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Red Cross Steps Up to Help Gold Star Family after Tragic Post-Holiday Fire

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I have my kids and my life, God only gives you what you can handle

It is unfortunate when any family experiences a fire, but it is especially tragic when it affects a family that has already been through so much.

Maureen O’Haire lost her son, Lance Cpl. Walther O’Haire while he was on active duty in Iraq in 2007, making Maureen a “Gold Star” Mother. She has experienced a lot of tragedy since then but always seems to find the strength to carry on.

On December 29, once again Maureen faced heartbreak when her Rockland home was burned losing everything. In the chaos and turmoil of the fire, someone thought to save the beloved photo of Wally and his memorial American flag. Thankfully, everyone who was home at the time of the fire is safe.

The Red Cross quickly jumped into action to help Maureen and her family. Disaster Action Team volunteers from the Red Cross supplied financial assistance and a place to stay after the fire. The Services to Armed Forces program of the Red Cross also stepped in to coordinate additional resources available to military families who have lost loved ones in combat.  

Several organizations and the community at large are continuing to work to ensure a Gold Star Family like the O’Haire’s have what they need to rebuild and move on.  Other community partners involved with helping the family include: the Jeff Coombs Memorial Foundation, the Military Friends Foundation, Mass Military Heroes, Army Services Outreach, the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial, the Massachusetts State Department of Veterans Affairs, Catholic Charities and the Sgt. Daniel Vasselian Memorial Fund, Inc. 

For her part Maureen’s focus is on what she still has. “I have my kids and my life, God only gives you what you can handle,” she said.