About the founder of the
Support Our Soldiers Foundation
Cathy's passion for supporting our troops began when she was a young girl, when at the age of 11 when she ordered a POW bracelet. Cathy learned the name of her soldier, Captain Lance Sijan, who was shot down over Vietnam on November 6, 1962. He was apprehended 45 days later, put in a POW camp, tortured and died on January 22, 1963. Cathy later learned he was an amazing soldier, so much so that there is a hall at the Air Force Academy in Colorado named for him: Sijan Hall.
Her passion and love for military personnel has continued to grow. Cathy put her gratitude into words, sending thousands of letters and cards to Gulf War soldiers; she continued writing and mailing cards and boxes throughout the Iraq War and added yellow ribbons to the streets in Rifle, CO, where she lived at the time—for seven years the ribbons were replaced every two months.
Cathy got the inspiration for a military ball in 2011, the first year she had 152 people in attendance. Since that first “Stars and Stripes Military Ball,” each ball has averaged about the same number for the last 11 years. This year the ball will be held on Veteran's Day, November 11.
In the desire to honor the Veterans, Cathy decided that Cedaredge needed a Veteran's memorial. In May, 2021, she presented a scale model to the board of Pioneer Town, of what is now a reality at the Support Our Soldiers Veteran's Monuments at Pioneer Town.
In November 2022, the Town of Cedaredge proclaimed November as Cathy Meskel Month for building a legacy of Cedaredge as a community that honors and supports its Veterans that will last with her incredibly thoughtfully designed and beautiful, hand-carved monuments.
Cathy is also a supporter of the Cedaredge community overall; she sewed hundreds of masks during the pandemic and brings whimsy to the town every fall by setting stuffed scarecrows all over town. She is a cherished friend to many and has been dubbed the Queen of Cedaredge. She takes care of her village at Shady Creek RV Park.