Retired 1st Sgt. Jennifer Douglas, Survivor Outreach Services coordinator, cuts strips of yellow paper, printed with the names of the nearly 400 area fallen service members, as she prepares for the Run/Walk for the Fallen Sept. 28 in her office at the Resiliency Center. Flags bearing the names of the fallen will be placed around Trails West Golf Course Oct. 17-24 for the run/walk, which participants can complete on their own during that timeframe to allow for social distancing. Fort Leavenworth SOS's service area includes 26 counties in Missouri and 11 counties in Kansas. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Army Community Services’ Survivor Outreach Services program was implemented Army-wide in 2008 as a way to connect surviving family members of fallen military with one another.


“The Fort Leavenworth SOS program is built upon three pillars — recognize, respect, reach out,” according to the Fort Leavenworth Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website.

Retired 1st Sgt. Jennifer Douglas, Survivor Outreach Services coordinator, staples a strip of yellow paper, printed with one of the nearly 400 names of area fallen service members, to a flag as she prepares the flags for the Run/Walk for the Fallen Sept. 28 at her office in the Resiliency Center. The flags will be placed around Trails West Golf Course Oct. 17-24 for the run/walk, which participants can complete on their own during that timeframe to allow for social distancing. Fort Leavenworth SOS’s service area includes 26 counties in Missouri and 11 counties in Kansas. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Jennifer Douglas, SOS coordinator, said SOS provides families with the most relatable support.


“A lot of the family members feel like they connect better with other survivors. That experience is not something that they can share with just anybody,” Douglas said. “I actually had a family member once that said she goes to suicide survivor meetings, and she still doesn’t get that same connection because of the different experience (with the military aspect). They may have children that died, but the experience is just a little different.”


SOS provides surviving immediate family members, including parents, siblings and spouses, with grieving and bereavement counseling, help with survivor benefits, legal assistance, housing assistance and referrals to any ACS service.

Retired 1st Sgt. Jennifer Douglas, Survivor Outreach Services coordinator, cuts strips of yellow paper, printed with the names of the nearly 400 area fallen service members, as she prepares for the Run/Walk for the Fallen Sept. 28 in her office at the Resiliency Center. Flags bearing the names of the fallen will be placed around Trails West Golf Course Oct. 17-24 for the run/walk, which participants can complete on their own during that timeframe to allow for social distancing. Fort Leavenworth SOS’s service area includes 26 counties in Missouri and 11 counties in Kansas. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


SOS also hosts several events throughout the year so that SOS families can connect with one another. Events can be attended by any family member, including grandparents, aunts and uncles. Although COVID-19 restrictions have forced things to be adjusted, Douglas said two annual events will still happen.


The annual Run/Walk for the Fallen will be Oct. 17-24. The run/walk around Trails West Golf Course can be completed at any point during the week. No sign-up is required. Participants are encouraged to share photos of themselves completing the run on the ACS and SOS Facebook pages. Flags bearing the names of fallen service members will be positioned around the course. To submit the name of a fallen service member to be added to the route, e-mail jennifer.e.douglas2.civ@mail.mil.


The annual lantern launch is at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Frontier Conference Center. RSVP via e-mail to jennifer.e.douglas2.civ@mail.mil.

Flags bearing the names of the nearly 400 area fallen service members will be positioned around Trails West Golf Course for the Run/Walk for the Fallen Oct. 17-24. Run/walk participants can complete the event on their own during that timeframe to allow for social distancing. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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