Charissa Fontan Westfall is a wife, mother, Christian, and the surviving widow of Navy SEAL Jacques Fontan, who was killed in action during the rescue mission depicted in the book and movie “Lone Survivor.”
Char’s life was turned upside down the day her husband was killed in service to his country. Her dreams of being happy on earth and having a family with Jacques were crushed, leaving her seemingly without hope or a future. Over the next year she tried to cope with her enormous loss, but to no avail. With her visions of the future crushed, she began a downward spiral that manifested itself in extreme anger. She was mad at everyone, even God, who she’d always had such a strong relationship with.
Through the help of family and friends and several survivor foundations, she began to seek help for her anger and grief.
Char turned to counselors who helped her process all the questions she had. While she does not hesitate to admit that many questions remain unanswered, she is the first to also admit her biggest mistake was not seeking therapy right away and choosing instead to deal with her loss alone.
Today, Char’s life is a picture of restoration and hope. One of her favorite things to tell people is that God blessed her life twice with love. She married Drew Westfall in 2008 and they were blessed with their first child in 2009 and their third in 2014. It was because of Drew’s encouragement to share her story and support other surviving spouses that she became involved in several foundations that help those dealing with loss. Her involvement has included work with the Special Ops Survivor Foundation, being on the board of the Lone Survivor Foundation, in addition to working with the Boot Campaign and Team Never Quit, all of which have made a difference in both her continued healing and that of others.