Many people remember Arredondo Family Foundation co-founder Carlos Arredondo as the man in the Cowboy Hat who aided Jeff Bauman at the Boston Marathon at the 2013 bombing. However, his and his wife's work with veterans and military families began a year after Alex Arredondo had been killed on August 25, 2004 while serving as a US Marine.
In 2004, Lcpl. Alexander Scott Arredondo was killed in the war in Iraq. Brian , Alex's younger brother never came to terms with his grief and died by suicide at the end of 2011. Both young men are Carlos Arredondo's sons and Mélida Arredondo's stepsons.
As a family who lost two son's related to war in Iraq in, we learned that having a mission to help others would help us manage the grief and trauma our family has gone through. We also realized that many others are impacted as we have been. This is why Carlos, everyone at the Foundation and Mélida do this important work.
Current programming includes:
1. Providing referrals to partner agencies for after-care support when a loved one has died by military suicide
2. Providing scholarships to military kids & siblings for college and elementary education. Seven are currently provided annually.
3. Providing Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training to community, military families, first responder and public so that individuals are aware of how each can save a life. Since beginning this program in 2016, AFF trainers have provided QPR to 1000+ people in communities around Massachusetts.
4. Providing a turkey giveaway at Thanksgiving for low income military veterans and families Thanksgiving 2019 was the 5th year and 550 meals were provided!
5. Supporting local community efforts in and around the Boston area.