My sons, Jonny and Andrew, lived their lives to the fullest. I nurtured them to be kind, caring, generous, and loving as children. They looked after each other and cared for one another. They loved being of service, helping one another out. I would take them out to volunteer and show them the humanitarian side of helping one another. They learned how to be of service to others.
I would take my sons to the community soup kitchen (Southwest Community Center) in Santa Ana, California, to help feed the homeless and provide warm meals through food distribution. Being of service instilled values and morals in their lives. They loved sports, including baseball, basketball, and skateboarding—all around good sons.
To all the donors who support my son's scholarship,
I am a human being; most importantly, I am a father who is enduring the daily pain of losing my only two sons, Johnny and Andrew. My sons were affected by early childhood developmental trauma and childhood abuse and neglect. This trauma prevented my children from forming connections in life and feeling loved. I was away serving my country while the abuse was occurring. When I returned home, my children were different, unable to articulate or express their traumatic experiences of abuse or neglect to me due to fear.
I want my son's scholarship to extend across our great nation, raising awareness of Childhood Developmental Trauma for all children who suffer in silence. I urge social workers and our government to pass bills aimed at protecting our children from abuse and neglect, and ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable and put in prison.
Dad/Veteran Perez, Jesus