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HILLVIEW - Gold star mother Theresa Dawn Bowles-Schweizer and her husband John Schweizer have joined Active Heroes, a 501c3 charity to create the “Heroes to Rest” endowment fund to help military families who have occurred funeral costs.
Active Heroes will match up to $12,500 into the fund by Nov. 11, 2014.
Unless a veteran has served at least 7 years of active duty service, they are not qualified for any funeral compensation/coverage.
It is up to the veteran to keep up their life insurance policy to receive death benefits or they must be active duty at the time of death.
Theresa Dawn Bowles-Schweizer learned this the hard way when her son, Marine veteran Cpl. Brandon S Bowles, was killed in a car wreck while he was not active.
Since Bowles’ death, the Bowles-Schweizer family has been paying off their son’s funeral costs and have been inspired to help other military families with similar stories.
“My son gave so much of himself to total strangers, and always made sure they had a place to sleep and a hot meal.” said Theresa Dawn Bowles-Schweizer. “I will carry on his legacy to help other military families.”
Theresa Dawn Bowles-Schweizer’s story got major news attention this year when her family released a memorial balloon in honor of her son.
The balloon traveled all the way to Groseclose, Va., and landed in the backyard of another Marine veteran, Larry Umbarger.
To Umbarger’s surprise he saw the message Semper Fi on the balloon and soon was able to get in touch with Bowles-Schweizer with the help of Umbarger’s daughters and Facebook.
Umbarger mailed back the balloon with a special note and it arrived at Bowles-Schweizer’s house the day before Mother’s day.
“Brandon’s still with us and wanted to make sure that his mama had a special message for Mother’s Day,” said John Schweizer, Theresa’s husband.
Troy Yocum, the founder of Active Heroes, was inspired by the Bowles-Schweizer’s story and is now working with them to create the Heroes to Rest Endowment fund.
“The Bowles-Schweizer family has a huge heart for helping other military families,” said Yocum. “Active Heroes is proud to welcome them to our team to build the Heroes to Rest Fund.”
Visit www.HeroestoRest.org for more information.
Active Heroes’ mission is to strengthen active duty military, veterans and their families in order to provide the coping skills to manage the stress and the triggering points that lead to suicide.
Active Heroes is dedicated to connecting and helping America’s military families through physical and mental therapy, home repairs and community outreach, financial assistance and community reintegration to halt the triggering points and stress associated with “hard times” that lead to suicide.
Visit www.ActiveHeroes.org to learn more about the charity.
The organization is based in Hillview and was recently profiled in The Pioneer News.
For more information, you can also call 502-277-9280.