Marine widow wants more attention for military families - WKRN News 2

Marine widow wants more attention for military families

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Landon Carpenter was born last month, weeks after his father was killed while serving overseas. Landon Carpenter was born last month, weeks after his father was killed while serving overseas.

COLUMBIA, Tenn.- The widow of a fallen marine is speaking out to bring attention to the needs of military families.

Crissie Carpenter's husband, Marine Lance Corporal Andrew Carpenter, was shot in Afghanistan on Valentine's Day. He died five days later at a hospital in Germany.

Less than a month later Carpenter gave birth to the couple's first child Landon.

"He is definitely demanding he is keeping me busy that is a good thing," she said. "He is such a good baby he definitely loves to be loved and that is definitely something I need."

Carpenter showed Landon to the public for the first time at the Heritage Funeral Home in Columbia on Saturday.

During the event she talked about her new mission to make more people aware of the needs of military families who have loved ones who died serving, were injured serving and who are still serving overseas.

"There have been people all over the world sending me cards," she said. "I just really think it is important to do that."

"I don't think I could have been this strong or this up without support," she continued.

Carpenter recently became a member of A Soldier's Child Birthday Foundation. The mission of the group is to preserve the legacy of fallen soldiers by celebrating each birthday of their child.

"I want people to donate to more children," she said. "I think A Soldier's Child is an organization that would definitely get that out there."

Carpenter's campaign to raise awareness is much like one First Lady Michelle Obama launched with Dr. Jill Biden, the Vice-President's wife, in April.

The campaign called "Joining Forces" is meant to bring attention to the unique needs and strength of America's military families, according to the initiatives Web site.

It includes help at the federal, state and local level to help military families with education, employment and wellness.

"I think that is a really good thing especially someone like the First Lady taking a stand and getting the word out, "Carpenter said.

She said even the smallest gesture can help a family find strength during difficult times.

Carpenter told Nashville's News 2 even she did not understand how important the support from others is until she lost her husband.

"Before I would see someone on the news and would see someone who had been killed and just flip the channel and I didn't think twice about it," she said. "Then it actually happened to me it was a huge wake up call."

A call she hopes others will answer.

"If you see someone on the news acknowledge them," she said. "Maybe send them a card."

Carpenter did not rule out starting her own foundation to help military families in the future. But, for now she is focusing on helping other organizations and being a mother to Landon.

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