I am Julie Fitts a Military Surviving Spouse of SSG Coy D. Fitts. My late husband and I were high school sweethearts and after he graduated he enlisted in the Army because to serve in the Army was like a calling on his life. He was so passionate about serving and helping people and to protect the freedoms of Americans. We were married 26 years when he passed away due to his battle with the injuries and illnesses of serving in war in Iraq.

In March of 2011 Coy and I were blessed with being able to go to Vegas and attend the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Nascar Race for the first time in our lives. Coy was an avid nascar fan and enjoyed the sport greatly. We first met Sue Rebar with Welcome Home Troops on Friday in March 2011 prior to the Sunday nascar race. When we first met her she was like an angel sent to us to help welcome us and make us feel appreciated and loved. We visited with her and some of the other Welcome Home Troops folks and they recorded an interview of me and then Coy. I would later on realize just how priceless those recorded interviews would be to me. We were asked to enter a drawing for neon garage tickets for a service member and a guest and the following morning we received a call to notify us that we had won the neon garage tickets. We were thrilled. We felt extremely proud and blessed to be selected to win the neon garage tickets.

The morning of the Sunday nascar race we arrived at the track early so that we could enjoy the neon garage tickets. Coy was having an amazing time and I remember thinking this is one of his happiest experiences. Welcome Home Troops put on a tailgate party and fed the service members and families prior to the race, Welcome Home Troops gave us amazing tickets for the race in the Richard Petty Tower and the Neon Garage Tickets. We were able to sit in the stands with other friends and family and the day was a great time of fellowship and fun with family and friends.

Welcome Home Troops and Sue Rebar made us feel special. We enjoyed our trip to Vegas and to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and returned home after a once in a lifetime trip is how we felt about the experience. Service members and their families go through an enormous amount of struggles and trials to serve and we do it because we love our country and love being of service. Little did I know that only a couple months later my Coy would lose his battle with the wounds of war. On May 24, 22011 SSG Coy Fitts lost his battle with the wounds of war and I would realize that I had gained a lifelong friend with Sue Rebar, CEO, of Welcome Home Troops. She was there for me so very many nights for prayer and support through my grief process. I also realized that if it had not been for Welcome Home Troops that my Coy wouldn’t have enjoyed one of the most amazing experiences in his life and to be made feel special for having served his country. He was so very proud and appreciative of the opportunity to attend the race that day. A few months after my Coy passed away Welcome Home Troops edited the recorded interviews of me and of Coy and sent copies of the DVD to me and copies for our three sons. That video is absolutely priceless to me and shows me the love and that my Coy had for me and for his service.

Since my sons and I have tried to make it back to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Welcome Home Troops as much as possible and it hasn’t always worked out like we had hoped but I know that Welcome Home Troops goes above and beyond to make service members and their families feel appreciated and welcomed to Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We appreciate all the sponsors who help them to achieve everything that they do. I will forever be grateful to Sue Rebar and Welcome Home Troops. They have given me memories to cherish. I only hope that there are so many others that have been blessed the way that my family and friends have been blessed by Welcome Home Troops and Sue Rebar is just a very precious friend.

Julie Fitts, Surviving Military Spouse