Survivors Speak: Karen Burris

Mother of Fallen Patriots Scholarship Recipient

My name is Karen Burris and I am a military widow. My husband was Major Andrew Scott Burris. He was a proud paratrooper in the elite 82nd Airborne Division and a Desert Storm veteran. Tragically, he was killed in a training accident in 1997 when our daughter Allison was just three years old.

When Allison was born we set up a college fund. We did not want her saddled with student loans upon graduation. However, moving every two to three years for my husband’s military career did not allow me to build a career of my own, and now, as a single parent, I was unable to contribute to that fund.

I started researching college scholarships and while reading a TAPS newsletter discovered Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. I called them immediately to make sure Allison qualified and was amazed at the generosity of Children of Fallen Patriots. My daughter is going to graduate from college debt free.

I now have the privilege of being a part of this great team. I am the Program Officer at Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and my job is to find the children and families who are eligible for this scholarship. After the death of a spouse, families tend to move away and are no longer a part of the military community. I, like many widows, fell through the cracks and was unaware of this scholarship. Survivors Speak allows me to create awareness and reach out to the military widows and widowers. We want to take the financial burden off of their shoulders and carry on the legacy of these soldiers through education. We owe it to our fallen. Thank you.

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