STAND TO!

Edition: Fri, September 26, 2008
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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Gold Star Mothers inspire our Nation with their deep devotion to family and country. These extraordinary women serve their communities, dedicate their time to helping members of our Armed Forces and veterans, and bring comfort and hope to families whose loved ones laid down their lives in the defense of our liberty. Nothing can compensate for their sacrifice and loss, yet Gold Star Mothers demonstrate tremendous courage and resolve while working to preserve the memory and legacy of all our fallen heroes."

- President George W. Bush

Gold Star Mother's Day, 2008

TODAY'S FOCUS

Gold Star Mother's Day

What is it?

President Bush this week proclaimed Sept. 28, 2008, Gold Star Mother's Day, and Army leaders are reminding the Army Family of these inspirational mothers, their patriotic service and their sacrifices both for the recognition day, upcoming events in October and throughout the year.

"Throughout our history, the men and women of the Armed Forces have put our Nation's security before their own, doing their duty in the face of grave danger," President Bush said in the proclamation. "On Gold Star Mother's Day, we pay solemn tribute to the mothers of the patriots lost serving this great Nation."

The term "Gold Star Mother" derives from the gold stars displayed in windows in the aftermath of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson first used the term "Gold Star Mother" in reference to mothers who lost a son or daughter in uniform.

In a letter to the Army Family, Secretary Pete Geren and Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., joined the president in saluting Gold Star Mothers.
"Gold Star Mothers are extraordinary women who - in the face of utmost loss - remain steadfast in their dedication to the memory of their children and their service to America's noble cause. Having so sacrificed, their example is an inspiration to all," Geren and Casey said in a message to the Army.

What has the Army done?

The Army has given priority of services to members of our survivor Families equal to that of the Wounded Warrior. We have solicited their feedback from all around the nation to improve training, support and delivery of services. During the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, we will host a select group of surviving Family members along with Veterans' Service Organizations and non-profit agencies to help us develop ways to improve peer-to-peer support and engage non-profit organizations to strengthen our outreach efforts.

Why is this important to the Army?

By promoting both national pride and international goodwill, Gold Star Mothers serve as models of grace and strength. Nothing can compensate for their sacrifice and loss, yet Gold Star Mothers demonstrate tremendous courage and resolve while working to preserve the memory and legacy of all our fallen heroes. The Army, along with our nation, honors Gold Star Mothers' patriotism and dedication, and renews our commitment to uphold the sacred legacy of their fallen children. They represent Army Faces of Strength and are a key reason that we are "America's Army: The Strength of the Nation."

What does the Army have planned?

The Army will launch a comprehensive program in October to fulfill our moral obligation to surviving Family members. We have committed to better resourcing our Casualty Assistance Centers and to ensure those who work with survivors are well trained and more knowledgeable about the myriad benefits available to our survivors. A complement of benefits specialists, financial counselors who are skilled in estate planning, and support coordinators will serve our Family members for as long as they desire.

Resources:

A proclamation by the President of the United States: Gold Star Mother's Day, 2008

Web page: Gold Star Mother's Day


INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"

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