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

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

PSAs raise awareness of Gold Star and Next-of-Kin lapel pins

PSAs raise awareness of Gold Star and...

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - This year, the U.S. Army's Installation Management Command, or IMCOM, launched an awareness campaign aimed to educate Americans about Gold Star and Next-of-Kin lapel... MORE about PSAs raise awareness of Gold Star and Next-of-Kin lapel pins

Arlington National Cemetery

Headstone placement time at ANC greatly...

Over the past two years, the time it takes to place a headstone at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., has been reduced from as many as 180 days to an average of just 45 days, said the executive... MORE about Headstone placement time at ANC greatly improved in past two years

Sunday to honor Gold Star Mothers

Sunday to honor Gold Star Mothers

This Sunday, the Army and the nation will, for the 77th time, turn their attention to mothers who have lost sons or daughters while fighting America's wars. MORE about Sunday to honor Gold Star Mothers

Gold Star moms to be honored

Gold Star moms to be honored

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Army officials invite the community to take part in honoring the mothers of fallen service members at a ceremony in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific... MORE about Gold Star moms to be honored

Commander honors local woman for service to...

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- A northern New York woman who has volunteered her time and talents to provide a special gift for Family Members of fallen Soldiers received recognition Thursday for her efforts. MORE about Commander honors local woman for service to Soldiers' Families

SOS

Survivor Outreach Services adds fallen troops...

Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, spoke to the Families and friends of eight fallen service members Friday at the Survivor Outreach Services... MORE about Survivor Outreach Services adds fallen troops to Hall of Heroes

Five named Service Members of Year for 2013

5 named 'Service Members of Year' for 2013

Five service members, one from each branch of service were honored July 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill, as "Service Members of the Year," by newspaper publisher Military Times. MORE about 5 named 'Service Members of Year' for 2013

Gold Star families

Fort Sill Gold Star families raise awareness

FORT SILL, Okla. -- Perhaps one of the greatest fears of any military family is finding out that a loved one has died while serving. Although this fear became a reality for her when her husband... MORE about Fort Sill Gold Star families raise awareness

Paul Monti, Lee Brice and songwriters of I Drive Your Truck

Father of fallen Fort Drum hero inspires...

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- When Lee Brice's country hit "I Drive Your Truck" comes over the radio this summer, 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers can take pride in knowing the song honors the... MORE about Father of fallen Fort Drum hero inspires country song 'I Drive Your Truck'

Reconnecting

Gold Star mother celebrates son's life

Carrie Farley visits Grafenwoehr to connect with her son's unit, friends MORE about Gold Star mother celebrates son's life

Torii Station hosts luau for spouses of deployed Service members

Torii Station hosts luau for spouses of...

A break in the start to Okinawa's rainy season allowed the Deployed Spouses Luau to go off without a hitch on Saturday at Torii Beach, giving military families the opportunity to socialize while... MORE about Torii Station hosts luau for spouses of deployed Service members

Fort Rucker runs to honor survivors, fallen heroes

Fort Rucker runs to honor survivors, fallen...

The Fort Rucker community pulled together April 20 during the installation's second Survivors and Fallen Heroes 5k run and remember. MORE about Fort Rucker runs to honor survivors, fallen heroes

Silver Star

Family accepts posthumous Silver Star

The family of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook was presented with his Silver Star for gallantry, and his second Combat Infantryman Badge, April 19, 2013, during an emotional ceremony at Derby... MORE about Family accepts posthumous Silver Star

Friends

Army honors Gold Star Wives

More than 20 survivors, who lost their spouses, gathered April 5, 2013, at the Survivor Outreach Services Hall of Remembrance at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to mark the second-annual Gold Star Wives... MORE about Army honors Gold Star Wives

Gold Star and Next of Kin pins

Day pays tribute to spouses, families of fallen

April 5, 2013, has been designated Gold Star Wives Day to allow America to pay respect to the spouses and families of fallen members of the U.S. armed forces. MORE about Day pays tribute to spouses, families of fallen

Survivor Outreach Services assists families

Survivor Outreach Services assists families

In one photograph, Brian Hornsby looks out from the cockpit of his Blackhawk helicopter - calm, competent and confident, the quintessential American soldier. MORE about Survivor Outreach Services assists families

Installations provide parking spaces, installation access cards to Families of the Fallen

Army to help improve installation access for...

The U.S. Army Installation Management Command recently implemented a program to ensure Family members of Fallen Soldiers have easier access to Army installations. On March 14, Army installations... MORE about Army to help improve installation access for Gold Star Family members

Mentors provide special attention to children of the fallen, Mardis Gras style

Mentors provide special attention to children...

Employees of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, mentored children of fallen service members, while having fun Mardi Gras style, at Redstone Arsenal... MORE about Mentors provide special attention to children of the fallen