Survivor Stories

“I Feel Whole Again.” Sister of Two Fallen Heroes Shares her Story of Grief and Healing

Growing up with a single Dad, Monica Velez quickly became the ‘mother’ of her household, looking after her two brothers, Freddy and Andrew. When both brothers joined the Army, Monica feared she wouldn’t be able to protect them. 

Her worst fears were realized when both brothers died while serving: one in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. 

Monica lost the two most important people in her life as well as her own purpose and identity. Through her work with Travis Manion Foundation, mentoring young adults in the Character Does Matter program, she has rediscovered what it means to be an older sister again.

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