The DeMarco Project Speaks
Healing Steps – My Story
By Kim J. Clark
Aka Expanding Love
Recently, I was engaged in conversation with a veteran who was showering me with
compliments for my commitment to the work of saving veteran lives. To which I replied, “The
work I am doing is not about me. It is about honoring my son’s life and the lives of all military
men and women who have lost their lives to suicide. The “work” keeps me going… keeps me
putting one foot in front of the other.” The veteran then suggested I write about my story of
healing to help other parents who have lost their son or daughter to suicide. Due to space
constraints, what is shared here, is one of the many things I do to keep me focused on moving
forward so that I don’t stay stuck in grief and loss.
On many occasions, I’ve been asked, “How can you smile?” My response is always the same. “I
have to represent my son well. My traumatized veterans are counting on me.” Yes, I do say, “My
traumatized veterans…” My understanding is, all who serve are brother and sister in the armed
forces. My father, son, some cousins and uncles have served in various branches of the military.
Therefore, ALL in the military are my family! As I am writing this, I am smiling. Even though
this topic is personally very painful, I refuse to walk around with my hurt showing like a badge
of honor. For me, honor comes with taking action. Besides, DeMarco would be appalled at me
for having a “pity party” so to speak. Remember, I must represent him well.
Initially, I set out to make my son’s life count for more than just a statistic. I did not want what
our family was going through to happen to any other family. But, the fact of the matter is, loss of
life to suicide does happen to other families. It is estimated that every day this nation loses over
21 military lives (veteran and active duty) to suicide. We must bring this number down to zero!
We must, “Save Veteran Lives!” To move forward with this work, The DeMarco Project is
having its first fundraiser. We invite you to be an angel to a veteran in need. Among other things,
your investment in The DeMarco Project will fund licensed experienced counselors to treat
veterans for PTSD and other emotional/mental health challenges. Visit our sponsorship page on
our website for details.
Come out and celebrate with me and bowl with a veteran. Please join us. Laugh, smile and have
fun while supporting our mission to, “Save Veteran Live!” at our flagship fundraising bowling
event at: Merri-Bowl Lanes, 30950 Five Mile Road, Livonia, MI from 4pm-6pm on Saturday,
Junes 23, 2018. To pledge, donate, or take advantage of the sponsorship opportunities, visit our
website: www.TheDeMarcoProject.org. I look forward to meeting, and bowling with you!
Kim is the mother of a veteran who loved his country and was willing to lay his life down for the
freedoms he believed in. She is the Founder and CEO of The DeMarco Project, Non-profit
organization. Her life’s mission it to save veteran lives and improve the quality of life for
traumatized military service persons. If you would like to support her in the work, donations are
welcome. Visit the website: www.TheDeMarcoProject.org.