💔 Embracing Broken Hearts to Build Strong Bonds 💖
by Ken Wasley, President and Founder of Children of Fallen Heroes
In my life's journey, I've faced heartache, loss, and countless challenges. It's those very experiences that have shaped my path and led me to a purpose I'm deeply passionate about.
With a background in owning Salons and Spas, Tech Marketing Consulting including partnerships with Wellness Centers, and Construction Development, I've gained invaluable knowledge and skills. But I realized it was time to pivot from those industries and serve a greater purpose.
Fifty years ago, in 1973, a tragic incident in Silk Hope, NC claimed the lives of my father and 13 members of the US Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights. This devastating event marked the beginning of my own story, characterized by heart-wrenching loss.
At the tender age of 4, I bid farewell to my father, a military hero who had selflessly dedicated his life in service to his country. Growing up without his presence meant navigating the complexities of life without the invaluable professional guidance and counseling that I desperately needed.
As the years unfolded, I found solace and purpose in dedicating over two decades to giving back to adaptive military veterans and assisting those in need within assisted living homes. The profound impact of these losses, however, was far from over. In 2020, tragedy struck again when I lost my beloved boy to a senseless act of a drunk driver.
These successive losses have left my heart shattered, and yet, through the pain, I strive to honor the legacies of my father, the Gold Team Members, and my precious boy by continuing to contribute to the well-being of others.
In 2015, I founded the Children of Fallen Heroes nonprofit organization with a deep commitment to supporting the families of fallen military and first responders. My advocacy efforts, particularly through the Honoring Heroes Tour, have enabled the CFH Parachute Team to showcase their talents in front of millions of supporters nationwide. (4.5 million last in 2022) Over the years, I've had the privilege of assisting thousands of families. With the wealth of experiences gained and your unwavering support, our mission extends beyond changing lives; CFH is actively mending the broken pieces of shattered hearts and forging enduring bonds that will stand the test of time. But in the midst of this pain, I realized that life has a way of revealing profound truths. My experiences taught me that our fallen heroes' parents also serve our community, often unnoticed. This realization ignited a profound transformation within me. Why limit our support to only the children of fallen military and first responders? That's when I decided to open up our programs to offer assistance to foster kids and caregivers including a variety of community outreach initiatives. When I brought all these groups together, something truly magical happened—they discovered they were not alone. In the shared pain and shared hope, they found strength, understanding, and a sense of belonging. Through our Retreats and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Education programs, we're not just offering knowledge, but we're also mending broken hearts. We're giving these families a chance to heal, to connect, and to rebuild their lives. I also realized that to truly support the next generation, we needed to provide a strong foundation. That's why I extended our reach to include surviving spouses, guardians, divorced, separated, and caregivers, as they are the bedrock upon which the future stands. If this foundation is broken, it affects the well-being of the child. On the Commemorative 50th Anniversary of my father and Gold Team members passing, I turned a negative into a positive by embarking on a poignant journey with the Golden Knights and Paraclete XP. We commemorated the occasion with a symbolic jump at the site of the accident, surrounded by the indomitable spirit of the Golden Knights. Alongside surviving family members, we descended from the skies adorned with Old Glory, the Red & Blue Line Flag, and the specially crafted 50th Commemorative Flag, skillfully parachuted in by Cheryl Stearns, an International Skydiving Hall of Famer and Alumnus Golden Knight. Driven by a profound sense of purpose, I felt compelled to extend this transformation into a broader initiative. In pursuit of creating a meaningful impact, I invested in acquiring 82 acres in North Carolina, aptly christened with the name "Children of Fallen Heroes" on the title. This property serves as more than just land; it's a symbol of resilience, hope, and a commitment to the well-being of those affected by the loss of loved ones in service. Home of the Children of Fallen Heroes Retreat and STEAM Education Center in Moore County, NC, moments from Fort Liberty (Bragg). Beyond the physical space, my vision extends to the creation of a safe haven, a community where individuals from all walks of life can come together to address generational mental conditioning and reignite the flame of hope. This endeavor is deeply personal to me, rooted in the memory of my father and the shared experiences of those who have lost heroes. I extend an invitation for you to join our mission. Together, we can transcend the boundaries of solitude and forge connections that bridge the gaps left by loss. Let us work hand in hand to create a world where no one ever feels alone, where the echoes of heroism resonate through the collective spirit of a community united in support and understanding. If you have faith and believe in the power of healing, of connection, of giving back, please reach out to me. Let's start a discussion right here, right now. Together, we can mend broken hearts and build unbreakable bonds. 💗 #Nonprofit #Community #GivingBack #PurposeDrivenLife #Hope #Inspiration #ChildrenOfFallenHeroes #STEAM #MakingADifference 🌈💪💕
With the support of generous individuals and organizations like yours, we can make this vision a reality. By contributing to the construction and development of our Retreat and STEAM Education center in Moore County, NC, you are investing in the future of these incredible children, ensuring they have access to top-notch educational facilities that inspire and empower them.
Together, we can transform the lives of these deserving children, providing them with the tools they need to thrive academically, professionally, and beyond. Learn how >
to jump in Downtown Southern Pines, NC for the opening of the Veterans Parade starting at 9:30 AM.
📚 Announcing "Rise Above: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Power of Dreams"
by Ken Wasley, President and Founder of Children of Fallen Heroes 🌟
We are thrilled to share with you an inspiring journey of resilience, hope, and the indomitable power of the human spirit in "Rise Above: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Power of Dreams" by Ken Wasley, President, and Founder of Children of Fallen Heroes. This compelling autobiography takes you on a profound exploration of love, the pain of loss, and the extraordinary strength found within the pursuit of dreams.
About the Author: Ken Wasley, Author and Keynote Speaker, has dedicated his life to supporting the families of fallen heroes, foster kids, caregivers and a variety of community outreach programs. As the President and Founder of Children of Fallen Heroes, Ken's experiences and insights come alive on the pages of "Rise Above," offering readers a rare glimpse into the depths of his personal journey and the transformative power of resilience.
Giving Back: 100% of Proceeds to Benefit Children of Fallen Heroes
What makes "Rise Above" even more remarkable is its mission to make a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it the most. We are proud to announce that 100% of the proceeds from the book sales will go directly to the Children of Fallen Heroes nonprofit.
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