FORT HAMILTON, N.Y., Sept. 25, 2020 —Fort Hamilton’s Survivor Outreach Services Program hosted a Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day Commemoration Event for local Gold Star families at Fort Hamilton, N.Y., Sept. 25, 2020.Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed on the last Sunday of September, and it is an opportunity for the American public to recognize 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.U.S. Army Col. Craig Martin, Fort Hamilton Garrison commander provided opening remarks.“I’m honored to stand in front of you and represent Fort Hamilton, represent our Army and represent the community. Today my job is to make sure you know that it will be ok,” said Martin. “We are a family, we are team. You have given all and sacrificed so much for our nation and what we believe in, and we will be here to do the same for you.”Immediately following Col. Martin, Jacqueline Prince, Survivor Outreach Services program coordinator, reminded the attending families and the community that the SOS program can connect Gold Star families with support groups, spiritual resources, bereavement and financial counselors.“The program is designed to provide long term support to surviving families of fallen soldiers,” said Prince. “Our goal is to reassure survivors that they will remain valued members of the Army family.”Prince then introduced the guest speaker, Ms. Sharon Roderique, the surviving wife of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Simeon Roderique who passed away almost 10 years ago.“This year, Nov 2020, will be 10 years since my beloved husband and father to our daughter has taken his flight to the unknown,” said Roderique. “He served this country with pride, dignity, strength, determination, and joy.”For Roderique and her daughter, the Army Community Services and SOS programs became her family. She met other Gold Star families and gained long term friendships through the ACS program.“They showered us with sympathy, acceptance, love and compassion,” she said. “When no one else knew how we felt or what we were going through, ACS was my second home away from home. They understood my pain more than my own family did, and this is something I will always carry in my heart.”“No words could ever describe what it’s like to lose a loved one,” she continued. “One thing I know for sure, is that with the continuous love and support from the military and all of the foundations, our soldiers will never be forgotten. To Fort Hamilton Army and all of the other installations all over the world, I say thank you for your continuous love and support”The ceremony concluded with the playing of "Taps" by retired Specialist Jorge Lopez, National Guard 24th Civil Support Team, and the families were provided lunch by the Fort Hamilton Chapel.