Press Release: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1275976
Media: Operation Lily
‘Operation Lily’ hopes to establish trust fund for daughter of fallen soldier
Four-year-old Lily Lacey, the daughter of fallen soldier Kelly Lacey, is pictured beside the flag that covered her father’s casket.
Special to the Daily NewsFour-year-old Lily Lacey, the daughter of fallen soldier Kelly Lacey, is pictured beside the flag that covered her father’s casket.
WANT TO HELP?
By KELLY HUMPHREY
315-4443 | @Kellyhnwfdn
Posted Oct. 9, 2015 at 9:51 AM
Updated Oct 9, 2015 at 9:53 AM
Jon Hanson understands what it’s like to lose your father at a young age. When he was 10, his father, a World War II veteran, passed away.
Now as a father, Hanson also knows the tremendous relief that parents feel when their child returns home safely after a military deployment.
Those competing emotions have motivated Hanson, an Ohio resident, to step up to help the daughter of Kelly Lacey, a soldier from Okaloosa County who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2014. He left behind a wife and a now 4-year-old daughter, Lily.
Hanson’s son, Aubrey, served with Lacey at Fort Knox.
“The whole story about what happened to Kelly has been gut-wrenching to me,” Hanson said. “My son came back from his deployment and theirs (the Laceys’) didn’t.”
Hanson has started a crowd-funding effort to start a trust fund for Lily. He has recorded a CD of patriotic music that includes a song called “Operation Lily.”
“Everyone who makes a donation to the fund will receive a free digital copy of the song,” Hanson said. Donors at certain levels will receive the physical CD and other thank you gifts.
After talking it over with Lacey’s family, Hanson said he decided to create a trust fund that would be professionally managed, and could not benefit anyone but Lily. He said he felt compelled to create a fund that would show Lily how much people appreciate her father’s sacrifice.
“When a little girl trades her father for a three-cornered flag, it just breaks your heart,” he said. “I wanted to help Kelly complete one last mission for his daughter.”