This Gold Star Means Something

“As a child I always worked hard for a Gold Star..Now I have one and I don’t want it”

Next month on Feb 24th I will be marking the third year of my family being Gold Stars.  We never wanted to be Gold Stars… no one wants to be. In the past years I faced far too often people who have no idea what this Gold Star means. Early on I had a mother on an Army mom support group demand to know why I thought I was so special as to give myself a gold star and demand to know how she too could get one. I stepped away from my computer in tears after reading that email praying this woman never got one. She was very contrite upon being educated. I have had people ask me if my Gold Star service flag in my window was a “Jewish” thing.  My husband has been teased by co-workers about how he must be so special to receive a Gold Star parent license plate.

These are just a few of my stories.  I have heard similar stories from other Gold star families.  So it now my mission to educate the American public…

Since WW1 when our nation has been at war, service flags have been flown in the windows of military families. These flags are a message to the community… it is bordered in Red and the center is a field of white…in the field of white is a Star for each member of the family serving. A Blue Star represents someone serving. A Silver Star means that someone in that family has been wounded in combat. A Gold Star is representative of a Fallen family member.

Imagine a family, who has buried someone they love very much who fought and died for this nation, having to explain repeatedly what the Gold Star they display or wear means.  Imagine the pain they feel when people make truly innocent comments that in reality make us feel they do not care that there are men and women fighting and dying for this nation… for them! It’s not anger that makes me write this but pain. You see my son died for something he believed completely in, this Nation, and there are people who are so unaware  that lives have been given they don’t even know what a 100 year old symbol born in this nation means. It’s not just the Gold Star we need to educate people on but the real sacrifice and great love of nation that bore that star.


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35 Responses to This Gold Star Means Something

  1. Lana Killingsworth January 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    My sincere condolences to you and your family. Though not from war, I know the pain of losing a child. May God be with you and bless you always and may you find comfort in His love and understand. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Ed Davis January 27, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your Son. Yes, the Gold Star is very special and it’s meaning is the ultimate sacrifice that is made by our Service Men & Women. I appreciate your article and it’s true that a lot of people do not know what the Gold Star represents. Hopefully your article will enlighten people as to it’s true meaning. I know all about the Gold Star and I know your pain first hand. I lost my Son Marine Corp Staff Sgt. Edward G. Davis III on 04/28/06 when he was in the Al Anbar Province in Iraq. He was in a Humvee with 4 other Marines when they hit an IED. Two other Marines, Sgt. Lee Mills from Florida and Corporal Brandon Hardy from Pennsylvania also perished in this mechanized cowardly attack against our Marines. The other two Marines did survive. Thank You for your Son’s service to our great Nation. God Bless……..
    Ed Davis Jr.

  3. Angela January 27, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    God Bless Our Military
    God Bless Gold Star Families
    God Bless Military Families

    ♥proud navy wife♥

    R.I.P. SGT Michael P. Scusa (10/03/2009)
    R.I.P the Fallen Ft. Carson 8 (10/03/2009)

  4. Cathy Howe January 27, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    You have my respect, and my pledge to spread this message to the best of my ability.

  5. Logan Kinslow January 27, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice. God bless your family. As a veteran, I’m proud of your son for being willing to give his all. Thank you again and God bless all of you.

  6. Terri Starnes-Bryant January 27, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Thank you so much for this post. I too was unaware until this past weekend when I was at a Homes For Our Troops Build Brigade and met a Blue Star Mom. She told a number of us the story behind the flag. I hurt for you and your family but thank you for what your son believed in and gave his life for. I will try to help pass this information along to others and pray for many, many less “Gold” stars. God bless you!

  7. john david king January 27, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    It is unfortunate that people are so wound up in their own little world.There are more people out there who would never consider the ultimate sacrifice that some families have happily made for our freedoms.The freedoms that some of us cherish and have fought for are taken for granted by so many.My condolensces and a big thank you to family.

  8. Roger January 27, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Rest in Peace All You Heroes a Grateful Nation Salutes You
    To you Spouses, Mothers, and friends Thank You for all your scarifies

  9. Sandy Keayg January 27, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    USMC Mom, First of all, thank you for your son and your family’s sacrifice. I agree with you, it is a shame that the American public is not more educated on things of the military. Unfortunately our media is more interested in covering spoiled actors and actresses as well as lying politicians than reporting on faithful Americans. They find it more interesting to cover the protesters at a Hero’s funeral than the life of the Here.
    Keep up the task you have taken. God be with you.

