When we had our annual team meeting back in January one of our big topics of discussion was how we could increase our impact and give back more. When we started KC Cattle Company the mission was to always strive to give back. We decided what better way to increase our giving than to ask our customers to join our mission too. When we join together we believe we can do even greater things. With your purchase of ground beef we'll be able to expand our donations and in turn do more good. When we were looking for our first opportunity to do a beef donation with our new give back program it somewhat fell into our lap...or I guess you could say inbox. That very week the Folds of Honor Kansas City chapter reached out needing beef for their Patriot Run on September 10th. Typically held on 9/11, this event has 5 different races lasting for 9 hours and 11 minutes. All proceeds will benefit Folds of Honor, a 5013c who we have seen first hand to big things for Gold Star Families. In fact, we know one of those families very well. See how Folds of Honor has impacted Jeremy's family below.
Hello everyone! My name is Colleen Katzenberger and I am one of Patrick’s sisters. I know most of the people reading this are already big supporters of Patrick and KC Cattle Company. His story is compelling and his dedication to supporting Veterans is more than admirable. However, you may not realize that by knowing his story regarding his time in the service you also know a big part of my story. Patrick often discusses the tragedy of losing his brother-in-law, Staff Sergeant Jeremy Katzenberger, while they served with 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. I had the great honor of being married to Jeremy. Let me share the same story but a different perspective.
Jeremy and I met lifeguarding when we were 16 years old at our local country club. He was charming, easy to get along with, and ever so handsome. Unfortunately, his girlfriend also worked with us that summer. So, we didn’t have our first date until our first year of college. And, it was instant love. Jeremy quickly became my best friend and the love of my life. Jeremy enlisted after our first year of college and I sent him off to complete his initial training while I continued college pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. In 2005, after Jeremy completed his initial training, we made the courageous and crazy decision to get married so I could follow him to Savannah, Georgia where he would be stationed with 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment.
At the young age of nineteen, I followed Jeremy and we started to build a life for ourselves halfway across the country from family. Jeremy and I finished growing up together. I watched him become an amazing Ranger and warrior. He supported me while I finished my BSN. Despite the odds, our love and dedication only grew stronger during this time. Also during this time, Jeremy was on a constant deployment schedule of six months home 3 months deployed. It was a challenging normal, but beautiful part of my life. In October 2010, Jeremy was brought home a few weeks early from his seventh deployment in order to support me during the birth of our son, Everett. We were young parents figuring out a family of three. In March of 2011, Everett and I said goodbye to Jeremy when his company surged for this eighth deployment. Little did I know, it would be the last time I knew the comfort of that family of three. As many of you know, Jeremy was killed in a heavy firefight in the Paktika Providence of Afghanistan June 14, 2011.
My entire world was turned upside down. Not only did I lose my husband that night, but I lost the future we had planned together. I found myself a single mom to a seven month old infant. I had lost the passion for my career as a nurse. And, I had lost my best friend. I often say that grief is big and powerful. I reflect back on this time of my life and am so thankful for the love I was surrounded with during this time. And, I am so thankful for Everett. I often tell him that he is the greatest gift Jeremy has ever given me.
Picking up the pieces of my future after losing Jeremy was a slow process. It took me a couple of years to move back to the Kansas City area to be close to family. That first winter back in Kansas City, I decided I needed a new career. After some deliberation and prayer, I decided to become a high school teacher! Despite having my BSN, I decided to go back to school to purse a Masters of Secondary Education at Rockhurst University. Their program was designed for individuals whose bachelors was not in education. It was a perfect fit. However, as the bills rolled in during that first semester, the financial burden was becoming too much. I was worried I was being selfish with financial resources left to both Everett and myself. That’s where Folds of Honor came into my story. They provided me with a scholarship the next semester and helped me finish my educational pursuit. I just wrapped up my sixth year of teaching and have been able to build a program in my school district to help high school juniors and seniors explore healthcare careers. It’s not a job, but a passion for me. I feel incredibly blessed to have found a second career that I love as much as I loved nursing.
My scholarship from Folds of Honor was much more than just a scholarship. It was a message from the community that Jeremy’s sacrifice wasn’t forgotten. It was a step towards a future that made me a better mother and stronger woman. That scholarship was a fresh start! Folds of Honor is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of our service members by educating their legacy. I have been honored to serve on the Folds of Honor speakers bureau to help raise funds for other qualified scholarship recipients. And, I am particularly excited about this partnership with KC Cattle Company! Patrick and I share a piece of history and it’s beautiful to watch our perspectives collide for a common goal.
Folds of Honor is a four-star charity that has provided 6,500 scholarships since its creation. I am just one of those stories. Please consider helping someone else take that first step towards their future by donating.
Want to run the race with us? Use code KCCattle10 for 10% off any distance. You can see all the race info here.