Kelly Estes is an energetic 24 year old with a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a rather unique passion for World War II. At 19, she became the youngest Santa Clara County Human Relations Commissioner and at 21 became the Youngest Ever Chair of the Justice Review Committee for that Commission.
Kelly's Archbishop Mitty High School history project focused on her uncles' experiences in WWII. In 2006 she directed the documentary Donald Fitzmaurice: An American Hero after which she promised to help Veterans and encourage teens to do the same by preserving their stories and respecting their service. In 2008, she began writing The Cost of Courage. The novel was published in 2012, two days prior to Kelly's graduation from college at the age of 22.
Due to her family's military background, she developed and lead a project focused on proactively assisting Veterans struggling with PTSD. She created the Veterans Proactive Assistance Task Force where families and organizations can come together to discuss issues facing returning Veterans and prevent PTSD related crime before it occurs.
For her work in creating and leading this task force, Kelly was awarded a City of San Jose Commendation presented by Mayor Chuck Reed and the San Jose City Council in November 2012.
In 2014, Kelly founded the non-profit organization The Cost of Courage Foundation dedicated to supporting Veteran education.
The Cost of Courage is a work of military fiction based upon the true story of two brothers who served in the arial campaigns of WWII. After being shot down over Berlin, one brother is forced to endure both mental and physical torture as a POW at Stalag Luft III. As a defiant soul, he gains the respect of his comrades by making life difficult for his captors. However, circumstances change after an ill-fated trip to solitary where it is revealed by another airman that his brother has died on the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo. Devastated, he struggles with the will to survive while reminiscing about his brother.
ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY.....
The story of my great-uncles along with the experiences of many Veterans of WWII I have met over the years became the inspiration for the fictional tale The Cost of Courage....
Please enjoy a clip of the documentary that started everything!
Donald Fitzmaurice: An American Hero
Donald Fitzmaurice was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. His niece recalls his pre-war life and his reasons for joining the Army Air Corps.
In this story, Donald's brother Richard shares his recollections of their last days together and the events that led to him learning of his brother's death in the famous Doolittle Raid.
Crew of Plane #6 - The Green Hornet
Doolittle Raid - April 1942
Honoring 70 Years...
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