101st Airborne honors Gold Star Families
Rosanna Trimble (right) is all smiles as she and her family celebrate her "Leap of Faith" tandem jump with the 101st Parachute Demonstration Team this past week. The parachute jump is part of the Gold Star Families Survivor Outreach Services program and helps them pay tribute to their fallen Soldiers.

The Army is the strength of the nation. The Soldier is the strength of the Army. The Family is the strength of the Soldier. During Gold Star Family Appreciation Week, we honor the survivors and thank them for "their" service.

Why do we call them Gold Star? During the early days of World War I, a blue star was used to represent each person, man or woman in the military service of the United States, and small flags bearing these blue stars would be placed in windows of Family members who had someone serving overseas. As the war progressed and men were killed in combat, others wounded and died of their wounds or disease, there came about the accepted usage of the Gold Star.

This Gold Star was substituted and superimposed upon the blue Star in such a manner as to entirely cover it. The idea of the Gold Star was that the honor and glory accorded the person for his supreme sacrifice in offering for his country, the last full measure of devotion and pride of the Family in this sacrifice, rather than the sense of personal loss which would be represented by the mourning symbols.

Military Families are an integral part of why we are able to do what we do on a day to day basis. They are our biggest supporters; always there during deployment ceremonies to say farewell and again to welcome us home. This week, we want to recognize our Gold Star Families, who are the parents, spouses, siblings, and children of the brave service men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

This is a time to support the families of these special Soldiers and work to commemorate their sacrifice. The Army has made a commitment to take care of Surviving Families, to never forget their loss and to ensure that they are given the respect and the gratitude that they deserve.

This year, Fort Campbell would like to show its support to these Gold Star Families during 2012 Gold Star Family Appreciation Week. Gold Star Families will receive a tour of our installation, take part in a public and private opening of the Hall of Remembrance as well as participate in unit socials during the weeklong celebration. Of special importance is the opening of Fort Campbell's Hall of Remembrance. This Hall is meant as a place for our Gold Star Families to honor and remember their Fallen Hero, a place they can come to reflect and remember their loved one as well as a reminder to our community that freedom is not free.

As we remember the Soldiers who gave their lives for this country, we must also remember the Families that paid the price as well. These Families, as different as each one is, all share a common thing. Each of them knew and loved a Soldier who promised to protect and defend this country and has given their lives to do so. The Army will always be grateful for the service and the sacrifice that each Soldier gave and for that, their loved ones will never be forgotten and will always be a part of the Army Family.

Join me, Maria, and the division in honoring these incredible and inspiring Family members.

Page last updated Wed September 18th, 2013 at 11:00