Soldiers supporting child survivors
Fort Hood Sentinel
By Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon, Sentinel Staff
March 21, 2019
“I just found so much joy in being able to be present for somebody who’s grieving,” Wright said.
During the Good Grief Camp, March 15-17, 131 service members and veterans from around the Fort Hood area volunteered to mentor 123 child survivors at Duncan Elementary School. Each child was given his or her own mentor during the camp.
Training for volunteers was held on Friday, prior to the Good Grief Camp kick off Saturday morning, where child survivors were greeted by their mentors and broken up into seven different groups depending on their age.
The camp, hosted by Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors with support from the Fort Hood Survivor Outreach Services, offered classes and activities for adult and child survivors.
Sgt. Sarah Vanterpool, attached to Golf Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, shared that although she is married and does not have kids, she volunteered as a mentor as a way to give back to children in the community.
“At the end of the day, they just get to have their voices heard,” Vanterpool said.
Vanterpool said that although she was “voluntold” her first year to be a Good Grief Camp mentor, she came back for the second time this year on her own.
“It was the best experience ever,” Vanterpool said. “It makes me feel great – like amazing.”
TAPS has been a private non-profit organization since 1994. TAPS’ mission is to provide assistance, programs and resources to Family members, children, spouses, friends and fiancés after the loss of a loved one who died as a result of his, or her service. TAPS provides support 24/7.
For more information on visit TAPS
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