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Veterans and Gold Star families mobilize to battle coronavirus isolation

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A veteran and Gold Star family organization is working to strengthen America's core values and build up resilience among its families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the country, millions of frazzled parents are balancing their own fears with having to guide their children who are home from school and learning remotely thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Military veterans and their families have a unique perspective to offer during times of crisis due to their own experiences with loss, suffering and fear, as well as their ability to keep the faith during times when things seem hopeless.

The Travis Manion Foundation, named after 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who served in the Marine Corps and was killed in 2007 while saving his wounded colleagues in Iraq, has launched a free online version of their Character Does Matter (CDM) program for students.

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The initiative, which pairs TMF veterans with elementary and middle school students every school day at 1 p.m. on Facebook Live, provides mentorship for students nationwide by offering them personal stories and answering questions from students.

The CDM program is inspired by Lt. Manion's personal ethos of 'If not me, then who.' It aims to develop traits like moral courage, integrity, courage and leadership among young people.

"The veteran community leads by example," Ryan Manion, TMF's president and the Gold Star sister of Travis, explained in a statement to Fox News. "Veterans and their families understand better than most what it's like to be isolated, afraid, and unable to control what's happening around you and your loved ones.

"But because we know what it's like to go through that, we can help others to face these challenges and come out stronger, like so many of us have. In times like these, we can't afford to sit on the sidelines. Just because school is canceled, it doesn't mean that character should be canceled," she added.

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The program, which is supported by Under Armour, has reached more than 317,000 young adults since its inception.

"This is the exact moment where all of us can make a difference by serving our communities, and that's exactly what our character development lessons teach," Manion said.