Important Food for Thought
Greetings, thank you for your interest in Gold Star Dads of America. Below are just a few observations and some food for thought about being a Gold Star Dad.
About attending soldier funerals. – Attending the funeral of a soldier to show your support for his family can take its toll and open wounds that you thought were healed, it is not for the weak of heart or timid men. The first time will be very trying, In the last 9 years I have attended dozens and I still get emotional. That said, it is a blessing to the families and to you. When you talk to the other Gold Star Dads you will realize how much we all have in common and how our sons were cut from the same cloth. These are truly remarkable young men.
About a Fathers Loss – Losing your son at 5 years old to a childhood illness, or at 17 to a drug overdose is no more or less traumatic than having to answer “the knock” and hear that your son died in a training accident while stateside where you thought they were safe or on a battlefield on the other side of the world where you knew they were not. A Father burring his child is just not in the natural order.
Most of us had the opportunity to have “that conversation” and girded ourselves for the possibility of “the knock.”
Although no less painful, losing a son or daughter while serving in the military is different and it has a different effect on every man. Most, but not all of us had the opportunity to have “that conversation” and girded ourselves for the possibility of “the knock.” We held our breath and whispered a quick “please Lord bring him home safe” when we sent them off.
Some Dads are men of Faith and understand that they will see their sons again soon, it doesn’t lessen the hurt, but that understanding of Grace does set a different resolve for them.
Some men will hold it (the hurt) in and it will slowly eat at them, some will become very angry, others will withdraw. Some men will let it all out at the beginning and their sorrow will lessen as they have time to meet and talk with other Gold Star Dads.
This tragedy makes some marriages stronger, while some are totally destroyed by the experience. There is no “One size fits all” so listen and think before you speak, sometimes it is better to say nothing and just offer a hug and an open heart filled with understanding and prayer.
Why we set up Gold Star Dads of America this way. After the death of my son Rhys I spent a lot of time in prayer. Before I started this organization a lot of people, some I didn’t even know, helped me emotionally and spiritually get my bearings. The one thing I am dead sure of, this is the right way to set up a support organization for fathers. If we don’t Stand United and strengthen each other, how will we ever be able to stand alone. How would we ever be able to go forward in our lives the way our sons and daughters would want us to.
Our children made a conscious, educated decision to join and fight for our freedom and a higher ideal. We may not have agreed with that decision but we will continue to honor their decision. After all, they became the strong, considerate, caring men that we always hoped they would grow up to be. You did good my friends, you should all be very proud.
Getting involved with Gold Star Dads – If this sounds like something you might be interested in, contact me or if you know a Gold Star Dad that would benefit from association with this organization please pass our info on to him.
Respect & Honor
Founder Gold Star Dad of America