After her son was killed in Iraq, a Texas woman thought the only way to understand it was to put herself in his shoes.
Nanette West "wanted to see where he was". She "wanted to see what he was doing, how he was living, what they were doing over there, how he died."
The woman went so far as to try to enlist in the Army but was told she was too old.
The next best option came when she landed a job with a defense contract. And 15 months after 1st Lt. Kile West was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle, she was on her way to Iraq.
She said fate put her right where she needed to be - in a nearby camp close to her son's unit. For two and a half years she helped support the troops with basic necessities like food and lodging. She even hand-delivered care packages to the GIs.
The unexpected highlight of the trip was a ride in a Bradley like the one her son was killed in. She also got to visit the memorial soldiers built for her son and spent a few days with Kile's unit where she learned more about who her son was in his final days.
Now, she hopes she can help other military families who have lost loved ones in combat by sharing her experience to help them work through their grief.