Ginger Gilbert Ravella is a military wife and widow, mother of five, stepmother of two, writer and international speaker. At 36 years old, she faced the sudden tragic loss of her college-sweetheart husband in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the horrors that quickly followed. Her late husband, Major Troy Gilbert, a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot, gave his life while saving over twenty Special Operation soldiers, defining a true American war hero. His remains were tragically taken from the crash site by Iraqi insurgents, which ultimately led to the most unprecedented and captivating story of recovery in U.S. military history. Major Gilbert left behind five beautiful children, all under the age of 9 years old.
Ginger’s openly genuine testimony of wrestling with God in the midst of despair and depression resonates with those who question their faith in the face of tragedy. Their private pain became front-page news time and time again over the amazing ten-year journey of bringing Troy home to U.S. soil. She shares her heart-wrenching story of loss, perseverance, and hope. Ginger has appeared in venues such as “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Fox and Friends News,” TIME Magazine, “CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper,” The Golf Channel, USA Today, Air Force Times, Gary Sinise documentary “Lt. Dan Band - For the Common Good,” Stars and Stripes, NRA TV documentary with Lee Brice “This is My Cause,” CMT News, PGA Magazine, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, and numerous national radio interviews.
Ginger works tirelessly to support and raise funds to help fallen and disabled veterans and their families. She is an international speaker and author devoted to her God, her family and her country. She is remarried to another widower and U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Colonel (Ret.) Jim Ravella, who lost his wife to breast cancer. Their profound inspirational memoir titled “Hope Found,” published by WestBow Press, is beautifully woven together with real-life struggles, vulnerable faith, and unshakable patriotism. They document their stories of suffering, the lessons they learned, and the path to finding joy again. Their personal mission is to encourage anyone who seeks reconciliation and peace when life hurts the most and to continue to serve their nation by serving others. A portion of the proceeds of their book goes to helping fallen military families and breast cancer patients. Ginger and Jim currently reside in Nashville, TN with their children.
“I never imagined that the night I met Gary with my late husband, Major Troy Gilbert, back in 2005 would lead me all these later to such a deep friendship with him and connection to his foundation. Tragically, Troy would be killed in action in Iraq just nine short months after that initial meeting. Since that day, my five children and I have been a part of Snowball Express and Snowball community events. GSF supports my work with Never Alone Widows of Heroes retreats and I’m honored to be an GSF Ambassador. I have chosen a path to help others through my own journey of pain and healing. Gary is such an inspiration that I can always do a little more.”
- Ginger Gilbert Ravella