Over 20,000 children have lost a parent or loved one in the line of duty over the past 40 years. In honor of these children and their parents’ sacrifice, governors and mayors nationwide proclaim May 13 as Children of Fallen Patriots Day. We set this day aside to honor the children whose lives were forever altered because of their parents’ service to our country.
The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation established this Day to identify Gold Star Scholars to provide financial assistance and educational counseling. The Foundation was created in 2002 in honor of Sergeant William Delaney Gibbs. During “Operation Just Cause” in Panama, he was killed in action, leaving behind his wife and unborn daughter.
More than 20,000 children have lost a parent or loved one in the line of duty over the past 40 years. In honor of these children and their parents’ sacrifice, governors and mayors nationwide proclaim May 13 as Children of Fallen Patriots Day. We set this day aside to honor the children whose lives were forever altered because of their parents’ service to our country.
Although Children of Fallen Patriots Day is not a nationally recognized holiday, governors and other elected officials from across the nation have urged the federal government to proclaim May 13 as a day to honor these children.
There are benefits available to families of service members who were killed in action. Some examples include Annuity for Certain Military Surviving Spouses (ACMSS), the Survivor Benefit Program, the VA survivor’s pension, and the death gratuity program. The death gratuity program provides a special tax-free payment of $100,000 to eligible survivors of members of the Armed Forces.
Some state benefits for West Virginians include the War Orphan Education Program and the Jack Bennett Fund. Students who qualify for the War Orphan Education Program can attend any public post-secondary school in West Virginia tuition-free.
The Jack Bennett Fund helps with the installation costs of grave markers. Families who cannot cover the cost of a grave marker can receive one from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state can help cover the cost of installing the markers. Families of deceased veterans unable to cover the cost of installing the grave marker can receive up to $380.
For more resources to support military children, read: Celebrating Military Children in April
Children of Fallen Patriot’s Day is on May 13 in honor of the founding of Arlington National Cemetery on the same day in 1864. Arlington National Cemetery is the resting place of approximately 400,000 veterans.
Learn more about benefits available through West Virginia Veterans Assistance that you or a loved one may qualify for.