Witnessing the airport return of soldiers flying in from protecting America overseas is a sobering experience. In camouflage fatigues and combat boots, carrying oversized green backpacks and straining to glimpse a loved one, the random traveler is merely a prop in a scene made for heroes.

The truly sobering aspect is to recognize that there are some heroes that never made it to that airport homecoming. You can’t shake their hand or buy them lunch or tell them, “Thank you for your service” on Veterans Day. They signed up for their fate, paid the ultimate price and left wives and mothers and children and dogs. They left jobs unfinished, dreams unfulfilled and books unread.

There are few ways to honor these fallen soldiers sufficiently but one organization exists to give it a try. Among other things, Freedom Alliance gives the sons and daughters of fallen soldiers the gift of a college education when the family couldn’t otherwise afford it.

If it were not for organizations like Freedom Alliance, who are funded to honor and serve military families in need, some of these young people would never have the opportunity complete, or even begin, their educations. The loss of a parent can have staggering consequences for financially struggling families and the cause of Freedom Alliance has truly become a necessity for many of these individuals.

Catie Serex lost her father, Lieutenant Rick Serex of the United States Navy, when she was just two years old. In a recent letter to Freedom Alliance, Serex wrote that her scholarship, “gave me the opportunity to solely dedicate myself to academic achievement…my best two years of school occurred when I was a Freedom Alliance scholarship recipient.”

Freedom Alliance delivers over 200 scholarships each year, offering up a genuine living tribute to those who’ve sacrificed with their bodies and lives. The organization, founded in 1990 by LtCol Oliver North, USMC (Ret.), exists solely on donations and receives no government support. What a better gift to honor America’s fallen and wounded soldiers than to bring a better life to their children and families.

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