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Folds Of Honor brings tangible hope to military family

"The hardest day of my life was the day I had to tell my kids that their dad wasn't coming home."

ST. LOUIS — It is often said that every little bit counts.

That statement is certainly true for the contributions made to Folds of Honor. Small amounts of change from rounding up at the register at Schnucks has brought big and positive change for military families.

Kelli Campbell-Goodnow had her life changed by that generosity.

“Widowed at 36. My children were 12, nine and two,” she said.

She lost her husband Major Shawn Campbell.

“He was Marine. He was singing the Marine Corps in the shower sometimes. He was an amazing man,” Campbell-Goodnow told 5 On Your Side.

Major Campbell was one of 12 Marines who lost their lives during a nighttime training exercise in 2016. He was onboard when two helicopters collided off the coast of Hawaii.

“The hardest day of my life was the day I had to tell my kids that their dad wasn’t coming home. That’s when it was real,” she said.

The loss of her husband brought an emptiness along with uncertainties.

“We were in the midst of just lost upon loss,” she said.

But in her time of need, Folds of Honor gave her something to cling to.

“Real and tangible hope,” she said.

Folds of Honor uses the dollars donated to the nonprofit to provide scholarships to the children of fallen and wounded service members to honor their legacy.

“It was the first step in our new life. Now I’m watching my kids go and thrive and do things I know their dad would be proud of,” she said.

After receiving help from Folds of Honor, she is now giving back to the organization. She helps others navigate life after they have lost a military loved one.

“By sharing my story, I was able to pass on that help that I got to other families like mine. It is the most fulfilling job I never thought I would have,” explained Campbell-Goodnow.

She is grateful for the people who have given to recognize what many military families have lost defending America.

“Means a lot when people acknowledge that sacrifice,” she said.

When a flag is folded, it has 13 folds. Each fold symbolizes a remembrance or an honor or a tribute or a recognition. The values represented by the flag are ones that Major Campbell’s kids will carry with them forever.

“They are his legacy and they get to carry on his name and his story and it would be forgotten,” said Campbell-Goodnow.

If you want to learn more about the Folds of Honor mission, click here.

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