KILLEEN, Texas — One step at a time, Cathy Powers is hoping to make a difference.
Powers has come a long way since mourning the loss of her son, Bryce, in 2013.
Bryce died after spending more than six months in a coma after what Cathy described as a bad accident while in the Air Force. He's now buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Powers said after his death, she was in a dark place and put on "a lot" of weight before losing 140 pounds through running.
Now, she's using that exercise and newfound love of the sport to make a difference for families like hers.
"When they place a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, they read the name on the headstone," Powers said. "They say the name out loud. Then they place the wreath, very gently, after they fix the bow. Just knowing somebody took the time to do that helped my heart to just calm down-- knowing that people would not forget our son.”
So, the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident is running through all 50 states for a total of 1,000 miles to raise awareness for families of fallen soldiers and raise money to place 7,777 wreaths on the ground.
One wreath for each day her Bryce was alive.
"To honor our veterans," Powers said. "Basically, Wreaths Across America, their mission is to remember our fallen, honor those serving and their families, and to teach the next generation the value of freedom."
She had help during her stop in Central Texas from a friend.
A friend who saw Cathy at her lowest and rise to where she is now.
"I used to work in Hawaii, where I took care of military families," Theresa Johnson said. "She was medivac'd in with her son in 2012."
Since Bryce's passing, Johnson and Powers have kept in touch and remain friends.
Now, Johnson's hoping to have helped Powers in her mission to place 7,777 wreathes.
One step at a time.
To donate to Running Fir Wreaths, click here.
To learn more about her cause, click here.