Charity in honor of fallen firefighter launches effort to help family of Fort Meade sailor

A charity that started in the wake of one family's loss is working to help another family as they deal with tragedy.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, founded in memory of a New York City firefighter killed on 9/11, announced a push to pay off the mortgage of a Navy sailor who was based at Fort Meade.

Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent died last week in a suicide bombing in Syria that killed 16 people and three other Americans. She left behind a husband and two young boys, who call upstate New York home.

Foundation CEO and chairman Frank Siller, brother of the late firefighter, said they were interested in helping the Kent family after learning more about her heroics over a 15-year Naval career, which began shortly after the 9/11 attacks and included several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Life changes in a moment, and now we want to take the pressure of a mortgage off this family," said Siller. "Giving her husband and young sons the safety and security of knowing their home is theirs forever, will assure them that Americans support them and will long remember the name Shannon Kent."

In a campaign to assist the family, Siller suggested people commit to donating $11 a month until the family home is paid off, suggesting that a large response could assist other families the foundation has been helping.

For more information, visit the Tunnel to Towers Foundation website at