A Soldier’s Child Foundation has brought healing and joy back into our lives. SSG Justin Washabaugh died on September 23, 2012 after serving two tours almost back to back in Afghanistan. He was 39 when he died, and he spent 18 of those years serving our country in the military. Having four young children grow up without their daddy has been challenging, lonely, and difficult at times, but ASC has made a huge difference in our lives. By sending wonderful ASC packages to my children on their birthdays, we are reminded that people really do care about our loss. Instead of feeling ashamed because they no longer have their daddy, my children now have the privilege of experiencing honor, healing, and joy because of A Soldier’s Child Foundation.
Exciting opportunities open up for ASC children throughout the year as well. My children have thoroughly enjoyed the adventurous Journey Camp that takes place each summer. Making new friends, zip-lining, playing, swimming, singing, and dancing are what they love best and get to experience at ASC Journey Camp. Fantastic mini-camps happen frequently throughout the year as well, which gives my children an opportunity to build relationships with others that have experienced the same difficulties of losing a military parent. Together, these children are overcoming their disappointments and learning to rise above their circumstances. These exciting opportunities are only available because of Daryl Mackin, his family, and those who generously gave to ASC.
Thank you so much,
“Thank you so much for making Caleb’s birthday special for him. After he read the letter and scroll, he ripped into the presents. He has tried to ride his ripstick but has taken a few falls. He will get it sooner or later, he’s very determined. The game and Bionicles are being shared with the younger brother Josh, who is very jealous by the way. What you are doing is a very heartfelt thing and it will mean so much to them as they get older. Caleb was in the car and said “You mean they will do this till I’m 18?” He was impressed. Once again, thank you, and thanks for what you are doing for them all.” – Marsha Hunt
“On January 7, 2009, Corporal Johnathon Tyler Burnette died of non-combat related injuries in the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In addition to a host of family and friends, Corporal Burnette left behind a three-year old daughter, Jaden, who absolutely adored her Daddy. Just prior to his passing, Corporal Burnette had spent a 12-day leave in Michigan visiting with Jaden over the Christmas and New Year holidays. One evening they watched his favorite childhood movie, Mickie and the Beanstalk. They both laughed and giggled and sang the songs from the movie for hours after the movie was over. We were all laughing and singing the song along with them. Jaden was having such a wonderful time. Tyler helped Jaden play with her Cool School Computer she had received as a Christmas present. They played games on her V-Tech game system that he had given her for her 3rd birthday in September during a weekend visit. She read to him Brown Bear, Brown Bear which she had memorized, and he read to her Don’t Cry, Big Bird which was his very favorite book as a child. They played and sang songs together. She sat in his lap as they watched DVD’s of some of her favorite TV programs that he had given her for Christmas. They spent some very precious time together playing and laughing. Little did we know, this would be the last time Jaden would see her Daddy. When it came time for her birthday to roll around again, memories of her spending her 3rd birthday with her Daddy flooded my mind and, of course, broke my heart. We had been given an application to A Soldiers Child Foundation and enrolled Jaden in this program. Shortly afterward, I received a very touching phone call from Daryl Mackin, Executive Director of the Foundation. Mr. Mackin was choking back tears as he was discussing my granddaughter and my son. He personally shopped and purchased the gifts that the Foundation sent to Jaden. When her package arrived, her Mommy explained to her whom had sent these gifts. She was very excited that she was receiving gifts on behalf of her Daddy. It wasn’t just a cardboard box containing toys. The box contained several individually wrapped gifts for Jaden to open, and she was very excited with each and every one. Jaden’s Mommy called me and was very tearful at how special this was for Jaden. Although Daddy is no longer with us, he’s still taking care of his very precious little girl through A Soldiers Child Foundation. Our family sends heartfelt gratitude to this Foundation for what it has meant to our little Jaden and for what it is doing to touch the lives of the children of our fallen soldiers.”
“Once again you have gone above and beyond the call of duty and sent Bridget a Birthday present from her Daddy. You are doing such an awesome thing for children without Dads. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!” – Beverly Smith