Lindsay Boyd

It is hard to imagine a sacrifice more selfless than the ultimate sacrifice of an American soldier. Thousands upon thousands throughout American history have given their lives in the name of freedom, but how many of their names do you remember? How many times have you said “thank you” when you’ve seen a serviceman returning home from war? How many prayers have you said for the families of those who won’t be coming back? Not enough. None of us could do enough.

In the last 20 years, over 15,000 service members have given their lives defending our country. More than 3,400 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardsmen have been killed in the war in Iraq, leaving behind approximately 2,000 children.

Thankfully, there’s an organization that is dedicated to serving the families of our American soldiers. Freedom Alliance was founded in 1990 by LtCol Oliver North with the mission of “advancing the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense.” Chief among their charitable programs is their Scholarship Fund for children of servicemen and women who’ve been killed or permanently disabled through military service. This scholarship grant can be awarded during all four years of a student’s college career at any school they attend.

Not long from now, these 2,000 children will need Freedom Alliance’s support as they prepare to enter college. Considering the continuously increasing costs of a university education, it’s fair to estimate that the burden Freedom Alliance is undertaking with the establishment of a scholarship trust fund will be astronomical. Yet, it is a necessary and noble cause- one that we, as the American citizenry, should carry collectively.

Since 2002, the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund has awarded 408 student scholarships to the children of military heroes. They have donated $25,000 to the USS Cole Memorial Fund for the children of 17 sailors who were killed in the October, 2000 terrorist attack and $40,000 to the dependent children of the 54 servicemen killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. These significant donations were made possible by the charitable gifts of our fellow Americans and Freedom Alliance maintains that 100% of all money raised for the Scholarship Fund goes directly to the children.

Lindsay Boyd

Lindsay Boyd is the Director of Policy at the Beacon Center in Tennessee.