What is a Gold Star Family?
"Gold Star Family" is a term used to describe a family who has lost a loved one while serving on active duty in military service during any American involved conflict.
The Marines' Memorial Club ( www. marineclub .com ) in San Francisco hosts an annual reception and dinner to honor our California fallen and to support Gold Star families left behind. During these two days families are comforted, and their children lost to us are honored. This event provides succor and solace to those who are suffering the most, our dear Gold Star families. The Gold Star Reception
and Memorial is similar to what The Wall is to the Vietnam Vets. There are four primary functions during the two days - the Marines Memorial Club dedicates a floor of their hotel for the families' individual
displays of their Fallen Hero - the memories that they have. There is a formal dinner with speakers from within the Fallen Hero's network, and a chance for the families to relax with each other. They have a
formal "counseling" session where the families break down into small groups and have a facilitator, a Gold Star Mom or Dad that's already been living with the loss, and finally, a Memorial Service where each
attendee's Hero is honored. An extremely moving and necessary two days in the families lives.
16-year-old Ricky Gilleland works up to three hours every night updating his Project Preserve and Honor website, which is a database of the U.S. Servicemembers killed in Operations Iraqi (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) who are now buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The database allows visitors to search for a gravesite by name, year and military branch. Gilleland would like his database to include grave listings for all those Servicemembers killed in OIF or OEF buried throughout the country. Those who know these particular Servicemembers can submit names and gravesite information to Gilleland through his website. For more information on this database, go to: http://preserveandhonor.com/ or visit the Military.com Support our Troops webpage at: http://www.military.com/benefits/resources/support-our-troops