CLEVELAND -- Chloe Knight is almost 8 years old. She has her father’s eyes, a contagious smile and will talk your ear off. Like most little girls, her daddy is her hero. But unlike most kids, Chloe has never met her dad.
Chloe’s dad, Cpl. Timothy A. Knight, died when Chloe was just 5 months old while serving with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, in Iraq in 2005. He left for his deployment in July, just a month before Chloe was born. The only time he ever saw her was on Christmas day via webcam, a month before he and 30 others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Even though Chloe has never met her dad, her grandparents think it’s important for her to know everything she can about him. That’s why they brought Chloe along for a special brunch for more than 20 other Gold Star families in honor of their fallen heroes at the close of Marine Week Cleveland June 17.
“Chloe’s dad was a hero,” said Jackie Collins, native of Brooklyn and Knight’s mother-in-law. “We want her to know that. We want Chloe to know her daddy through what he did.”
At the brunch, Lt. Gen. Steven A. Hummer recognized Knight as well as other local fallen Marines and their families for the heroes they are.
“Our military men and women must be cherished because they are our national treasures,” said Hummer, commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Reserve and Marine Corps Forces North. “They must not be forgotten.”
But those in attendance weren’t just there to remember those who gave their lives from the Cleveland area; their concern was also for the families of those Marines – and of all Marines, both past and present.
“You’re all a part of the big Marine Corps family,” said Margaret Davis, president and chief executive officer of Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Davis announced at the brunch that a new fund, the Ohio Fallen Marine Scholarship Fund, would now be offered to the child of a Marine each year, beginning with Cleveland native Noelle Papkin.
The Scholarship Foundation has offered $670,000,000 in the last 50 years to military children so they can attend college. This upcoming semester, they will send 1,900 military children to school with scholarships.
“It’s a small family in the Marine Corps, and we’re dedicated to stick with each other for the duration,” Davis said.
Seven years after his death, Knight is still remembered for his bravery and sacrifice by Chloe and his family. Thanks to scholarships like the Ohio Fallen Marine Scholarship Fund, Knight’s daughter, Chloe, will continue to be cared for, years after his death.