Katie's Family

I met my late husband Lewayne in Round Rock, Texas in 2012. He was stationed at Fort Hood and I was an elementary school teacher. We instantly fell in love and were married in 2014. We added 2 baby boys to our family and were stationed at Fort Shafter in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Major William Lewayne Lyckman was the Operations Officer for the Assistant Chief of Staff Engineer (ACSENG) Directorate at the United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) headquarters when he passed suddenly from a brain aneurysm in June of 2020.

He was posthumously promoted to Lt. Col. and served a total of 17 years. He was a Texas A&M alumni and was their football team's biggest fan.

The unexpected loss of my Husband was compounded by the discovery that I was also pregnant with our third child. We were trying for a girl and unfortunately lost the baby a few months after Lewayne's death.

I found myself having to create a new life and a new home.

It was later that year that my brother also passed away after a 10 year battle with substance abuse.

After experiencing 3 deaths in such a short amount of time, I knew I had to put myself in therapy immediately.

By seeking professional help I was able to manage my PTSD, anxiety, and depression enough to function and operate as a single mother.

I was searching for healing retreats to help with my mental health and knew that if I didn't get help, I would not be able to make it through an overwhelming amount of grief and trauma.

One of the resources I found was a women's empowerment retreat for Gold Star spouses in Colorado and that is where I met Sina.

Our story began as two widows clinging to each other, as we both tried to navigate this new life that felt so foreign in a world where no one truly understood us, except for each other.