As a Gold Star Mother, Amanda Jacobs Ballard has been through the pain and grief of losing her son overseas and has kept his memory alive by volunteering with other Gold Star Families. ​

Amanda’s son Christopher Phoenix-Jacob Levy knew at 11 that he wanted to serve his country, so in 2009, he joined the United States Marine Corps. Two years later, on December 10, 2011, Jacob was killed in action at 21 while serving as a Lance Corporal in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. ​

After Jacob’s platoon returned home from Afghanistan, Amanda wanted to connect with the Marines serving alongside her son. Now, 11 years later, she is the “bonus” mom to 30 Marine Corps sons who were Jacob’s brothers in arms while serving their country. Each year, they continue to gather to honor Jacob’s memory, share stories, and remain united as a family. ​

Currently, Amanda continues to give back and inspire others as a HOPE volunteer and as the Gold Star Tribute Ambassador for Honor Brewing Company, whose mission is to honor all those who have served and ensure that the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten. Working with Honor Brewing Company has opened the door for Amanda to share Jacob’s story, meet other Gold Star Families, and share the stories of other fallen heroes across the country.