  10. Michelle West January 27, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story that is all to common to those of us who have the Gold Star. I lost my Hero/Husband SSG Laurent J West on March 11, 2008, just 17 days after you received The Knock. As we approach the 3rd Anniversary of loosing our Heroes, know that my heart goes out to you and all those who loved your son. God bless!
    Michelle J West
    The Proud Wife Of American Hero SSG Laurent J West (KIA March 11, 2008)

  11. Craig Rizzo January 27, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    As an Iraq Veteran (0311 Charlie Company 1st Battalion 8th Marines ’01-’05) I am dumb founded about how ignorant people are. I knew about the Blue and Gold Stars when I was a kid even though my parents were not in Combat. My Mom first told me when I was watching the Movie The Fighting Sullivans when I asked about the banner in the window in one of the movie scenes. She knew because she grew up with alotta parents in her neighborhood were Veterans and all of those parents lived through WWII. This is just like the TSA morons who told Joe Foss he couldn’t bring his MEDAL OF HONOR on a plane and that it would be confiscated and destroyed, because they had never heard of the Medal Of Honor and thought it was a valueless trinket. During my second Iraq deployment, my Battalion lost (including attachments) 21 men, 17 in a 19 day span in Fallujah alone (Operation Phantom Fury Nov.-Dec. 2004). 21 Men! One of whom was a very close friend of mine, more than a Brother. Those of us who have come home, we’ve lost more, some to later deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, some while as Private Military Contractors in Iraq/Afghanistan, some to accidents back home. Some were killed in Iraq but had to come back home to die. One became an achoholic and drank himself to death one night. Another became an alchoholic and drove drunk and was killed. Another ate a gun.
    All these people who make jackasses of themselves with their ignorant comments need to be severely beaten and should be ordered to stay away from and not contact anyone who is in the military, Veterans, or families, especially Gold Star Families.
    I met a woman at work one time whose son was a Navy Corpsman in 2/8. He was just about to get out of the Navy at that time and she was very proud of him. She told me some woman said to her once “Why did you ever let your Son join the military?!” She said she wanted to slap that woman, she didn’t though.
    Some people are just too stupid to actually understand things such as the Gold Star. They have no hope of being valued, productive members of society.

    JUNE 2004-JANUARY 2005

    Corporal Todd J. Godwin 3/4/83-7/20/04
    Sergeant Ricky M. Lord 8/20/79-8/18/04
    Corporal Michael J. Halal 5/19/82-9/13/04
    Lance Corporal Cesar F. Machado-Olmos 9/20/83-9/13/04
    Sergeant David M. Caruso 10/25/79-11/9/04
    Sergeant Lonny D. Wells 1/10/75-11/9/04
    1st Lieutenant Dan T. Malcom, Jr. 4/5/79-11/10/04
    Sergeant R.J. Jimenez II 6/28/83-11/10/04
    Corporal Nathan R. Anderson 5/22/82-11/12/04
    Corporal Nicholas L. Ziolkowski 4/21/82-11/14/04
    Lance Corporal Travis R. Desiato 3/14/85-11/15/04
    Lance Corporal Billy L. Miller 11/24/81-11/15/04
    Lance Corporal Bradley L. Parker 7/22/85-11/15/04
    Lance Corporal Demarkus D. Brown 4/8/82-11/19/04
    Lance Corporal Dimitrios Gavriel 7/31/75-11/19/04
    Corporal Gentian Marku 9/17/82-11/25/04
    Lance Corporal Jeffery S. Holmes 7/28/84-11/25/04
    Lance Corporal David B. Houck 10/10/79-11/26/04
    Lance Corporal Bradley M. Faircloth 2/19/84-11/26/04
    Corporal Kirk J. Bosselmann 3/25/83-11/27/04
    Lance Corporal Joshua E. Lucero 5/30/85-11/27/04

    “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
    Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
    -General George S. Patton Jr.

  12. Jennifer Stassin-Link January 27, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    I have long know for many reasons what the blue and gold stars meant…. I did not however know that there was one showing that a family member was wounded… thank you for this lesson… I will pass this on… V.B.M.of M. Jennifer Stassin-Link

