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Loved ones of fallen soldiers receive gift of financial relief from Tunnel to Towers foundation


By Emerson Jackson

Five families, five empty seats at the dinner table every night, five fallen soldiers and countless lives saved because of their sacrifice. This morning, at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, the families of fallen U.S. Army soldiers Staff Sgt. Kyu H. Chay, Staff Sgt. Jacob Hess, Sgt. 1st Class Shawn McCloskey, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Callahan and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Allgaier were notified that the mortgages owing on their homes had been completely satisfied by the Tunnels to Towers Foundation.

The ceremony was led by Nancy Gass, the first recipient of a Gold Star home in 2018, who now serves as the Gold Star Family Home Program manager, alongside Jack Oehm, retired Battalion commander of the Fire Department of the City of New York and Tunnel to Towers board member.

“These women are heroes,” Gass said. “They are the wives of heroes, and their children are heroes, having forged ahead without their fathers.” Gass said that when she lost her husband it was tough to go on, but that Tunnels to Towers helped her take care of the family he left behind and gave her a sisterhood. “Tunnels to Towers gave us each other” Gass said.

Jessica Hess said that providing for her children on her own has been very stressful since her husband was killed in a training mission in 2019, but that much of that stress has been lifted because of the love, assistance and community that Tunnels to Towers has given her.