A military mom who lost her son overseas has turned tragedy into triumph

Cathy Powers is running 1,000 miles, a portion in every state to honor her son who died in a car accident six years ago.

Posted: May 18, 2019 10:40 PM
Updated: May 18, 2019 11:43 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — One Gold Star mother is turning tragedy into triumph.

Cathy Powers is running 1,000 miles, a portion in every state to honor her son who died in a car accident six years ago. He was in Japan at the time on active duty as a Senior Airman in the U.S. Military.

To numb her pain she turned to food, weighing nearly 300 pounds at one point. When visiting her sons grave a few years later she came across a wreath, that's when she learned about the Wreaths Across America movement where people place wreaths on gravestones in remembrance of fallen soldiers.

She found healing from this and eventually created her own movement called "Running Fir Wreaths." She’s raising money through running. All the money she raises will help fund veterans wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

On Saturday she made a stop at Memorial Island at Columbian Park in Lafayette to share her story.

She hopes community members leave with a message to persevere.

“Maybe we haven't all lost a child or a spouse. We've lost dreams, we've lost jobs, we've been disappointed. Just, don't give up,” said Powers.

Indiana is the 13th state Powers has run through. She said it's extra special because 13 happened to be her sons favorite number.

To sponsor Powers' run and help raise money for wreaths click here. Each wreath costs $15. You can learn more about Cathy Powers here.

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