense of our country.
Jenna Greene was only 10 years old when her father, Marine Lt. Col. David S. Greene was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As a helicopter pilot, he was providing life-saving cover for troops taking fire on the ground when he was killed on July 28, 2004.
He was the only one killed in the operation.
“I remember what losing my father was like because it’s one of the most vivid memories that I’ll ever have,” Jenna Greene told CBS2’s John Elliott. “The white van pulled into the driveway, two casualty assistance officers came out and I was the first one to see them.”
Over 5,000 Americans have been killed in action since 9/11.
Many have left behind spouses and children with broken hearts and real world needs.
“I think it’s really difficult to understand the sacrifice that not just the soldiers make but their families make,” Greene said.
One organization that’s helping is the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Their mission is to make sure the children of men and women killed in action can afford college.
“Right now they are supporting a little under 1,000 kids and they have bridged the tuition gap to the tune of $19 million,” said Greene, who graduated from Trinity College and is pursuing a career in journalism. “They have raised close to $20 million for about 1,000 students.”
Unfortunately, there are 6,000 additional students who have lost a parent in action who need tuition aid right now.
The organization will hold a Veterans Day fundraiser on Saturday, November 11 at the Riverside Yacht Club in Connecticut.
For more information on how you can help, visit the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation website.