TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)

When I first learned about the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) I about jumped out of my skin. TAPS has assisted well over 70,000 surviving military family members. Throughout my life, I’ve felt a powerful combination of pride and pain. Sometimes I still ache to know my dad and at times even fight anger over his death, yet I still love and honor the country he died serving as well as the organization behind his death. As I’ve gotten involved with TAPS I’ve learned that so many others experience the pride and pain I have. TAPS helps walk survivors through their grief, providing them with resources including (among other things) a 24/7 hotline, seminars, retreats, the Inner Warrior wellness program and most importantly, peer based support. Most of these programs are provided at no cost to the surviving family members. I am honored and excited to be a part of the TAPS family and encourage donations and involvement to this worthy cause.

For more information and to donate please visit www.taps.org

USS Richard S. Edwards Association

This website started it all! I am so grateful for those who put it together. When I conducted my first Google search on my dad’s ship, the USS Richard S. Edwards, I was able to email and get a response from those running this site within 12 hours. I am honored and grateful to know several former “Ready Eddie” crew members that all have their own stories to tell.

http://dd950.com/

USS Turner Joy

In my book, I talk about visiting and doing a photo shoot on the USS Turner Joy that is the twin sister ship to the USS Richard S. Edwards. The Ready Eddie was decommissioned and sunk as a target per military protocol. The USS Turner Joy is docked in Bremerton, Washington and is now a museum that stands to honor that era and those who served in the US Navy. My experience there was surreal as I walked the tiny corridors and got a taste for what it must have felt like to live in the cramped quarters of the huge yet tiny ship. For more information on the ship and tours check out the website below.

http://www.ussturnerjoy.org/

The Veteran’s History Project

The Veteran’s History Project is a wonderful resource to submit and learn about true life stories of United States Veterans. World record setting Air Force Pilot and New York Times Best Selling Author Congressman Chris Stewart has devoted his life to causes he is truly passionate about. As one of Utah’s Congressmen, he has taken these passions, including The Veteran’s History Project to our Nation’s Capital. On a more personal note, Congressman Stewart and his office are the ones who put me in front of the US Navy including the office of the Judge Advocate General (Navy JAG) and have helped me help my dad leave an accurate legacy and tell his story.

For more information please visit www.loc.gov/vets/ Submissions and inquiries are encouraged.

Bridget Inspires

Speaking of stories to tell, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my co-author and friend M. Bridget Cook-Burch. I attended her first Inspired Legacy Retreat in 2013 after struggling for over three years to write my story in book form in a way that would sufficiently honor my dad and his (our) life. That retreat changed my life and provided the clarity and resources I needed to get me to this point and beyond. People often ask me how I went about writing Angel in Arlington. I first just…startedwriting. When I couldn’t get any further I attended Bridget’s retreat and the rest is history! For more information please click the link below.

http://www.bridgetinspires.com/

SHEROES United

Not only have I been blessed to know my co-author M. Bridget Cook-Burch on a literary and friendship level, but it opened the door for me to become a Certified Trainer for SHEroes United. Bridget is the Executive Director of SHEROES, an international nonprofit organization that focuses on three pillars:

  • Eradicating Domestic Violence
  • Abolishing Human Trafficking
  • Supporting Women Warriors

This organization is close to my heart for the good it is doing in the lives of so many women who have felt oppressed and want the courage to be themselves, get out of bad situations and help others while still honoring their femininity.

For more information and to get involved please visit https://www.sheroesunited.org/

A Reason to Stand

When Ashlee Harmon Birk’s husband Emmett was murdered by his girlfriend’s husband, Ashlee had two choices, she could either live in the victim role that was rightfully hers or she could stand. She chose the latter, bringing her five tiny kids along with her on a journey that would change the lives of thousands. Ashlee’s story was featured on Dateline and is still rebroadcast regularly. She has seminars across the country to empower men and women and encourage them to stand even in the darkest hours. I am blessed to call Ashlee a dear friend. I’ve met her kids and have connected with them about emotions and fears that we mutually experienced as a result of losing a father to murder. I love this family and am honored to participate in Ashlee’s conferences and help share her message.

For more information please visit http://www.themomentswestand.com/

EDucating Shanny

Shannon Haskell has been fighting eating disorders for decades. As part of her healing process, she started a YouTube channel and had no idea how far reaching her message would spread. Her passion is to help others with eating disorders and mental illness to start talking more about the elephant in the room and bring the often taboo but all to the prevalent subject of eating disorders to the forefront to help eradicate this epidemic that is destroying so many lives. I have struggled with a dysfunctional relationship with food throughout my life and fully support what Shannon is doing. In fact, I make the occasional appearance on her YouTube channel. Watch Shanny’s and Danny’s almost daily videos to get a real but entertaining glimpse into the real world of living with and overcoming eating disorders.

Watch and subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcE_Vp4v3HGXFT2JUlwIXQQ

Fight Like Girls

When Bre Lasley sat in her home on September 23, 2015, she had no idea that her life was about to be forever changed, and that by surviving an attempted murder that night she would forever change the lives of others. Her message is that her real fight began when her attacker was killed. Fight Like Girls offers support and services to those who have faced anything that caused depression, anxiety or low self-worth. Their mission is to help others have hope and heal through “love and punches”. As a survivor dealing with PTSD I completely agree with and relate to Bre’s message. I have participated in conferences with her, including A Reason to Stand and am continually inspired by the good she is doing in the lives of others.

For more information go to https://www.fightlikegirls.org/

100 Humanitarians

100 Humanitarians is a community of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and individuals around the world collaborating to create opportunities, both locally and internationally, for education and personal development. (They) are committed to sustainable projects that support communities and preserve the culture of indigenous tribes. (in Africa)
 
Their mission is 
“To mentor families globally through education and entrepreneurship in an effort to eliminate physical, mental, spiritual and emotional poverty, while preserving culture and tradition.” People can get involved through expeditions, service, and donations.
For more information please go to https://www.100humanitarians.com/

Welcome to my website!

I'm excited to invite you into the painful, heartwrenching dark beautiful liberating world of grief and overcoming PTSD and victimhood. My journey has not been typical and oftentimes not pretty. But the more I learn the more I experience glorious beauty rising from the ashes of the tragedy that shaped my life. Join me as I prepare to publish my book, Angel in Arlington. My mission is to help others embrace unlikely courage themselves, battle skeletons in their closets and find freedom, peace, and true happiness.

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Recent posts

The Mind of a Murder Victim
There is nothing quite like knowing your loved one was murdered. The fact that they were insignificant, possibly even repulsive enough for someone to take deliberate brutal violent action to stop...
5 Ways To Create Memories With Your Loved One Who Died
Originally posted on the TAPS Website on 2/13/2016. One of the most painful parts of grief is facing a string of tomorrows without your loved one. Whether you lost the love of your life last month...
An Easter Angelversary
Originally posted on the TAPS Website on 2/13/2016. March 27 is Easter Sunday this year. To many it’s a day to reflect on the life of Christ and the miracle that occurred over two thousand years...

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