Gold Star Dads and Blue Star Mothers, originations dedicated to helping those who lost a family member or have family members currently serving, held an event Aug. 11 in Riverside, Calif., in remembrance to those who have fallen or are currently serving. They were joined by Col. Kurt Pinkerton, Fort Irwin Garrison commander, and troopers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Survivor Outreach Services were on hand to answer any questions people might have.
“It was a very humbling experience,” said 1st Lt. Anthony Bradley, a trooper from 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “The amount of courage displayed and the way they support each other and us being in the active duty… I find myself looking on them as family, my own moms and dads.”
The gold and blue stars in the names the Gold Star Dads and Blue Star Mothers organizations refer to the practice of hanging colored stars in the windows of service members’ homes, which was common during World War II. A blue star denoted the home of deployed service member, and a gold star denoted a family who had lost their service member.
The Riverside event featured a barbecue, rock-paper-scissors tournament and a raffle as a way to raise funds and have fun. The raffle was a 50-50 split with half of the proceeds going to Gold Star Dads to cover the costs of the event and fund future events, and the other half going to the winner.
“I was awed by the amount of support and patriotism displayed after all the sacrifice these families had already suffered,” said Cpl. Ethan Holmes, a trooper with 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
The event was a great time for fellowship and connecting families who have lost a service member not only to each other, but also to reconnect with soldiers and their families who are currently serving.
At the end of the event Gold Star Dads and Blue Star Moms were both given a plaque bearing the Blackhorse Crest in recognition for their continued patriotism and support for the Armed Forces.