FOREST CITY, Iowa - For families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty, the grief is beyond awful.
But a locally based non-profit aims to ease that agony.
"Families of the Fallen" was formed last summer, and was officially announced at the 2019 lineup reveal for the Tree Town Music Festival in November. On Friday, they kicked off their fundraising campaign.
They're aiming to host families at the annual music festival, and to connect and assist those who have suffered similar losses, as well as those who are living who have suffered injuries, disability and or/hardship resulting from their service, whether it would be members of the military, law enforcement, fire and EMS.
President Andy Klein is also with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, and says the idea was formed after going through with losses of friends and acquaintances who also served the line of duty, and also noted of a deadly year for law enforcement in 2016.
"As there was a loss of people in our field, we thought there was something that we could to honor them, and this is something that we came up with to honor them and show those families that we support them and love them."
So far, the group has received strong support from Tree Town's organizers.
"We approached the new management of Tree Town with this idea, and they graciously offered to let us run something like this there. What they're doing for us is giving us the ability to run this at the festival and helping us with the fund raising efforts and housing people into the festival to attend it."
The application process has not yet opened yet, but they have a few nominees within Iowa in mind. The goal is to expand their efforts nationwide.
Lexi Chamryk with Tree Town says that for each ticket bought for the festival this year, $10 will go towards the foundation.
For those interested in donating to Families of the Fallen, visit their Facebook page @FamiliesoftheFallen. Members with the organization will not receive payment for their services.