In July it will be nine years since we lost Sugar Bear. In those first few years after his death, I was honestly only focused on all he was missing and all that the kids and I were missing in our lives by not having him physically present. And then I made a turn, I began to look at these anniversaries in a different light. The focus became more positive. I marked the milestones in terms of living life and less on loss. This outlook only increased with the formation of the Foundation. Now, as each year passes, I celebrate in the successes that our children have found, their happiness and of course, in the growth and impact of our work.
Last year we implemented the RF-LAMBDA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Sugar Bear, which is helping a Gold Star student finish his college degree at a university in Utah. This year, our scholarship partner has increased their commitment to Gold Star students and us by offering an internship program, Science Saturdays and the opportunity to attend a STEM based program in Boston with the RF-LAMBDA team (More information and applications in the next few weeks). Their belief in our mission is allowing us to make not only a greater impact on some deserving young people but also help in shaping the direction of their lives.
Our work with the MCRD Command Museum’s Family Forever program is also growing through the forum series, social outings and gift card program for back to school shopping needs. Our desire has been to assist families in the survivor community with such necessities and we are happy to be doing so.
And we are working on several other initiatives to best serve surviving spouses and children with their career, educational and financial needs. As we grow, so do the opportunities for individuals and communities to join us in our efforts to give back in Sugar Bear’s name. Please contact us if you have an opportunity for an internship at your company or business that could provide valuable experience for a military surviving student or spouse, have a desire to fundraise for us, would like to donate or have a different idea to lend support. We are dependent on such involvement and value any and all opportunities. We are excited for the future and growing our work and mission in honor of our sweet hero. In doing so, we continue Sugar Bear’s legacy of service in a truly impactful manner.
Gold Star Wife and Chairman