How the Army Garrison is helping local military families who lost loved ones
Losing a child is always difficult, but a Bronx mother says Fort Hamilton helped in her time of need. The Army Garrison offers a wide range of community services to remind military families that they are not alone.
Fourteen years have come and gone but Emily Toro still grieves for her son. Isaac Cortes was killed while serving in Iraq in 2007. The Bronx mom admits she blocked out a lot of her emotions after his death.
"I'll never forget, and I'll always miss my son," Emily says.
Eight months later, she learned of Survivors Outreach Services (SOS).
"I started to attend the wakes because people were there for me, and they were there for my son's services. I didn't know who they were and later, I found out they were Gold Star families," Emily explains.
One of many programs offered at Army Community Services on Fort Hamilton, is a one-stop shop for military families dealing with financial hardship, domestic violence, couples counseling and grief.
"We want them to know that they have somebody to call when they're in need and you know they're not alone," says Tiffany Esparza, Army Community Services director.
Toro says she would be lost without the center's assistance. Now she makes the nearly two-hour commute from her Soundview home to the Army Garrison every week to volunteer.
"He sacrificed his life for our freedom, I felt that where he left off, I take that torch and I continue to still serve," says Emily.