Having lost my son from the results of Afaghinstan/Iraq war, The group has supported me and my husband with love and support!
This group is about helping families of love ones that have been lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan War.
It is not just for the heros that died there, but for the heros here, who whether accident or self inflicted due to their PTSD.
We all need support and our group is some one who is willingly to listen and care.
We all suffer losses differently, but to know someone with similar experiences helps!
I don't remember when or how our family originally connected with Judith, Joe, Dorothy and Marge, and it really doesn't matter, except that they 'gently' "Reached Out" and let our entire family know they were "There" for us when our son, LCPL Rich Warner, USMC, was killed in Iraq in 2004 and continue to Be There for us these past nine years. This group,based in Wisconsin, through opportunities and activities/meetings they provide, help us to heal the aching, gaping hole in our hearts from the losses of our loved ones. They don't push an agenda or ask for membership dues; they let you know you can share, laugh, grieve, or obtain help at one's own rhythm. They care; we care. They/we all have a special connection, a bond of a loss of a fallen family member; there is unconditional love, compassion, care, and support to entire extended family members. Through this group and all the activities they provide, friendships evolve. We have opportunities to reconnect, to decompress, to share, to laugh.
We can't always be at every event, but our entire family wouldn't want to miss our annual Families of the Fallen/ Being There-Reaching Out gatherings. We've had excellent speakers, great locations geared for families, activities (baseball, golf,making hats, bracelets, tours of Lambeau, camp outings,grief sessions, etc.), meals, raffle items. We have a network of support groups, people who care, such as The Safe House in downtown Milwaukee, Kapco of Grafton, Wi; Dry Hootch in Milwaukee, WI that assists our veterans, the Patriot Riders and many more. We look forward to a Fisher House of WI being built at Clement Zablocki VA Center; the same VA center where we have our annual "Walk for the Fallen" in August.
We are so fortunate to have this group touch our lives. Our veterans of past conflicts, especially the Vietnam War, did not have the opportunities we have with Being There-Reaching Out. Like our sons, daughters, husbands,wives, brother, sister, grandchild, aunt, or uncle who "gave their all", who have made a difference in the lives and places of the less fortunate, Being There-Reaching Out also makes a difference to each and every one of us. We thank them.
It seems unbelievable that our son, Samuel, left for recruit training 11 years ago! Tragically, he died there at MCRD in San Diego, CA only 39 days later. Our oldest son, Steven was already serving active duty in the Marines. He was preparing for deployment. Sam's sudden death was an icy and shocking wake up call to the realities of "the ultimate sacrifice". We were terrified of losing both of our sons. Thankfully, Steve was relocated to a base in the States, fulfilled his commitment and returned home...
....Five years after Sam's death I learned about BT RO from another Gold Star mom from Kenosha. She got me in touch with Judith. A week or so later my husband and I were attending our first BT RO gathering in Appleton, WI. I remember seeing the Patriot Guard Riders on the sidewalk holding American flags as the families entered. I cannot put into words how solemn, respectful, meaningful, inspiring, touching and thoughtful every aspect of that weekend was. The hugs were as plentiful as my tears! We met other families grieving their loved ones and instantly felt a bond...
Judith, Joe and the Board Members and volunteers give so much time, energy and compassion to this organization! Not to mention the donors and behind the scenes people all giving for a worthy endeavor.
Thank you for the years of love and caring!
Being There Reaching Out (BT-RO) is an exceptional organization that supports the WI families of our Fallen Military Heroes. No one wants to be a part of the group, but once your loved one has made the ultimate sacrifice, you are so glad Being There Reaching Out is there to support you. I became involved after my brother, SSG Andrew Bossert was killed in Ramadi, Iraq on March 7, 2005. I was able to meet other people who could understand what I was going through and feeling. BT-RO organizes events throughout the year to gather the families together to allow them to mourn their loved one, cry, laugh or whatever the person needs. Parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and beyond are supported in their grief through Being There Reaching Out. It is such a special place for the families to be to feel safe and to feel understood and be able to mourn openly and everyone is there to support. Unfortunately the group has grown due to the increasing deaths from the war or due to the war. We all share a very special bond that connects us and Being There Reaching Out has allowed that.
Well 1st let me say, this is no ordinary non profit group. This group was created for all the reasons you don't want to be part of any group whatever, and it is certainly not a group that I thought I would ever be part. This group offers more than support to families that have lost loved ones due to the conflict of War.
This group does not only offer support but it offers the one thing that is free, LOVE and Compassion and we are all for the same reason. We all lost someone due to this conflict of War. War that has been around for many many years. I love when we can all get together and bond as a family, a much bigger family than you could ever imagine. We all come from different walks of life and different areas in Wisconsin. When we are together you can not only see the love but you feel it. Every time my boys and I leave an event we talk about the people we have met the stories we have shared with each other and we go home stronger. The board members are beautiful people inside and out. The compassion they show the love the give is like no other you will receive anywhere else. I wish that I was not a member for the reasons I am, but I am proud to have met such wonderful people that I will know the rest of my life. ~ Peggy Naseman
Being there reaching out briefly discribes what this organization is about, but it is so much more. It brings together families that share the terrible experince of loosing a loved one in the service of our country. I lost a son who was killed in action in Afgahnistan in 2011 and had deep feelings of guilt and depression, but with the contacts I made through this caring organization I was no longer alone and could share my feelings with other parents of lost children. Judith, who is the head of this organization pours out her soul to all of us in her effort to bring healing to us as if we were part of her family.
