Fund aids children of slain war veterans
A Massachusetts man eases has made it his mission to aid children of soldiers killed in battle.
5,000 American soldiers who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war began.
The death of a soldier can often have devastating financial consequences for the family they leave behind.
For Christopher Kennedy, graduation from high school at Hargrave Military Academy comes with a sense of accomplishment and anxiety.
"College has always been a big, the price tag, you could say, has always been a big thing for me because I know that my family doesn't really have a source of income anymore," said Christopher.
Christopher's father, Army Chief Warrant Officer Kieran Kennedy, was among the first Massachusetts' soldiers killed in Iraq in 2003.
He left behind a wife and three young children.
"It was my husband's dream that these kids go to college, and then they could do whatever they want, but college comes first," said Christopher’s mother, Kathleen Kennedy.
Now, thanks to the efforts of a 28-year-old stranger in Boston Christopher Kennedy and his siblings will get that chance.
Six years ago Peter Travato was a star hockey player, captain of the University of Massachusetts team when he was inspired to start a charity.
"I read a story of a service-member who went over to Iraq and was deployed for about a month, and within that month time frame, his, his child was born, and then he was killed. It was stories like that that really drove me to kind of figure out a way to do it," said Peter.
Travato took on an extraordinary mission, calling it the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund. Its goal is to help cover the cost of college for every child of every Massachusetts service-member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Travato, a business man, spends nearly all of his free time lobbying and raising money. His parents wrote the first check for 50 dollars.
With the support of Boston’s professional sports teams and its business community, Travato has now raised more than $3 million, which is enough to guarantee each child up to $40,000in assistance.
"This should matter to everybody. This is your chance to give back to people who have given a lot, and really pay tribute to that sacrifice, and to guarantee that family that that sacrifice will never be forgotten," said Peter.
Trovato keeps a list by his desk with the names of every child he's committed to support a constant reminder of the many people who have come to rely on him.
When Peter Trovato started the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund 6 years ago, there were 19 children from this state who had a lost a parent. Today, that number has more than tripled to 66.
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