Danica Thomas- Widowed Army Spouse, Service Member Suicide Awareness Advocate, Susan M. Tillis Foundation


“I want to make a difference and make sure that our Veterans know there are many reasons to fight through the pain. They owe it to themselves and to those who lost their lives on the battlefield and the ones who lost their battle at home.” – Danica Thomas

Charlotte, North Carolina

To say I am inspired by Danica Thomas is an understatement. She survived a nightmare but byway of her personal experience, she is now helping military families and service members to prevent tragic outcomes.

As a widowed Army spouse— who survived her late husband’s suicide following his traumatic injuries sustained from a suicide bomber while deployed in Afghanistan— she is now paving a path of light and healing for her two young daughters as well as the military community.

Danica is a huge proponent of suicide awareness and prevention. She is an avid volunteer and speaker with both The Independence Fund https://www.independencefund.org/ and Travis Marion Foundation https://www.travismanion.org/.

She serves as the Board Chair for Susan M. Tillis Foundation www.susantillis.org which supports families with newborns born at Womack Army Medical Center on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Listen to our conversation on Hodge Podge Podcast about Danica’s journey and her mission to help the military community. It is a truly inspiring conversation:https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Danica-Thomas–Widowed-Army-Spouse–Military-Suicide-Awareness-Advocate–Susan-Tillis-Foundat-eb1lev

-Alison Paul Klakowicz


Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the award-winning children’s book, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck


Alison is a military spouse, writer, blogger, podcaster and author who resides in her native state of North Carolina with her husband and son. They have called Fayetteville, NC their home for the past decade.

Children's Book Review- Something Lost Something Found by Natalia Paruzel-Gibson

Something Lost Something Found by Natalia Paruzel-Gibson is a beautiful story of a little girl, Ella Samantha Bean, who has lost her happiness.

Ella is on a mission to find her happiness and looks near and far, yet struggles to find anything that makes her happy in life. The storyline leads the reader to the source of Ella’s sadness— the loss of her mother.

Illustration by Laura Catrinella

The children’s picture book’s gorgeous poetic words along with simple, yet poignant illustrations (by illustrator Laura Catrinella), move the reader to follow little Ella on her journey to find days filled with joy and glee again.

And to the reader’s delight— she does indeed find happiness again.

Not through magic or potions, but returning to a special place- an apple tree- covered in the sweetest memories of special times she spent there with her mother.

The book holds the key for us all to find our inner peace when dealing with loss in our lives. Children and adults alike will find comfort in the wisdom and lessons Ella finds on her journey to happiness when missing her mother.

The key is to hold dear the memories of lost loved ones and integrate those memories into our everyday so that we do not lose sight of the importance of those times spent that helped to make us who we are.

Illustration by Laura Catrinella

The author, Ontario-based Natalia Paruzel-Gibson, holds an honours BA in history and English literature from the University of Toronto and an MA in history.

In 1998 she received a young talent award from the Turzanski Foundation for stage work and writing and reciting poetry.

Natalia Paruzel-Gibson, author of Something Lost Something Found

Her first children’s book, Something Lost Something Found received a positive critique from the prestigious book reviewer Kirkus Reviews.

To learn more about this book and the author, you can follow her here:

Website: nataliawritesbooks.com

Instagram: @nataliawritesbooks


– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck


Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.