Jackson is remembering his late father, Army Sergeant Jack S., by following in his footsteps.
Jackson’s father was wrestler from elementary school through high school. Recently, Jackson started wrestling lessons at about the same age as his father did. With just over a month of practice, Jackson entered his first wrestling tournament and it could not have gone any better.
“Jackson did his very first tournament… he won all of his matches and won first place!” Jackson’s mother wrote to Angels. “Jackson is a natural out on the mat. Pretty amazing how well he is doing considering he has only been wrestling for just a little over a month.”
Angels of America’s Fallen has helped support Jackson’s pursuit of wrestling and keeping that connection to his father alive. His mother shares her gratitude to Angels of America’s Fallen and its many supporters of the mission.
“(Jackson) is really enjoying wrestling,” Jackson’s mother wrote. “Thank you all again for everything. Ya’ll are amazing.”
Today, there are more than 16,000 children in the United States who have lost a parent who died as a result of military service since 9/11. Most of the children are very young at the time of loss (average age – 7 years).
Statistics show that these children have a greater likelihood for depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, behavior problems, substance abuse, and even suicide. Angels of America’s Fallen mitigates these risks by providing regular opportunities for participation in extracurricular interest such as sports, fitness, art, music, theater and other activities. Research demonstrates that feeling connected and engaged with at least two areas outside of family such as school/afterschool activities, positive peers, athletics, employment, religion, culture and the arts is a protective factor that can mitigate the risks associated with parental loss. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health, April 2016)