CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It was a Friday morning in late January. The women of Charlotte's Blue Star Mothers organization stood outside a north Charlotte apartment and said a prayer before driving south to Spartanburg, SC.
They've been invited to attend the funeral of Spc. Javion Sullivan, a 24-year-old from Fort Mill who was serving in Iraq when he died from non-combat related injuries.
The children of the Blue Star Mothers are still serving in the armed forces. But they made the trip south to support a family who son's made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
That day was the beginning of a new friendship between the Blue Star Mothers and Cynthia Sullivan, Javion's mom,
Months after the funeral, Cynthia and Javion's father Willis sat in a Charlotte living room as the organization presented them with their Gold Star flag.
"We didn't realize what we had in him. We knew he was high on the list. We didn't know how high and how many hearts he had touched," Willis said.
The Sullivans said their son always wanted to be a soldier.
"He loved it. They say he got up every day with a smile on his face. He said let's do this. So, that gives us comfort," Cynthia told WBTV.
Javion was a husband and a father to a beautiful little girl. His mother says he knew the risk and want committed to serving his country.
"We talked about the price in life you may have to pay or may not have to pay. We talked about new wife and young daughter. You know, the times that he would have to be away from her and he may not live to see her grow up. But he said ma, I want to serve my country," he said.
Blue Star president Fostoria Pierson says the organization is there to do anything the Sullivans may need in the difficult time.
"It's like God has orchestrated it and it's like we have known each other way before and we just love her," Fostoria said.
Javion's parents know their son died living out his calling and it helps when others stop to honor that.
"Our hearts are heavy, but they rejoice also. Because Javion left Uncle Sam's Army but he's in the army of the Lord," Cynthia said.
**Watch this story on WBTV News on Monday, April 9, at 6 p.m.**