Governor proclaims May to be Gold Star Appreciation Month

| May 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
Hawaii Gov. David Ige stands with Army Gold Star families in his office May 17 after a ceremony during which he proclaimed May to be Gold Star Appreciation Month. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. David Ige)

Hawaii Gov. David Ige stands with Army Gold Star families in his office May 17 after a ceremony during which he proclaimed May to be Gold Star Appreciation Month. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. David Ige)

Story and photos by
Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige proclaimed May to be Gold Star Appreciation Month at a ceremony at the state Capitol, Wednesday, May 17th.

Gold Star families are the survivors of active duty service members who were killed in action or died in the line of duty while serving the country. They trace their roots back to to World War I, when American families began displaying flags with a gold star for each loved one lost in military service.

“It is really an honor and a privilege for me, on behalf of Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, to declare the month of May as Gold Star Awareness Month,” Ige said during the ceremony, which took place May 17. “With today’s all-volunteer service, these individuals choose to put on the uniform to assure each and every citizen is protected and gets all of the rights and privileges in the constitution. When one of ours in uniform dies in the line of duty and service, it truly is the ultimate sacrifice.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige recognized Gold Star families at his office May 17 during a ceremony to proclaim May as Gold Star Appreciation Month. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. David Ige)

Hawaii Gov. David Ige recognized Gold Star families at his office May 17 during a ceremony to proclaim May as Gold Star Appreciation Month. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. David Ige)

The Gold Star families who attended the ceremony and were recognized by the governor said the proclamation is one more way to ensure that their loved ones will never be forgotten.

“For us, any recognition is important because people tend to forget,” said David Brostrom, who’s son, Army 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, was killed in action in Afghanistan on July 13, 2008. “And many people don’t know what a Gold Star family is, so it’s about making sure that the American public understands and remembers.

“Really, I just want people to remember his name and what he did. He sacrificed his life for his country and his fellow Soldiers, and every weekend when I visit his grave – he’s buried next to his grandfather, a WWII veteran – I’m reminded there’s a whole generation missing between them. It makes me sad, but also very proud,” Brostrom said.

Nani Vickers was there with her 5-year-old daughter Kalenani to remember her husband, Navy Chief Kraig Vickers. He was killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011, along with 30 others when the Chinook they were in was shot down. Nani was pregnant with Kalenani when her husband was killed, and he never got to meet his daughter.

“I make it a point to bring her to ceremonies like this, so she can get to know her father, what he did, and understand that he was a hero,” Nani said.

Gold Star children Kalenani Vickers, 5, and Chelsea Briggs, 19, listen to Hawaii Gov. David Ige speak May 17 at a ceremony proclaiming May to be Gold Star Appreciation Month. Vickers is the daughter of late Navy Senior Chief Kraig Vickers and Briggs is the daughter of late Air Force Staff Sgt. Ray Briggs. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. David Ige)

Gold Star children Kalenani Vickers, 5, and Chelsea Briggs, 19, listen to Hawaii Gov. David Ige speak May 17 at a ceremony proclaiming May to be Gold Star Appreciation Month. Vickers is the daughter of late Navy Senior Chief Kraig Vickers and Briggs is the daughter of late Air Force Staff Sgt. Ray Briggs. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. David Ige)

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation assists Gold Star families of all military branches through its Survivor Outreach Services program, which holds support groups on the first Friday and fourth Thursday of every month.

It also set up the Honor and Remembrance display currently on display at the Schofield Barracks Exchange and partners with other community organizations to increase public awareness.

 

Point of Contact

Gold Star families looking for support are encouraged to contact the program at (808) 655-8432.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Leadership, News, Observances

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *