By Ms. Megan Garcia (Benning)April 10, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (April 10, 2018) -- Across the nation on Gold Star Spouses Day April 5, the sacrifices made by military spouses were remembered and celebrated.
In commemoration of this day and in recognition of its own community of this group of men and women, the Fort Benning Survivor Outreach Services held its annual Gold Star Spouses Brunch April 8 at the Benning Club at Fort Benning, Georgia.
"For many years, great men and women from all classes of society have given their lives in defense of a life that is worth serving for and fighting for and in some cases dying for," said Maj. Gen. Gary M. Brito, the commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning. "Your Soldiers are listed among them. They are a part of a long line of patriots -- otherwise ordinary Americans whose extraordinary sense of duty pushed them to serve a greater good. We should not honor them without honoring you."
Brito addressed the room of approximately 19 spouses who attended the event, some of whom were joined by their children. For one Gold Star spouse, the event hit very close to home.
Tanya Johnson-Robertson lost her husband, Sgt. Micheal Robertson Oct. 25, 2005, after he succumbed to injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Samarra, Iraq.
Michael was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. Brito was his commander during that time.
"For me, this is a full circle and very emotional moment," said Johnson-Robertson. "I knew he had taken command, but I never had the honor to meet him."
She added the brunch was one of her first to attend, and she was thankful to meet other Gold Star spouses.
"I think it's just a beautiful thing to know that you are not walking this path alone," she said. "Even though some of the experiences are different, you know that when someone says, 'Oh, I understand what you're going through,' or, 'I've been there,' they really mean that."
Alonzo Stewart, who helped organize the event, said the Fort Benning SOS will remain dedicated to spouses like Johnson-Robertson to ensure they know they are never alone.
"If there is a fallen Soldier in the command, we make sure across the board that we remain committed to that Family," Stewart said. "From the command team, all the way down to us, the Army is committed to Gold Star Spouses and their Families."
Megan Baumgartner, the Fort Benning SOS coordinator, echoed the same sentiments.
"It is truly a blessing to serve this community and to help spouses know they are remembered," Baumgartner said. "The sacrifice of their service member is not in vain, and as long as they want us, we will go above and beyond. We are here for them, any day, any time."
To see photos from the event or to learn more about Survivor Outreach Services at Fort Benning, visit the "Related Links" section on this page.