Lorimar Cintron was only eleven when her father Marcos died at a Boston hospital after he was gravely wounded in Baghdad, Iraq after an attack on his unit. Marcos served the United States as an Army specialist.
Losing a parent is very painful, but Lorimar has learned to accept her fate.
Now a mentor at A Soldier’s Child Foundation, Lorimar helps other children who suffered the same fate as her. The foundation offers care and consideration to children whose parents lost their lives while serving the country.
Soldier’s Child holds an annual summer camp in Tennessee, a venue where the children can learn to overcome their fears and sadness by conquering the elements.
“First year I came to Journey Camp as a camper, I went through a really rough time in my life, and it really helped me spiritually and emotionally, and then after I was done, I realized how many people actually cared about me,” Lorimar said.
Now a teenager, Lorimar still wears her father’s dog tags, which hold a photo of him. After serving eight months in Iraq, Marcos died in 2011 at age 32. He was hit by shrapnel and suffered heavy burns when insurgents attacked his unit with indirect fire.
He was immediately flown to Germany for treatment and was about to be transported to Texas in a military plane, however, the aircraft’s air pressure worsened his condition that’s why the flight was diverted to Boston where he died. Marcos was hospitalized for four days and did not regain consciousness.
“I took that dark side of my life and turned it into light,” Lorimar said. “Now I can share that with the kids and it makes me super happy.”
The children at Journey Camp look up to her, and they look to each other for kinship and comfort. The kids have gained friends and strength in dealing with their grief.
“It’s amazing because you’re not alone here. People love you, you’re fighting through storms, the same storm everyone else has been through. You’ve lost a parent,” said camper Sean Parker.
“Most of the strength I have is from them,” Lorimar said. “Because they are so young, yet so strong.”
Source: Inside Edition