Operation Serve to Heal 2016 page





We are inviting you to join us in

Operation Serve To Heal

May 1st – May 5th

We will be serving in Honor of

Major Brad “Gyro” Funk.  

He was killed in the line of duty while serving in the US Air Force May 1st 2008.

He is our hero. {husband, father, best friend}

He continues to be our inspiration.

We invite you to join in and serve In honor of someone YOU Love….

and see what happens. 

We would love if you would share your story of who you are serving in honor of

and how that service impacted your week. It doesn’t need to be fancy! It can be as simple as serving in your own family.

Snap a picture of how you chose to serve and add the hashtag


You can also tag @jenniferfunkdesigns on instagram

I am so grateful to my amazing cousin Landee for creating a darling printable that you can hand out while you are serving if you want too. {you will find the link to the printable at the bottom of this page}

This normally very difficult day has been transformed into one that has deep meaning for us and helps us to feel closer to Brad. This discovery of how powerful and healing service can be has been a little miracle for our family.

Serving in honor of someone you love is what this is all about.  If you would like some ideas, or want to join us in our projects this year you can get more information here.



We have made May 1st a day of service for a few years. Last year we invited others to join us so my little girls could see that people love and respect their daddy for his life and for his service to our country. I wanted them to see that people haven’t forgotten him… and that they haven’t forgotten them.  – That there are people from all over who stop on May 1st. They think of Brad and think of his family.  I know this. and I feel it.  and I am SO grateful for it.  {I wanted them to know it too.} I tell them. but this past year as people joined in they had a chance to SEE it on their own.

IMG_7446_Jen_Funk_Jennifer_Funk_Designs_ArtThe girls were so little when Brad was killed. They don’t remember the outpouring of love. We no longer live near any of our Air Force friends. With the exception of family, everyone the girls know did not get the opportunity to know their Daddy.  So my hope for this day was first and foremost – these little girls. Helping them feel loved on this worst of all days.

When we did our day of service last year I was amazed at how those small little actions completely changed the way I view this day.  I realized that I don’t need to feel like this day holds me hostage. That, no matter what happened on this day… I have a choice about how it will be from now on. I get to write the story for all the rest of my May 1st’s.  

That first year of service, I learned that this day could be bearable. That we could choose to focus on the blessing that Brad’s life was instead of what we all lost that day. We have always tried to do something meaningful on this day.  And those things have been good and they have helped. A few years ago, after being inspired by some widow friends, we decided that we would try to change how we feel about this day that represents such sadness and loss.  We wanted to do something that wasn’t about us. We decided to follow in Brad’s footsteps and make this a day to remember and honor him by serving others.

Brad spent his life serving. When I think of my sweet husband, I think of service.


Service to his country, to his family, to God, to his community. He served all those around him and I feel so blessed to have been the recipient of so much of his love and service. I have countless letters and emails that people have sent telling stories about Brad. The common theme is that he served. He helped. He didn’t wait to be asked, he just got to work.


Last year, I still found it a little hard to get up and face the day. I was laying in bed talking to the girls and just… revisiting in my head.  Watching the clock for the time his jet went down. the time they came and knocked on my door….telling Ty… all the heartbreaks of that day. I still don’t know how to keep those thoughts at bay…   But my phone lit up and I saw a tag on Instagram of a daring girl and her friend with their #operationservetoheal tags in hand, ready to serve.   It brought me to tears and helped me get out of bed.

That happened all day.

{the gratitude, and the tears}

Happy tears on May 1st are welcome.

I can’t even put into words the gift you gave our family that day.

You helped us change the worst day of our lives into something with a sacred purpose. It became about something bigger than our pain. We saw just how powerful service can be. IMG_7509_Jen_Funk_Jennifer_Funk_Designs_Art

We love you and miss you every minute Major Brad “Gyro” Funk.

You are our hero and you continue to inspire us in all we do.

Love, your girls.


OSTH Printable 2016

Download Landee’s  Operation Serve to Heal printable

PDF version

JPG version

Thanks to Maddee Shaw films.  { @maddeeshawfilms} & Landeelu.com  { @landeelu } for your help!