Timed to coincide with the Memorial Day weekend, a new nonprofit launched Thursday to provide support services to families of fallen service members.
Timed to coincide with the Memorial Day weekend, a new nonprofit has been launched to provide support services to families of fallen service members.
Christie Coombs, of Abington, is one of the board members for the new Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which already has 48 Massachusetts families registered.
Coombs, who lost her husband Jeff in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center, said her own experience dealing with loss motivated her to help create a support group for other families.
“Losing someone in such a public way ... We understand what it’s like, and we understand the constant reminders,” she said in a phone interview before Thursday’s event.
Coombs is one of two board members who lost someone on Sept. 11. Cindy McGinty, a former Foxboro resident who now lives in Connecticut, lost her husband Mike in the World Trade Center.
The nonprofit organization, which will operate out of an office on Atlantic Avenue in Boston, will provide referrals to military families for resources like mental health providers, financial and state planning and benefits.
“One of the things we learned after 9/11 is that trying to find your way to these services and what is available is one of the most difficult things,” Coombs said.
The fund will rely on private donations and receive a percentage of the revenue raised through the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ United We Stand license plates, which Coombs said could be about $100,000 a year.
Sen. Edward Kennedy’s office help launch the Military Heroes Fund and approached the group about a year ago.
“When we heard Sen. Kennedy wanted to do something, it was just a natural for us to want to be involved,” Coombs said. “I’m glad 9/11 families can come forward as a united group to pay it forward for these families.”
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