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Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation Announces Jennifer Ballou as Gold Star Fellow

Gold Star Wife and Global War on Terrorism Veteran Will Represent the Foundation as the Primary Liaison with the Gold Star Community

Today the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation announced that Jennifer (Loredo) Ballou will begin serving as the Foundation’s Gold Star Fellow. In this role, Jennifer will serve as an important liaison to the Gold Star community on behalf of the Foundation. Her work will complement her professional efforts to honor our veterans as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the National Veterans Memorial Museum. 

As a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Jennifer capped her career as the Senior Enlisted Advisor of the U.S. Army Resilience Directorate, Army G1, Pentagon. She also served as the first Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program Manager, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and as First Sergeant, 257th Dental Company (Area Support), 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was during this assignment, and while both were deployed to Afghanistan, that her husband, SSG Edwardo Loredo, was killed in action. Today Jennifer is the wife of Omari Ballou, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Retired, and is the proud mother of Alexis, Eddie, and Sophia.

“Gold Star families who have paid the ultimate price for freedom are eager for a place where they can pay tribute to our fallen guardians of freedom and experience healing. I am honored to help build new bridges between the Gold Star community and the Foundation so that we can continue to spread the word about the Memorial and the importance of getting it built as soon as possible.”

GWOTMF President and CEO Michael “Rod” Rodriguez said, “Our entire Foundation familia welcomes Jennifer with gratitude and open arms as our inaugural Gold Star fellow. She knows the importance of a Memorial first-hand and has graciously agreed to help us make it a reality. Her wisdom and experience as a veteran and a member of the Gold Star community will be a tremendous asset for our ability to raise awareness about our work with the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who served in the GWOT.” 

Jennifer’s awards and decorations include the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award, the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster and numerous others. She is also a member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and is an alumni of the 2022 Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, through the President George W. Bush Presidential Center.