LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The third annual Young Hero Warriors Outdoor Adventure has kicked off in Longview. The event offers Gold Star families a time to heal after losing a loved one in war.
Leticia Aceves and her kids attended the event in honor of her late husband. Aceves said she remembers her husband as a loving father and a man who worked hard to protect his country.
30-year-old Staff Sergeant Omar Aceves Sr. served in the Army for more than 10 years. In 2011 he lost his life in Afghanistan when enemy forces attacked his unit with improvised explosive devices.
Aceves said she misses him even more as the kids have grown older.
"For example we could go to the store and our kids would [say] 'mom, dad, mom, dad buy us this' and 'we're like whose kids are these get away from us and they're like stop it mom' and people would just look at us," she said. "You know it was always two against them but now it's four kids against me."
Though her husband is gone Aceves and her kids always find a way to honor his memory. This week they're joining other families at the Young Hero Warriors organization at the Longview Police Department shooting range and training facility.
"But I know it helps us to know we're not alone in this, you know, that we're not the only ones that have this pain," she said.
The kids and their families had fun spending the day with law enforcement and getting a glimpse of the military-style tankers.
"This is in honor of my husband and the kids just enjoy that and it's nice to see how people appreciate them," she said.
The group will spend the next few days at Satterwhite Ranch doing more activities like kayaking and zip lining, all while remembering those that made the greatest sacrifice.