'Leap of Faith' helps fallen soldiers' families grieve - WKRN News 2

'Leap of Faith' helps fallen soldiers' families grieve

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -

Family members of fallen soldiers took a literal leap of faith on Tuesday by jumping from an airplane at more than 13,000 feet.

Stephanie Dostie was just one of 20 Gold Star wives and family members who took part in the Leap of Faith event in Clarksville.

"It is for families who lost a soldier in combat and it is part of a new beginning, take that leap of faith," she told Nashville's News 2.

The event, which was part of a three day seminar held for families who have lost loved ones, was sponsored by Operation Support Our Troops America.

"It is remembering the loved one and how do you want to remember them? What do you want to let go of? Do you want to let go of anger, do you want to let go of fear. Let that go, move forward."

The seminar ended on Tuesday with the actual leap of faith from an Army Chinook helicopter in a tandem skydive with members of the 101st parachute demonstration team.

"I can't wait. I have been excited all day. I think I am the most excited person here," one participant told Nashville's News 2.

Each of the Gold Star Family members jumped from 13,000 feet before parachuting back to land.

Organizers said the parachute jump serves as a way for family members to take the next step in the grieving process.

"The jump is the release. It is about the seminar that goes with this and the program," Gold Star mother Deb Wolfe said.

Wolfe is a Gold Star mother who leads Leap of Faith seminars around the country because she enjoys helping others deal with their grief.

"I saw a couple of our family members today in this particular group where in the beginning they were shut off and then all the sudden you could see a light switch go on that they were being open."

The next step for family members varies from person to person, but after jumping from a helicopter the next step should be a little easier to take.

For more information on Operation Support Our Troops America, visit their Web site.

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