Gold Star mom offering unique way to help other military families
PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- On this Memorial Day, one mother who lost her own son in combat wants to help other families facing the same unbearable grief.
Betsy Schultz, a single mother, would have have never imagined she would outlive her only son. And when her son, Captain Joseph Schultz, died in combat, she knew she had to do something to help others suffering like she was.
"They've given their lives so we can have life," Schultz said of her son and the others like him.
The living room in her Port Angeles home is now covered with photos of her son, the soldier he became and the American hero he left the world as.
Across the street is the legacy Joseph Schultz left behind. The home used to be Betsy Schultz's bed and breakfast, but she hopes it can now be a place for healing.
"There had to be a way this house could be a support to families," she said. "His children would never come here, but their certainly could be family and children that come and heal."
The Captain Joseph House will be a free place for families who have lost their loved ones serving in Afghanistan or Iraq to come share their stories and know they are not alone.
"It's very important for folks to spend time and share and talk with other people," Schultz said.
It's a massive financial and emotional journey to take. The old house built in 1910 has to meet code, while also being a place of solace.
Each room is named for a man who died in Afghanistan alongside her son.
"That's what I'm doing here so you can continue to live and you can live in the greatest place to be, in America, and you can have the freedoms and a livelihood that's nowhere else in the country," Schultz said.
Hurricane Ridge is visible from the home, reminding the families who come that this storm too shall pass.