By Lindsey Larson
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff will speak at LDS Business College today in a tribute to fallen soldiers sponsored by the Daddy Come Home Foundation.
The tribute ceremony will honor Private First Class Jordan Byrd, Corporal Raphael Rodrigues Arruda, Private First Class Aaron Thomas Nemelka, Lieutenant Corporal Nigel Olsen and their families.
Nadia Lawrence, founder of the Daddy Come Home Foundation, works through the Survivor Outreach Services of the National Guard to select honorees.
“When you read their stories, they’re all heroes,” Lawrence said in a news release. “That’s what we focus on. We want to express our gratitude, and celebrate their lives and the heroes they’ve become.”
Lawrence is an LDSBC student majoring in business management. At age 11, Lawrence had a conversation with a friend whose father had been killed in combat and wouldn’t be home for Christmas. Later, at age 15, she wrote and recorded a song about her thoughts, which launched the foundation. Half of the profits from CD sales go to fallen soldier tributes.
“We celebrate the lives of these soldiers, and honor the sacrifice of them and their families,” Lawrence said.
The money raised pays for plaques for the soldier’s families and presentation expenses, including vocal tributes and speakers. Lawrence said she chose Shurtleff to speak because of his support of families.
“We told him our cause and he said he would be happy to be our keynote speaker,” Lawrence said.
The tribute ceremony is free and open to the public. It begins at 12:20 p.m. at 95 N. 300 West, in the multi-purpose room.