On a fall day in 2007, Brittnay McCall’s life changed forever. It’s been over 15 years, but she remembers that “awful knock on the door” like it was yesterday. It was the moment she was notified that her husband, Sgt. Daniel McCall was not coming home. “It’s something you never get over,” Brittnay said. “You carry it every day.”

He wasn’t the only one who lost his life on that day in Iraq. Rush Jenkins and Cody Carver were also killed instantly by the roadside bomb. Since 9/11, over 7,000 service members have been killed in action, and thousands of men and women like Brittnay have been given a title no one wants: “Gold Star Spouse,” which unfortunately has a stigma attached to it.

“I think it’s important for everyone to acknowledge and realize, the person who lost that loved one, [they have] grieved them every day since that loss,” Brittnay says. “There is not a single day that goes by that they are not on our minds, that we are not thinking of them.”

Brittnay wants to live her life every day in honor of Daniel and in honor of the fallen. She’s doing that by connecting military families to resources and needs they may have as a Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator in Ohio. “Daniel gave me so much to live for. I feel like everything that has happened in my life has been some guiding force from him.”