Posted: Sep 13, 2012 9:50 AM by Cody Lee Heyveld
Updated: Sep 13, 2012 10:20 AM
ST. LOUIS — Aleks and Serena Kisseloff, 11 and 13, became the first recipients of the Veterans United Military Heroes Award September 7, receiving $50,000 toward their education. The Veterans United Foundation presented the award at Busch Stadium, and the money will be split between the two.
A press release from the Missouri National Guard said the Kisseloff siblings live with their grandparents in St. Charles after losing their mother, Dana, to illness. Two years after their mother died, their father went to the war in Afghanistan. Sgt. Denis D. Kisseloff served with a Missouri Army National Guard engineer company based out of Kansas City when he was killed on May 14, 2010 supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sievers said the Kisseloff family came to the foundation's attention through an outreach program with some assistance from Operation Homefront, a military family assistance organization.
"These kids have been through a lot, and the foundation felt compelled to make sure this family had the support they needed," said Megan Sievers, the foundation director. "We wanted to make a lasting impact on their lives."
Joining the Kisseloff children at the ceremony was National Guard Brig. Gen. David F. Irwin, deputy commander of the 35th Infantry Division, and Spc. Ernest Roberts, who served with Sgt. Kisseloff.
"I'm glad efforts to support his and other military families continue because the need is there," Roberts said.
Also present for the ceremony was Aleks and Serena's grandmother, Mila Kisseloff, and their uncle, Richard Kisseloff.