Gold Star Families participate in OSUT training
Nine-year-old Dak DiCenzo, son of the late Capt. Doug DiCenzo, climbs down a mini tower, July 18, 2014, during Gold Star Family Day at Sand Hill, on Fort Benning, Ga.

FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 23, 2014) -- Gold Star Family members traveled to Sand Hill here, Friday, for a glimpse into the day of a one station unit trainee, courtesy of the 198th Infantry Brigade.

Several family members spent the day with Soldiers, participating in Slide for Life and rappel training on Eagle Tower, maneuvering through an obstacle course, learning engagement skills training with weapons and eating lunch at the 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, dining facility.

As part of the Army's initiative to show appreciation to Gold Star Families, Col. Richard Timmons, brigade commander, said he hopes the event is one of many ways the brigade can maintain relationships with family members and remember their fallen Soldiers.

"I think it's important for us to remember the sacrifices that these families have made, and this is a way to maintain that relationship and commitment and bond with them," Timmons said. "It's important for Soldiers to understand what kind of people their loved ones were, the things they did and units they were a part of."

Nicole DiCenzo, widow of Capt. Douglas DiCenzo, said she and her 9-year-old son Dak, were excited to rappel down the wall at Eagle Tower, which is something that her husband would have enjoyed.

"When you lose someone in the Army, there's a hole in your heart because you can't give (your child) things like going down a rappel tower," she said. "This gives him and myself a piece of my husband that we didn't have before."

Capt. Alton Chamberlain, officer in charge for the event, said it's important to let Gold Star Families know that they will always be an important part of the Army community.

"It's a necessity, because the Army is a big family and this is one part of that family," he said. "These families have been through a lot, and it is of critical importance that we take care of them. Their sacrifices haven't gone unnoticed."

Page last updated Tue July 22nd, 2014 at 00:00