An activist by tragic circumstance, Lipford has been consumed by the death of her 20-year-old son, U.S. Army Pfc. Steven Sirko, who was found in his barracks on April 17, 2005. Lipford, who believes her son was murdered, has pressed military officials for answers and joined antiwar protests. With the help of friends, she staged a memorial ceremony in May for fallen troops. Other families have requested the crosses used in that Arlington South memorial for their own commemorations.