The humble beginnings of America’s Gold Star Families began in 2006 when Patti started attending local funerals of the fallen in Central Illinois; all of whom were strangers to her at the time. This was done from heartfelt gratitude to those who carry daily the sacrifice of loss in exchange for our freedom.
As a double blue star Mother of two US Marines, Patti has served as an advocate for all survivors of fallen military heroes for over eighteen years. Between them, her sons served three tours of duty during the height of the Iraqi war and at one point, were deployed to Iraq simultaneously at different locations.
Thankfully both returned home safely but their deployments were a very harrowing experience that left her forever changed. Under Patti’s leadership, the organization has significantly expanded to provide services and programs to Gold Star Families across the nation.
Several years ago, while her sons were on active duty, she and a dedicated group of volunteers sponsored Operation Santa, a project that shipped over 200,000 Christmas stockings to deployed troops around the globe.
Patti earned her Masters of Business Administration degree from Bradley University. She was also an award-winning high producer in the real estate business for a period of time.
She has attended numerous ceremonies in Washington, DC including the White House, personally laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, attended a Christmas party at the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s home and a Presidential Inauguration.
Patti’s favorite song is our National Anthem and is often invited to perform for community, military, patriotic and sporting events. One of those highlights was performing for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field for thirteen years.