I have formed many lasting relations not only with other family members who have lost loved one, but I am able to reach out to so many Vets and active military because of what I have learned about living with the loss of a loved one. It is all because of this organization I have the strength to reach out to others.
I lost my oldest son Ryan in August of 06. He was Killed outside of Tikrit Iraq. Our family was devistated, Ryan who had just been home two months earlier and was two weeks from returning home left a unfillable hole in the hearts of his family. Being There Reaching Out offered me a place that I didn't have to explaine how I felt and gave me hugs and love that was second to none. I have developed great friendships in this group that no one ever wanted to join but now that we are a part of it .......would never want to be apart from the wonderful people and honor that this orginization brings to our families.
After 7 years I consider these families part of my own family. Judith Singer and her board of directors put their hearts and souls into everything they plan for us. I know that with the right funding and help from others that care about our families this orginization is on its way to being the best families of the fallen orginizaiton in any state. I wish that every state had a BTRO that they could be a part of.
A truely special orginizaiton with people that care about us and love us right where we are.....and sometimes that is not a very happy place to be.
I would urge any family member that has lost someone that served in the Military either KIA - DIS - or because of the open wounds from WAR - to join us in this orginizaiton to be lifted from the pit of hell with loving and caring arms of people who know what it feels like to SACRIFICE!
My son was killed in action on 01-12-2008,
since that time I have had nothing but continued support from the organization
Judith Singer an the other women an men who work thru this program
reach out an touch everyone in need of support ,love, an guidance
From programs like WALK FOR THE FALLEN
to special events
I would continue on but I am just amazed at their hard work an effort to go out of their way
PEACE AN LOVE TO ALL IN THIS ORGANIZATION
Cynthia M. Allam
Private Keith E. Lloyd
KIA JAN 12-2008
ROUGH RIDERS FORT HOOD TEXAS ONE OF THE BEST
I have been a member of Being There Reaching Out for ten years now, since my step-son was killed in Iraq. Since he was only the fourth Wisconsin soldier killed in Iraq, BTRO has been a big part of our healing for ten years. Every year Judith Singer, one of the original founders, flawlessly, and seemingly effortlessly, organizes the most thoughtful and meaningful events for the Families of the Fallen.
Judith has quietly amassed an army of volunteers and people who show up at our events to support us and help us in any way they can. It has been wonderful to see how people with ties to the military help each other. And we help others, as evidenced by the fledgling Fischer House, which is being built on the Milwaukee VA grounds, as well as Dry Hootch coffee shops which service Veterans with PTSD.
There are just so many wonderful people who have touched our lives because of BTRO, including Joe Campbell, one of the founding members, and Dorothy Moore, our President. Joe knows many Vietnam era Veterans, and Dorothy knows many in state and local government, and the support for the families who have experienced terrible tragedies really helps to heal us.
BTRO makes a difference every single day.
I thought this group was just for parents. They coordinators lovingly pursued me and my son and welcomed us into the group with loving arms. We have been attending gatherings regularly in the past year and are incredibly grateful for their ability to meet us where we are. I feel we have permission to connect as much or as little as we want to without pressure. I still don't know how they found us (or how we found them) but I'm so glad that we did.
Three years ago our grandson, SPC Chad D. Coleman was KIA in Afghanistan. For the 1st year after his death we tried to get through the darkest hours of our lives and we were not successful. We did hear about Being There Reaching Out but declined to attend the 1st year and then we realized that we had to find a way to deal with this tragedy. We decided to attend our 1st Being There Reaching Out in the spring of 2012. The moment we arrived we knew this was the place for us. Everyone was just like us trying to find some comfort and a way to continue on. We most certainly found it there. The people who run B.T.R.O. are the greatest, always comforting, offering advise and ways to cope and the families who attend are more than willing to help you through the dark hours. All events are so well planned, including special things for the little ones, different activities that appeal to everyone and best of all people willing to listen to your story. Every fallen soldier is honored in so many ways and every story is unique. This has been our lifeline and we wouldn't trade our experiences for the world. We will always attend their events because it brings us peace, comfort and the will to go on. Hats off to the men and women from B.T.R.O. & thanks for all you do..Dale & Mary Coleman
My husband and I are members of Being There Reaching Out, and have been welcomed with open arms. We lost our youngest son in Iraq on July 15, 2008. Even though he was born and raised in South Dakota, Wisconsin claims him as one of her own, since we live here. This is a wonderful group of folks. We lean on each other since we've been through the same thing.
We lost our son, LT Tyler Peterson, in an automobile accident while he was serving our country. Never once did BTRO differentiate between our loss and that of a family who lost a loved one in combat. It has been almost 16 months and we struggle daily with our loss. We can not begin to describe the support and love that is shared by everyone. The BTRO organization, while small in numbers, does the work of many. We are hopeful that one day we will be able to pay forward the support that we've received and can only hope this organization is still going strong.