The term Gold Star family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. These flags/banners were first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which the armed forces of the United States were engaged. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom.

The United States began observing Gold Star Mothers Day on the last Sunday of September, in 1936. The Gold Star Wives was formed before the end of World War II. The Gold Star Lapel Button was established in August 1947.

Today, the nation recognizes the sacrifice that all Gold Star Family members make when a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other loved one dies in service to the nation. The strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen.

News

Fort Rucker hosts Gold Star Mothers Day service

Fort Rucker hosts Gold Star Mothers Day service

Sunday, the nation will honor the strength and sacrifice of mothers of service members who have died defending the nation's freedom, as it has since 1936. MORE about Fort Rucker hosts Gold Star Mothers Day service

Gold Star Mothers Day 2014 tri-signed letter

Gold Star Mothers Day 2014 tri-signed letter

The Army joins the nation on Sept. 28, in remembering the strength and sacrifice of its Gold Star Mothers. MORE about Gold Star Mothers Day 2014 tri-signed letter

Gold Star Families Honored at Presidio of Monterey 4 Sept. Reception

Gold Star Families Honored at Presidio 4 Sept...

The Presidio of Monterey is active year-round providing support and inclusion to Gold Star families at events and observances large and small, and the recent Presidio Resiliency Festival at Price... MORE about Gold Star Families Honored at Presidio 4 Sept. Reception

3rd BCT leaves no Soldier or Gold Star Family...

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Men and women from all over the country, and all over the world, serve in the ranks of the Spartan Brigade. These Soldiers volunteered to fight the nation's war on terrorism and... MORE about 3rd BCT leaves no Soldier or Gold Star Family behind

Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene

Army general killed in Afghanistan

An American general was killed Aug. 5, 2014, in Kabul, Afghanistan, by an individual wearing a uniform of the Afghan National Security Forces. MORE about Army general killed in Afghanistan

Gold Star Families participate in OSUT training

Gold Star Families participate in OSUT training

Gold Star Family members traveled to Sand Hill on Fort Benning, Georgia, July 18, 2014, for a glimpse into the day of a one station unit trainee, courtesy of the 198th Infantry Brigade. MORE about Gold Star Families participate in OSUT training

Letting go

Weekend-long TAPS Good Grief Camp Out reaches...

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Good Grief Camp Out welcomed 30 children ages 6-17 to the Parrie Haynes Ranch, in Killeen, Texas, June 12-14, 2014. MORE about Weekend-long TAPS Good Grief Camp Out reaches out to Gold Star Families

Fly away

Butterflies bring tears, smiles to Gold Star...

FORT LEE, Va. (June 4, 2014) -- About 50 Gold Star Family members and their relatives joined installation leaders and other community representatives for a May 29 Butterfly release ceremony at the... MORE about Butterflies bring tears, smiles to Gold Star Family members

GSP Awareness

Army unveils 2nd "Gold Star" PSA...

The Army announced plans today to release the second of three public service announcements developed to increase awareness of DoD-issued gold star and next-of-kin lapel pins. MORE about Army unveils 2nd "Gold Star" PSA during Memorial Day weekend

Gold Stars: Its important that we recognize and honor survivors

Gold Stars: 'It's important that we recognize...

WIESBADEN, Germany - For one survivor, it had been less than five months since the death of his son. For a wife and daughter, only six months have passed. A sister was present whose brother died... MORE about Gold Stars: 'It's important that we recognize and honor survivors'

Gold Star Luncheon

SOS honors Gold Star Wives Day during luncheon

Fort Belvoir Army Community Service Survivor Outreach Services program members recognized "Gold Star Wives Day" during a luncheon at the Fort Belvoir Officers' Club, April 24. April 5 was... MORE about SOS honors Gold Star Wives Day during luncheon

3rd ID recognizes Gold Star family members

3rd ID recognizes Gold Star family members

Gold Star family members were recognized in a luncheon and ceremony, facilitated by the Survivor Outreach Services, at Club Stewart, Fort Stewart, Ga., April 11, 2014. MORE about 3rd ID recognizes Gold Star family members

Fort Rucker agency, event support Gold Star Families

Fort Rucker agency, event support Gold Star...

It can be a hard thing watching a loved one join the military during wartime and departing to serve the country in a faraway land. MORE about Fort Rucker agency, event support Gold Star Families

Gold Star Child

Fort Sill honors Gold Star families

Fort Sill's Gold Star Family Day March 22, drew about 260 family members from as far away as North Dakota and the East Coast for activities to honor them and their fallen Soldiers. MORE about Fort Sill honors Gold Star families

The Gold Star Survivor pins

Army seeks greater awareness for "Gold...

"It's heartbreaking to think of someone asking 'what a beautiful pin, where can I get one?'" said Gold Star Wife Donna Engeman. "We need to ensure the nation--the world--recognizes... MORE about Army seeks greater awareness for "Gold Star" wives

Casualty notifications

Casualty notification process emphasizes...

Casualty notifications have changed in a number of significant ways over recent years, and two chaplains who have been involved in the process explain the demanding duty. MORE about Casualty notification process emphasizes dignity, respect