Military Connection: Gold Star Fathers Act: By Debbie Gregory

gold starOn September 10, 2014, the U.S. Senate passed legislation which gives the fathers of service members who were killed in action or permanently and totally disabled the same hiring preferences for federal employment that has already been granted to mothers of the fallen and widowed spouses who remain unmarried.

Mothers of service members killed in action have historically been called “Gold Star Mothers.” During World War I, women began wearing blue stars around their left arm to display their pride for their deployed family member. Most women wore their blue stars for husbands and sons. Over the course of the war, the women petitioned to be able to sew a gold star over their blue star after their loved one was killed in action.

A non-profit organization was eventually founded by these women. “Gold Star Mothers” have rightfully earned the sympathy, respect and consideration of the nation. There’s a Gold Star Mother’s Day, celebrated on September 28th.

The Gold Star Fathers Act of 2014 was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is a senior member of the Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs.Sen. Brown got the idea for the legislation after meeting Scott N. Warner, whose son Heath, a U.S. Marine, was killed in Iraq. Warner wrote “Gold Star Father” as a way to deal with the struggle of coming to terms with his loss, and how he and his family coped with and overcame this tragedy.

The legislation is heading to the House, where a similar proposal was introduced last year, and has since won the support of the American Gold Star Mothers Inc.

The total number of American deaths from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is close to 7,000. The significance of this gesture should show resounding support for both gold star parents.

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Military Connection: Gold Star Fathers Act: By Debbie Gregory