On June 20, 2007 my world stopped spinning. My husband, my love, had been killed in Iraq. Shawn was a Marine Corps EOD Tech, and he was killed while conducting a post blast investigation, just days after he arrived in Iraq.
I didn’t know how to go on. Nothing made sense anymore. Shawn was everything to me, and I to him, and when he was ripped out of my life I just didn’t know what to do. Like most other widows, I think, my life immediately thereafter was a series of trial and error situations, some good decisions, some bad decisions, and the ups and downs of the roller coaster of grief.
I started to ask myself, who am I? Who have I always been, and who was the person that Shawn loved? The answers came slowly, but they came. I am a fighter, a survivor, and as much as I was hurting I refused to let this get the best of me. One thing that Shawn and I always talked about was me going to back to school to get my Master’s degree in Financial Planning. Shawn was always supportive and would tell me, “Do it, babe. Be my sugar mama.” I always remember him saying that. I promised him that I would, one day, when we could afford it and I could find the time to dedicate myself to my studies.
I made good on my promise to him. In January 2010 I started my Master’s program with Kansas State University, and I graduated with my M.S. in Personal Financial Planning in December 2012. I have since been fortunate to start my career with NestWise, a new kind of financial services company focused on providing affordable, comprehensive financial advice to the middle class. My major focus as a Financial Advisor is serving the military community – active duty, veterans, and survivors alike. I know, from experience, how badly we need financial advice that makes sense. That’s what I am here to offer to you. I am walking in your shoes. I face the same challenges. I know that most of us don’t even care about the money involved in losing your spouse; but the reality is that we need to care about it and use it to plan for our futures to the best of our abilities. I can help you.
I encourage you to follow your dreams. You can make them happen, whatever they are.
Mimi (Martin) Ferritti - Widow of Sgt. Shawn P. Martin, USMC EOD KIA 20 June 2007
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