On Mother's Day 2007, Sgt. Thomas Write of the Army National Guard was serving in Iraq when he was rushed to surgery with a tear in his aorta. His daughter Alexis was so young at the time that it wasn't until last Christmas that the third grader truly began to grieve.
"Sometimes it gets really sad," she said. "I don't like to talk about it."
But then her mother found Camp Good Grief. It's a camp for fallen military. This year will be Alexis' second year at the camp. She's one of 476 surviving children who arrived in the D.C.-area Thursday.
There's a long list of activities, counseling and healing over four days. This year marked the first time that some children couldn't make it due to the long waiting list.
The organization stated that it depends on outside financial help to meet the growing demands so that other kids like Alexis will learn to smile and joke again.