By Installation Management Command EuropeMay 1, 2013
SEMBACH, Germany -- U.S. Army garrisons across Europe have reserved 40 designated parking spaces for use by Gold Star Families at on-post public facilities.
"Gold Star Family members, are widows, widowers, parents, and siblings of service members who lost their lives while serving on active duty," said Pam Koch, Installation Management Command Europe community life specialist.
IMCOM Europe's Survivor Outreach Services offices support 130 Gold Star Family members in Europe.
"The intent of the designated parking is to honor and recognize the sacrifice of family members who have lost a loved one in military service," said Koch. "The reserved parking also serves as a means to promote awareness and educate the military community on Families of the Fallen."
Survivor Outreach Services is the official Army program that provides long-term support to surviving Families of Fallen Soldiers, said Koch. Each Army community has a program manager to provide support through the grief process, coordinate support groups, provide information and referral services, and provide other services as required.
Survivors not only stay connected to the Army through the SOS program, they may also influence programs and benefits by participating in Army Family Action Plan events, she said.
In a letter to Gold Star Families in 2011, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno wrote, "No one knows the acute cost of war better than our Gold Star Families and as we close this chapter of our history, our Gold Star Families will always be honored and remembered by a grateful Nation.
"I know that words will never fully express the sense of loss that you feel, but I assure you that our Army and our Nation will never forget those that bravely gave their last full measure in defense of our freedom."
Survivors can contact their local Army Community Service to receive their parking permit.
For more information about Survivor Outreach Services go to www.sos.army.mil.
The reserved parking spaces can be found at the following locations.
Benelux -- Schinnen Commissary
Garmisch, Artillery Kaserne Shopping Center
Garmisch, Artillery Kaserne ACS
Grafenwoehr Medical/Dental Clinic
Vilseck Medical/Dental Clinic
Kaiserslautern Pulaski ACS
Kaiserslautern Kleber In/Out Processing
Kaiserslautern Sembach Commissary
Kaiserslautern Lansdstuhl Medical Center
Stuttgart Patch Health Clinic
Stuttgart Patch Commissary
Stuttgart Panzer Bowling Center
Vicenza Darby PX
Vicenza Darby Commissary