Tuesday’s Children helping Gold Star families

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This Memorial Day people will honor those who have died fighting for the United States Armed Forces. This includes Gold Star families, spouses, parents, and children who lost an immediate loved one serving on active duty.

Christopher Webb lost his life in 2017 while on active duty in Iraq. He served nearly 10 years in the military before being killed by an explosive device in Baghdad. He left behind his then six-month-old daughter and wife…now widow Shalan Webb who suddenly became a single parent.

“It was really difficult to have this immense loss and have a six-month-old child who doesn’t obviously understand,” said Webb.

Shalan says raising her little girl gave her the strength to carry on.

“I wanted to be a good mom for her. So, thankfully I had her and she made me good. I didn’t want to stay in bed all day crying or deep in my grief,” said Webb.

To get through that grief she found support through Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit created after 9/11 to help families of fallen soldiers find comfort. Sara Wingerath-Schlanger is the organization’s senior director.

“Tuesday, September 11th rocked our entire community. We wanted to stand in for the 3,051 children that lost a parent that day. “But six years ago, we opened our doors to families who have fallen. Shalan and her daughter have been an incredible thriving part of our community,” said Wingerath-Schlanger.

Tuesday’s Children provides support for families through mentorship, and healing services such as counseling. Families also connect to other families who have gone through a similar loss. Sara wants people to use Memorial Day as a day for remembrance for all the loved one’s loss.

“Remember why Memorial Day is so important. Reflect. Be very present. Certainly understand that so many people have made sacrifices including families of the fallen for all of us,” said Wingerath-Schlanger.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.