FORT IRWIN, Calif. — The National Training Center and Fort Irwin celebrated Gold Star Spouses at the Mojave Arts and Crafts Center on April 5.
Lauri Picard, the coordinator of the event, said the goal is to honor a group of people who have lost a spouse in the military, known as Gold Star recipients.
This is a yearly event dating back to World War I, originating as a holiday on June 23, 1936. The Arts and Gift Center provided the material and instructions for Gold Star Spouses to design an American flag, using various plastic beads placed on paper.
The crafts gave individuals like Kim Lovett, a Gold Star spouse of Sgt. Shawn Lovett, a reason to come out and meet others who have also lost a loved one in the military.
Organizers also served a lunch of hamburgers, beans, rice, and salad.
Some guests came in support of the Gold Star Spouses.
Julie Dunlap is a Blue Star mom who has a son in the military. Lovett’s friend lost a loved one and prior service member named Shawn in a vehicle accident. She brought a large bouquet of roses for Gold Star Sisters to enjoy.
Months prior, Dunlap said, “I longed to be here with Kim anticipating this moment. I could hardly wait to be with all these people.”
The Garrison Command team, including Col. Jeanette Martin and Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Fedorisin were also in attendance.
Picard said, “Today we celebrate the spouses, then on Sept. 26, 2021 we will celebrate Gold Star Mothers, and throughout the last week of September 19-26, we commemorate Gold Star Families.”
Picard has all of these events planned out and welcomes anyone to attend who has lost a loved one, along with those who would like to be there to support them.