Halloween event created to honor Fallen Heroes, give families a chance to escape the grief

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Georganne Siercks lost her military husband when their sons were young.

"Unfortunately my sons did not really get to know him in that aspect because my oldest one was seven," Siercks said. "My youngest one was three at the time of his passing. He was killed in action on the base."

Army First Sgt. Billy Siercks was stationed at Fort Drum in New York.

"He was an amazing soldier, an amazing husband, an amazing father," Georganne Siercks said. "He did put his soldiers first. He was the kind of leader that everybody wanted."

Siercks, of Virginia, said the North Carolina-based organization Children of Fallen Heroes has provided emotional support to her 17-year-old son Gage and 13-year-old son Gabriel.

"For someone to actually relate to these kids when they think there's nobody that can relate to them," Georganne Siercks said. "They think they're all alone. I think that's what brings these kids joy, because they realize, 'OK yeah my parent is a single parent, but we're not the only ones; there's other people out there.'"

Thousands are expected at the Festival D'Avion at the Moore County Airport on Halloween weekend. The two-day event includes a trunk-or-treat hosted by Children of Fallen Heroes and much more. Proceeds will go to first responders and military nonprofits in the area.

Gold Star family member Kenneth Wasley is the president and founder of Children of Fallen Heroes, which has helped about 450 families of fallen military members and first responders through the trauma of losing a loved one.

"We have a lot of different programs, retreat programs," Wasley said. "We do indoor skydiving, equine therapy. We're going to be introducing fishing. We do golfing and all different types of activities to kind of take them away from the stress of grief. It's not so much a counseling aspect. It's more of a place for them to go and just get away from it all."

Wasley was only four when he lost his father, a member of the US Army Golden Knights parachute team who died in a plane crash in North Carolina in 1973.

The Golden Knights will be performing at the event next weekend--something Wasley feels a personal connection to.

"I get emotional, just talking about it but I'm just looking forward to that, that moment," he said. "I feel like that it's going to kind of seal the deal of why I'm doing the things that we're doing and why we're helping out people."

Gold Star family members or first responders who've lost loved ones will be put on a VIP list for the event.

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