Co-authors Ryan Manion, Amy Looney Heffernan and Heather Kelly each lost a loved one who was serving overseas.
Manion explained how she felt when she first found out her younger brother, Travis Manion, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2007. Travis was deployed to Iraq in 2005.
“It was a tragic time for my family but we really resolved after his death to make sure that we found purpose with his death and to make sure we continued his service,” Manion said.
Looney’s husband, Brendan, a Navy SEAL, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Brendan was due back home within days of the accident.
Looney said that the news “changed her life.”
“Your life looks one way at this time and then within a matter of an instant it’s just changed immediately forever," said Looney.
"I woke up in the middle of the night to Marines at my door to give that worst news,” said Kelly, who also lost her husband in Afghanistan.
Kelly went on to say, “In that moment, your future crumbles; it’s hard to imagine that there’s going to be something else outside of that moment where you sit there and they come to notify you that your spouse is gone.”
All of the women work at the Travis Manion Foundation, a non-profit that empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations.
Manion said that they all found their purpose by giving back in honor of them.
“We found that the greatest way to channel your grief is to be in service to others,” Manion said.