Gold Star Mother Serves
Those that Bore The Battle
In our nation history so many young men and women have given their lives fighting in our wars and conflicts. We can stand by and just keep their memories alive or we can make lives of returning veterans better. In October 2004 two men from the U.S Army sat in Doris Kent’s living room in Bellingham, Wa. They were there to inform her that her son Cpl. Jonathan Santos was killed in Karabilah, Iraq by a suicide bomber. Cpl. Santos was assigned to the 9th Psy Op Bn, 4th Psy Op Grp, Airborne. There was one survivor in Cpl. Santos vehicle that suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. The young solider was just 21 when the attack happen and will never be able to work or go to school. He can walk and talk but has no stort term memory. He will require assistance for the rest of life.
The military was a big part of Doris and Jonathan life. Doris was born at the US Naval
Hospital in San Diego Ca and Jonathan was born at Ft Knox Ky. His father SSgt Leslie
Santos U.S.Army is active duty and currently station at Fairchild AFB Spokane, Wa.
Doris and SSgt Santos had three children together before divorcing in 1995. Doris
has one son PFC Jared Santos serving with the 92nd ENG BN Ft. St. Stewart, GA and
Justin Santos is a freshman at University of Washington. In 1996 she married Chris Kent and make Bellingham their home.
Vietnam also played a important part of Doris’s life. Her father retired from the U.S. Navy and her brother Joe, was drafted into the U.S. Army. Both fought in the Vietnam
War, both exposed to Agent Orange, both died at the age 52. From the day Jonathan
was killed, she has shared with everyone who would listen, that the way to honor Jonathan and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, is to take care of their buddies when they get home.
Doris developed a program called the “The Veteran Navigator Program” where she trains veterans to do outreach to other veterans so they may access all the benefits they are entitled to.
As a Gold Star Mother, she has reached out to other Gold Star families and recently completed training with TAPS ( Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) as Peer Mentor reaching out to other Gold Star families for support and information. Doris states “ We all would never wish on anyone; yet in our grief, we find comfort in the company of others who have experience the deaths of our loved ones who served in our Armed Force.”
As a Associate Member of the Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 165, Doris is on the fast track to become Accredited Veteran Service Officer. A great deal of her time is being spent at the VA Vet Center in Bellingham with other VVA trained accredited service officers learning about the claim process and is taking courses that will make her more knowledgeable person in dealing with the Veterans Administration regulation. Her accreditation will be completed in the fall of 2011. She is a new breed of service officer with a vested interest that no veteran will have to go it alone in attaining what he or she has earned while serving our country.
Please note any of the text can be changed without my permission.
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