Friday September 24, 2010
What is it?
Sept. 26, 2010 is Gold Star Mother's Day. Every year, the fourth Sunday of September, is for honoring mothers whose sons or daughters died in the line of duty. The name references the single gold star on service flags displayed in the windows of homes that have lost a child to war.
What is the Army doing?
As requested by the Gold Star Mothers, there are no Pentagon or Army-sponsored events this year. However, on Sunday, Sept. 26, Gold Star Mothers will hold wreath-laying ceremonies at the Vietnam War Memorial and at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. An open house will follow at the Washington, D.C. National Headquarters. Army installations and commands have been encouraged to honor Gold Star Mothers on a day and time appropriate.
Gold Star Mothers website explains the purpose and goals of Gold Star Mothers.
What's the way ahead?
Just as a Gold Star Mother's support continues beyond the life of her child, the Army's support of its mothers also endures. Survivor Outreach Services delivers a coordinated, comprehensive, and standardized program across the force that meets survivors' needs with dedicated resources and a commitment to first class service for as long as the family desires. A compliment of benefit coordinators, financial counselors, and support coordinators addresses survivors' immediate and long-term needs. Among the things the Army does is to provide long-term support throughout the grief process, coordinate support groups, provide information and referral services, and coordinates child care.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army cannot do what it does without the Army family's support. In many cases, family consent is what provides recruits and reenlistments. Army mothers have shown the same determination and resiliency as Army personnel in tolerating deployments and the tragedy that war brings to some families. The Army commemorates Gold Star Mother's Day because mothers across the nation have supported the Army; now, through this recognition and through survivor outreach programs, the Army supports them.
The Army thanks and honors the parents of Soldiers-especially Gold Star Mothers-for supporting their children's call to serve, and for their sacrifice. A grateful nation remembers.
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"PTS is real; it is an injury. It should be treated as an injury…We have put many of these Soldiers in this position. We owe it to them to make them well."
- Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, addressing the Fort Hood's Health Promotion Council Tuesday at III Corps, while reasserting that traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress are the "signature wounds of this war," also emphasized that he does not like the stigma often associated with calling it a disorder as post-traumatic stress is a chemical injury.
"It's a very important job. ... Every day that plane [is] in the air you're saving lives without the risk of a life."
- Pvt. Leonard Ridgeoy, Company A, speaking about the Army's addition of the new military occupational specialty of 'Unmanned Aircraft Systems maintainers.'
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