COL Mikel J. Burroughs, I read the article containing the excerpt. Profoundly sad. Whenever I hear the phrase Gold Star Mothers (Families), this Birmingham News photograph comes to mind, taken at the Birmingham (AL) Veterans Day Parade on 11NOV11. My friend's accompanying words were, "I was unable to hold back the tears at the Birmingham Veterans Day parade as I watched the Gold Star Mothers go by holding large pictures of their sons that gave their all." LTC Stephen F. CW3 Jim Norris SGT David T.
Having served as a survivor assistance officer, it is a gut wrenching thing to be part of. Much worse than being shot at yourself, for there is absolutely nothing you can do to help. Oh sure, she screams her agony and pounds on your chest calling you all sorts of names she would never say again in her life....then clings to you and sobs......I would rather go on 5 more tours than to have to do this one more time goes through your mind. The children eventually ask you why this happened to their daddy and why he can't get better and come home. Finally the woman's mother and father arrive and you become the specter in the room awaiting a time to help with the process of her becoming an 'official' widow' and death benefit recipient. In a few weeks you become pretty good friends and sometimes the phone calls continue for months......death is a respecter of no home or any relationship - it comes and rends hearts and minds forever.
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