“My dad, to me, will always be my hero and my role model,” says David Smith, a college student at Chattahoochee Technical College in a new on-line video from Freedom Alliance. The video pays tribute to America’s fallen heroes from the perspective of their children who are receiving college scholarships from Freedom Alliance.
In 2015 alone, Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $1 million to nearly 300 children of fallen or wounded military personnel. Tom Kilgannon, President of the organization, said the organization does this not only to help these young men and women meet the cost of a college education, but explained that each scholarship is a reminder to the student that their family’s sacrifice will never be forgotten by a grateful nation.
David Smith is the son of SFC Paul S. who lost his life on April 3, 2003, in Iraq during a firefight near the Baghdad Airport. His courageous actions were recognized two years later when he was posthumously presented with the nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor. David accepted his father’s award from President George W. Bush at the White House on April 4, 2005.
Some of the other scholarship students featured in the video include:
• Brandon Pettaway, a graduate of Bryant University in Rhode Island. Brandon’s father was burned over 80 percent of his body as a result of a mortar round hitting his vehicle, and died one month later from his injuries.
• Cheyenne Yost, a 2015 graduate of Michigan State. Cheyenne’s dad was an Army Master Sergeant who served for 19 years before he was killed in Mosul, Iraq on November 19, 2005.
• Haley Hartwick, a sophomore at Baylor University in Texas. Her father was killed in action when his Apache Helicopter was shot down in Iraq in April 2006.
• Shannon Zangas, a senior at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Her father was killed in Iraq by terrorists posing as Iraqi police officers. They ambushed his vehicle killing him, his translator and his partner.