By Kim J. Clark
Aka Expanding Love
October 2017, this writer had the honor of becoming a columnist for the Detroit Native Sun.
The intent was to share information that would be beneficial to veterans by helping civilians
understand the needs of many individuals who have served in the armed forces. This came about
as a result of this military parent not wanting another mother or father to suffer with the loss of
their child to military/veteran suicide. We have attempted to educate and raise awareness
regarding effective communication; physical and verbal “triggers”; traumatic issues that many
military service personnel (active duty/veterans) live with; issues specific to female military
personnel; celebrated the lives of military children and addressed their military related traumas;
Showcased veterans who are making a difference; honored military mom’s… and much more.
It is imperative that the point be driven home. Military personnel and their families give the
Ultimate Gift. The gift is sacrifice. My son DeMarco told me, “Mom, I love my country. I will
fight for my country. I will lay my life down for the freedom’s we hold dear.” My baby boy was
a casualty of war by way of veteran suicide. He was willing to surrender his life so that people
like you and me can continue to live free. Thousands of young men and women love us, love this
country and what it represents at its core, so much, that they are willing to sacrifice their lives to
ensure we continue to enjoy freedom. As citizens who benefit from their Ultimate Gift, this
writer believes we have the duty to treat our veterans and military service personnel with the
highest honor and respect.
This military parent is inviting you to honor and acknowledge those who have kept our borders
safe. They have made the ultimate sacrifice. These brave men and women are willing to give up
their lives for strangers… people like you and me. Personally, outside of the veterans I am
honored to work with, and the one friend who is a former police officer, there is no one else in
my “world” willing to give the Ultimate Gift.
So, in this holiday season, think about this while you are out shopping and celebrating with
friends and co-workers. There are military families, father’s, mother’s, children, grandparent’s,
nieces and nephew, cousins… who will not smile quite as brightly, because someone they loved
gave the Ultimate Gift.
We have the responsibility to show respect for those who at great personal sacrifice have taken
care of us. Together, as a community, we can embrace our veterans and demonstrate our
appreciation by the words we use, and way we interact. If you, or a loved one is dealing with
service related emotional/mental health issues, please seek help. There are many resources
available. Reach out to the Veteran’s Administration, or a veteran service organization such as
The DeMarco Project. We are here to help you. We are committed to saving veteran lives and
improving the quality of life for traumatized veterans.
To Valerie Lockhart, Editor in Chief of the Detroit Native Sun, thank you for allowing me to be
a voice on behalf of veteran and military families. Highest Honor and Respect.
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 President 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