Remembering Our Fallen

Greg solo_Final_Page_05Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  For one day each year, our entire nation remembers our fallen soldiers.  This post is in memory of our grandson Army PFC Gregory Tilton,  a casualty of war in November 2009.  Our 20-year-old grandson was a boy soldier.   This is my way of honoring and remembering Greg’s loving and gentle spirit.

On this day I like to share information about very important organizations like the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and all the wonderful programs they have for the survivors — the children, siblings, spouses, parents, grandparents and family members — to help them move through the grief process.  When we first learned of our grandson’s death, TAPS was  available to our family.

This Memorial Day weekend, the families of America’s fallen heroes descend upon Washington D.C., to participate in National Military Survivor Seminar & Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors.  They gather in love, to celebrate the lives of their loved ones, share their journeys, learn coping strategies and find comfort in being together.   With the staggering increase in suicides in the military, attending a TAPS program can help with the stigma many loved ones feel.  They are there to support.


Since I like to focus on healing for children, I want to share more about the USO/TAPS Good Grief Camp Outs for kids.  The camps are designed for kids between the ages of six and eighteen who have lost a parent or sibling who was serving in the military.  The camp outs are three days and two nights.  According to TAPS, they include traditional and military themed camp activities, grief education, and emotional support.   The camp is run by the TAP staff and military mentors.  This camp is the one place where children find comfort in knowing that there are other campers who understand what they are feeling and experiencing.  The kids also participate in fun outdoor activities like fishing, swimming, hay rides, campfires and much more.

This summer there will be four Good Grief Camp Out locations: Fort Bray/Camp Lejeune area, Fort Hood Fort Carson, and Camp Pendleton.   Please check our the TAPS website for more information about the Camp Out dates and registration, and about TAPS in general.  I highly recommend TAPS and the many programs they offer for adults and children.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

33 thoughts on “Remembering Our Fallen

  1. For so many in our country, Memorial Day is just another day off, another day when the stores have special sales, a day to gather with friends and family and have a BBQ, or to get comfy on the couch and watch one of the many TV show marathons. But for too too many, it is a day like too many others, when that empty space at the table, when that untouched pillow on the bed, when that picture on the mantle, when that missing person at the family gathering, brings both tears and smiles as we remember, and grieve and try to get through another day as if it was… just another day, but it isn’t.

    Thank you for reminding us what Memorial Day is all about. Know that despite the sales, the BBQs, the NCIS and Star Trek marathons on TV, there are a lot of people all across this country who will pause, reflect, lift up the names of those who have died in wars, and pray for and embrace the survivors.

    Since his death over the skies of the Pacific in WWII, my mother grieved the loss of her dearest cousin, Artie Popkin. Mom isn’t with us anymore, so this Memorial Day and for those to come, I’ll lift by Artie’s name for her, and PFC Gregory Tilton, for a grandmother who should never have had to grieve the loss of her beautiful grandson.

    Thank you Patricia!


  2. Thank you for highlighting once again the tremendous resource TAPS is for military families coming to terms with tragedies such as your family has known, Pat.


    • Joanna, thank you. I love to highlight the tremendous work of this special organization. They really are there during a heartbreaking time for many surviving families and have given love, support and compassion. TAPS members know what it’s like to lose a loved one to war.


  3. Thinking of you this weekend Pat. Thank you for highlighting these resources for our military families.


  4. My heart is with you as you remember your grandson, Pat. Thank you for reaching beyond your own grief to touch the lives and hearts of others who are dealing with similar losses. TAPS sounds like such a wonderful program for families. The video is so moving — thank you for sharing it.


  5. Thinking of you dear Pat, as you honour your lovely grandson. I too was deeply moved by what Craig said …it is not just another day, a BBQ, or tv watching, …and nor should you have had to grief for your beautiful grandson.


    • When you lose someone or know those serving, you really think more about what the day really means. It is a day to remember. For me it is also a time to share information for military families who are searching for support.


  6. My heartfelt compassion goes out to you Pat and to your family. It is such a tragedy to lose any young person. It is important to channel grief into something positive, as you are doing Patricia. My love also to his parents. He rests in the ineffable light of the Eternal Now.


    • Thank you Niamh. Since Greg’s death, I’ve always tried to devote my May blog posts to the military families and Vets. I’ve shared information, books for children and families that will help support them through deployments and grief. TAPS is one of those wonderful programs.


    • Thank you for stopping by Catherine. I like to take opportunity of Memorial Day to focus on special programs for military families who have experienced a loss. There are so many out there.


    • Janie, you mentioned on twitter that you had shared my blog, but I didn’t realize until this afternoon when I received your post on my e-mail that you had reblogged it to your following. Your group of followers is who I want to reach. They too are the heroes! They serve too! And, God Bless the Gold Star Families.


  7. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful grandson, Gregory. Such a tragedy for all of us. My student, Army PFC Patrick DeVoe, was killed by an IED after being in Afghanistan for only three few weeks on March 8, 2009. Pat was 27 and leaves behind a young daughter and loving family. I remember him today with great fondness and respect, along with your Gregory. Many tears for all. There is too much sadness in this world. It is good to know about positive efforts to help such as TAPS.


    • Janet, I’m sorry for the loss of one of your students and will remember his service today. Greg was a handsome young man with so much potential. Tha is why I like to feature programs, and review books for military children and their families during May. There are some really wonderful programs out there. Thank you for stopping by.


  8. This is beautiful Pat. I’m sorry about the loss of your grandson, but grateful for the service he gave to this country. I have been extremely touched by memories of soldiers this Memorial Day. Lots of love to you and your family.


  9. I don’t know how I missed this post, Pat. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m also very grateful for the risk he and so many boys like him take and the sacrifices they make on our behalf. Freedom comes at such a cost. It is very right to honor him this way.


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