  13. Jason Arellano January 27, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    My deepest condolences to the Phillips family.
    I had the honor of serving alongside the bravest warriors to walk the face of the earth in defense of this great nation. It is very unfortunate that their are Americans who do not know the meaning of this service flag and what it stands for. I am so sorry that you and other Gold Star Families have to deal with the uneducated. I salute you for your efforts in educating the American public. I am also a advocate of Supporting our Men and Women in Uniform as well as their families. I have looked into lifeless eyes of warriors on the battlefield. I have lost brothers-in-arms who have Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice for you and I. I honor these fine Men and Women everyday through a daily “Anniversary of our Fallen” note. We always talk about how those who have gone before us will never be forgotten. This is my way of honoring our Fallen and keeping their memories alive. Today, there is a Daughter, a Son, a Wife, a Husband, a Mother, a Father, a Grandma, a Grandpa, an Aunt, an Uncle, a Friend, and a Loved One who are mourning on the Anniversary of their Fallen Hero. Please take a moment and say a prayer for these specific Families and Loved Ones, as I am sure that today is a hard reminder of their great loss. I really encourage everyone to “Share” the daily “Anniversary of our Fallen” note with your friends. Let’s get as many people as we can to lift these individual families, friends, and loved ones with our prayers, support, and appreciation on the Anniversary of our Fallen! Pray for comfort and healing. For the Brave Men and Women who have answered the call, for the Brave Men and Women who have Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice… You will Never Be Forgotten! Not on my watch! Thank you for supporting Resolution Gear! More importantly, thank you for supporting the Men and Women in Uniform who protect us! God Bless! I will do more to educate the public!!!

    Semper Fidelis,

    To read “A Time Of Healing” by Sergeant Jason Arellano, please follow this link… This Speech was given to Gold Star Families and other distinguished guests at a Remembering the Brave Ceremony on September 11, 2010.

  14. Christina Kazakavage January 27, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    It’s been 1 year today since we buried our son. He was KIA 1-19-10 in Afghanistan and we became a Gold Star Family. I have faced the many civilian people who are unaware of the pin that I wear, they ask and I explain, but what surprises me most is the service men and women who have no clue as to the pin I wear. We need to educate them as well. We wear the pin of their fallen comrade. There are some but very few who recognize this pin I wear. It only adds to the pain because when I look at them I think “You’re mother and father may be given this pin someday” Pray God that they never will. Proud of all those who serve this Country.

  15. Teresa Breen January 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    God Bless you and your family and I am so very sorry for your lose. On March 15, 2009 we lost our son Lncpl. John Breen so we are coming up on our 2nd year as a Gold Star Family and as you, this is one Gold Star we never wanted to receive and would give anything to give it back… God Bless…

  16. Ellen January 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your service to our country and raising a hero. May your son always be remembered. My son is currently serving in Iraq and it is amazing how ignorant many people are. I hung a yellow ribbon and someone asked if I got a present, my sister wears a Blue Star pin for my son and some one asked if she was a member of the Tea Party. Thank you for your effort to educate those who haven’t a clue what our men & women in the military and their families endure everyday. God Bless.

  17. Lorraine Melgosa January 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I am so sorry for the ignorant and ungrateful Americans you have encountered. Please trust me when I say there are many others who know and appreciate your sacrifice.

    I know you didn’t want it, but wear your Gold Star with pride for you raised a True American Hero.

  18. Weekend Cowgirl January 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    It must be so terribly hard… Thanks for sharing.

  19. Jerri Dean January 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    I am also a Marine Gold Star Mom and I thank you for your son’s service. No, none of us ever wanted to be Gold Stars but here we are. It is such a shame that the American public is so ignorant of what is going on and are not taught the meaning behind our flag, our country and those who have fought to keep our freedoms we all hold dear. The media is partly to blame for this as they only report on the “spoiled, whining, and fake” people of Hollywood and sports teams, who ALL make way too much money. I commend all Mothers for raising fine, strong and special young men/women who are willing to defend us and the idiots. Again, thank you.
    Jerri Dean, proud Mother of LCpl Justin Linscott, USMC 2/5 (July 11, 2009) and proud Blue Star Mom to Sgt Melissa Aubree US Army!

  20. Tim Gallagher January 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    First let me say thank you to you, and secondly let me express my condolences. As a soldier in the army and having lost friends in battle I am glad that you are trying to educate peole about the meaning of this.

    SFC Gallagher
    US Army
    Desert Sheil/Storm
    OIF 05-06
    OIF 07-08

  21. Kelly January 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    My deepest condolences for your loss… I am in my forties now, but in my early 20’s my husband died in a flight training mishap. So at a very young age I was a Gold Star Wife. Along the way I have known others who have lost their children-and are now Gold Star Mothers-my heart goes out to them all.

