SOS Program holds Family Day for surviving Family members of fallen service members
April 29, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Twelve Families of fallen service members gathered at the Fort Sam Houston Equestrian Center April 24 under a blue Texas sky to support each other and learn about outreach programs available to them.
The Survivor Outreach Services Program has one sole purpose: to deliver on the Army's commitment to support the Families of fallen service members who died while on active duty.
SOS is a holistic and multi-agency approach to providing access to support services at garrisons and communities closest to where Families live.
Jennifer Koranyi, Survivor Outreach Services coordinator, began planning the Family Day months ago in an effort to get as many of the Families together as possible. Her compassion for Families is the driving force behind the program.
"I have such a large area, with Families north of Austin and as far south as Harlingen. I knew getting them all together was not possible. But if I could get one or two then I have made a step in the right direction and it is worth it," Koranyi said.
Pony rides, a bouncie for the kids, face painting, hot dogs, cold drinks, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones were available at the event. But, more importantly, Families met each other and were presented with information on programs available to help them move forward.
Nicki Cuellar, widow of Sgt. Bacilio Cuellar said, "I have lived here for two and a half years and did not know about this program until a friend showed me their newsletter. That's how I found out about this event today. I am so glad to know they [SOS] are there for us."
Koranyi said after the event, "I think the event was a great success. Everyone who came enjoyed the day, and had the chance to meet and talk to other surviving Family members, that alone was worth it all."
Representatives from The Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas, the Trevor Romain Foundation, the Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors, Gold Star Mothers, Military Family Life Consultants and Fort Hood's SOS coordinator and an SOS Financial counselor were on hand to provide information to the Families.