Medals of Honor Helps Military Families Heal Their Emotional Wounds
There are 20 Million Living Veterans in the USA Today. Veterans Day 2018 will mark the start of a new national initiative to expand the use of endurance sport events to create living memorials to our fallen soldiers and ensure that their lives are never forgotten.
Amy Cotta was “just a Mom” when her 17 year old son enlisted in the Marines. Today she is a leading expert in military family affairs and a national inspiration to the relatives and friends of fallen service men and women. In just 4 short years Medals of Honor, Amy’s not-for-profit organization, has celebrated the lives of over 13,000 individual fallen heroes.
The organization provides guidance, support, and a rich toolbox of free customizable downloads such as race bibs and posters to help local events incorporate awareness for military families of fallen soldiers. Tools and more information can be accessed for free at www.MedalsOfHonor.org.
Medals of Honor was conceived during an Ironman Triathlon course. Ms. Cotta was desperately seeking a way to channel the fear and worry she carried for her newly enlisted son. In solidarity with the families of service men and women everywhere, Amy decided to complete the 26.2 mile run portion of the event in combat boots. She also carried a weighted military pack adorned with photos of 21 fallen service members. Needless to say, Amy Cotta was quite a site and received many questions and (positive) comments about her dress.
The light went on!
When asked why she runs in combat boots, Ms. Cotta replies, “On Veteran’s Day, we pause to remember the men and women in active service who risk their lives to protect our country. But our military and their families deserve our respect and gratitude 365 days per year, not just on Veteran's Day. And just as importantly, the families of the fallen are the forgotten casualties of war and they too deserve to be recognized 365 days per year. I run in combat boots to honor the sacrifice of our fallen and all those who serve.”
Recent political events have raised the level of discord between citizens from all walks of life, across all segments of our country. But the valiant lives of our fallen soldiers should be a touchstone that unifies us as a nation. Said Ms. Cotta, “Patriotism and politics are not the same thing and we shouldn't confuse them -- we can still love our country, honor our flag and service members even if we disagree about politics.” That is the message this daughter of a veteran, wife of a veteran, and mother of six including a son and daughter-in-law on active duty with the Marines is trying to deliver.
Medals of Honor is a resource and active supporter for military families, their friends, and organizations working to remember their fallen loved ones, 365 days per year.
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