Gold Star Wives Day

Monday, April 6, 2015

What is it?

The first Gold Star Wives Day was designated Dec. 18, 2010. Every year since 2012, the Senate has passed a resolution designating April 5 as Gold Star Wives Day. Named in honor of the “Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.,” an organization which has advanced the interests of surviving Family members since 1945, the day is an opportunity to honor all of the Family members of fallen Soldiers.

The Gold Star is a symbol of loss dating back to World War I. In 1947, Congress approved the design, manufacture and distribution of the official Gold Star Lapel Button, a symbol worn by Family of Service members who lost their lives in combat operations. In 1973, the Lapel Button for Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel was introduced to symbolize active-duty Soldiers who lost their lives in non-combat operations. Today, surviving Family members wear either a Gold Star Lapel Button or the Lapel Button for Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel in honor of their fallen Soldier. Family members typically receive these pins from the Army during their Soldier’s funeral service.

What is the Army doing?

This year’s theme is “Remember and Honor.” Army Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) is hosting events such as remembrance ceremonies, luncheons and Run for the fallen races. Events are open to all survivors.

The Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website will feature guest blog entries written by surviving spouses and children. These blogs give survivors an opportunity to share their stories and experiences.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army is committed to providing ongoing support to all surviving Family members. SOS offers supportive counseling, financial education, benefits coordination and support groups to Family members.

In addition, the Army has produced public service announcements (PSA) describing the symbols of honor worn by surviving Family members to expand awareness of the Gold Star Pin.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army remembers, recognizes and honors the ultimate sacrifices made by our fallen Soldiers and is dedicated to taking care of more than 60,000 surviving Family members. These individuals forever are part of the Army community.

Resources:

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.