  22. Jeannette Knapp January 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    My condolences to you and yor family. I too, did not know what the gold/silver star meant- even as a hung a blue star in my window. I learned the hard way when my son, SPC David “Alex” Knapp was hit by an IED on March 14, 2008 – two days after his 22nd birthday. He survived the attack, losing both of his legs above the knee, rehabbed at Walter Reed (where I was lucky enough to be with him) – came home ans was the recipient of a Homes for our Troops accessible home. He even tried out and made the Jr. National Sled Hockey Team. Then on October 02, 2010 he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 24, a blood clot due to his amputation/injuries. I understand your heartbreak, and my prayers are with you.

  23. Lynda January 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    God Bless you & as the mom of a Marine getting ready to deploy every Gold Star I see brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing your story…

  24. Carey Neesley January 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    I am a Gold Star Sister. My brother, Army Sgt Peter Neesley died 12/25/07 in Baghdad, Iraq. I display the Gold Star flag in my front window and I had it tattoed on my chest with my brothers intials. I get asked all the time what it means. It is so sad.

    Carey Neesley, Gold Star Sister

  25. Brenda Filkel January 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Praying for your family and his friends. I am the prooud Mother of a Marine who is presently in Afgan. I want to say Thank Yoou for raising such a warrior and for educating American on the Gold Star. I want to say I too was one who did not know what the gold and blue stars were uuntil my son was getting ready to deploy and I saw one and asked him what it meant..

  26. Brandy Carver January 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I am sorry for your lose. i have lost my husband in september 2010 and i know how it feels when people ask why you got one and how they can get one. thank you so much for posting this so that people can see what it means

  27. Anne Smith January 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    As a Blue Star Mom, my deepest condolences to you as a Gold Star Mom. God bless you in your loss.

  28. heidi January 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Knottie, as I had told you in the past the stories of my grandmothers home getting egged because of her gold star when my father was killed in Vietnam. Seems people knew what it meant, but didn’t get the “meaning” . It was hard for my mother and grandmother. I know today they would embrace you and feel a sisterhood to you that few know and don’t wish on any other mother in the world. I know what that star means … I know what you have come to mean to me and what I know your son did for me, for mine. It will never go unnoticed by me that your son didn’t lay his life down (our troops fight, they don’t lie down) but he died for me, for this country, for that is a debt I can never repay.

  29. Rosalee Chilcoat January 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    I did not know your son, your HERO however I will NEVER forget the sacrifice that he made for MY freedom! I think it is our job to help educate the American people about the Service Flag, Blue Star’s, Silver Star’s AND our Gold Star families. Everytime I come across someone who doesn’t know, I make it my job to educate them.

    God bless you!!

  30. Eden January 28, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    I am a family member of a gold star holder and it is very brother in law was killed in iraq on june 19 2006 .and it was the worst phone call ever to be received. He was Tsgt. Edward L.Cunahan he served in the Air Force for 22 yrs.and retired but loved his job so much he went back as a civilian contractor and was killed by an exploding ammo bunker.I asked him one day why he had such a passion for his job he said if I can save one child from losing a body part or their life I have done my job and its all worth my heart goes out to all of you.I am also a blue star member my husband is in the Air Force and has been deployed and I prayed everynight that he and everyone would come home safe. Because no one should ever get that call.when he told me he was going over there my heart sank but I knew it was what he was ment to do.Again I want to say thank you to the men and women serving to the vets familys and the fallen god bless you all and thank you I salute you and will help the best I can to make people aware.

  31. M. Cheshire January 28, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Bless your family, and my sincere appreciation from the very core of my being to all those who have fallen so we continue to live this wonderful life in freedom. While I know there are so many who seem not to ever think beyond themselves anymore, you must know there are those of us who, while we cannot fathom the depth of the pain or loss by those who have lost patriots in their family…. we keep them and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our hearts and minds everyday.

  32. M January 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was googling around to figure out what it meant so that I wouldn’t make a snafu and say something wrong. I figured it was important and it was.

  33. mark March 1, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    I am praying for your family , we are so proud of your son and his service for this country., we are a recent gold star family , and am torn between pride and pain. we lost our son feb. 18 2013, I am kinda lost right now, but please accept my sincere condolences .

  34. paul April 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    i lost my son on my birthday may 6 2008 his birthday was april 28 he just turned 19 i still find it impossible to figure out what it is this country is doing they spend all this money to go to different countries and fix there problems at the cost of our familys instead of focusing on the problems we have right here i cant beleave that we as a people are allowing this to happen think people we can make a differance i know they are defending our country but why put your nose where it doesnt belong im sorry for all the fallen soldiers that this country has produced my heart goes out to all of you and i hope that some day this country will wise up and stop putting our fellow country people in harms way. thanks for hearing me out it helps a lot to let go now and then.


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