Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

The Fallen have Families too….

Posted by fozzynok on 05/08/2012

Gold Star Mother MonumentGold Star Mothers….
Yeah, it’s a topic that people probably stay away from. Well people aren’t me and I’m not really what I call people. I was reading my social network’s daily updates and came across one that had pictures of the “Gold Star Mothers” memorial, it has got to be one of the most disturbing memorials that I have ever seen and after the loss of Micheal, one of the things that had become glaringly apparent was that since WW2 and maybe even before, society has decided to pretend that Mothers are the only ones on the planet that lose their loved ones in wars. 

The monument has a mother (obviously) sitting in a chair at what depicts to me the funeral of her child. She is all alone clutching onto the folded flag with a look on her face that tells the story of her loss. The monument really hurts me to look at it as it could BE modeled after my wife. The crushed look is something that I don’t really want to be memorialized. That moment of the folded flag is one that I see in nightmares.. not memorials.

I understand that this is not true nor do the mothers even have some sort of weird cabal that has made this the fact that it is. This is another one of those old society hold backs where men do not cry and children are to be seen and not heard. I covered my feelings on this a while back on another blog that I wrote. Mothers lose their babies. I understand that there is a special bond between mothers and their children. I get it! What I do not understand is why there is supposedly less a bond between fathers and their sons and the bonds of siblings?

We all got the news that day that Micheal was never coming home. We ALL received the news, we ALL lost Micheal and we all will never be able to change that fact. We all held Micheal in our hearts and lives in a different way. We all knew the same Micheal, but we all knew him differently. To say that any of us missed him more is just unfair and one of the most unjust parts of this whole thing. I hope that this doesn’t come off as me being a big jerk, but after the last few years, I’ve kind of stopped caring what some people think of me.

For the record, I do not believe that Gold Star Mother should be promoted as a single entity anymore.  It’s as old-fashioned and as wrong as thinking that only men are out there in the world fighting in our wars. The flag was folded and the General approached and handed the flag to my wife, spoke to her and them moved away,  I had to stand there and watch as people.. complete strangers waded in to pay their respects on one single person, an overwhelmed and mentally and emotionally drained woman… my wife.  I was trampled on their fervor to pay respects to my wife.

I had my family there together yet no one really seemed to notice, My next oldest son who had lost his brother and best friend, My daughter who lost more than that and the same, and a little brother who will never really understand. The day was one of the longest in my life and I will never refer to a gold star in any way differently due to their pecking order in their lost loved one’s life. I think it’s a shame that there are anything but gold star families..  My son and all of the fallen have Gold Star Families. 

For those who understand, Thank you.. for those who do not and want to get mad at me.. that’s fine too. 


6 Responses to “The Fallen have Families too….”

  1. Dana Chase said

    I understand and agree with your feelings completely. While I am a ‘Gold Star Mother’, my son also left behind his Father, Sister, Wife, 2 Sons, GrandMothers, GrandFathers, Son-In-Law, Brothers-In-Law, Sister-In-Law, Uncles, Aunts, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and a host of friends who also love him as family. The only way to change the designation, as I understand it, is through Congress. I would support this, I just don’t have the strength to lead the battle. Let me know if I can help someone do this. Dana Chase, Proud Gold Star Mother of SSG Lance M. Chase, US Army 4ID, KIA 23 Jan 06 Baghdad Iraq

    • fozzynok said

      I just wish it was something that the people who are living this would automatically acknowledge. I know, that’s asking a lot!

  2. Brett Patron said

    Did a search for the memorial pictured above and found this post. It inspired a post which i put on the blog to which i contribute.

    God Bless You, Sir and thanks for the perspective.

    As an aside, i served in 3-502d Infantry in 93-94.

  3. Theresa (Thomas) Zenz said

    Mr. Phillips, I never understood myself why it was named the “Gold Star Mom”. When you, Angelia, two sons and your daughter and other family members lost Michael. I was in the Army moms group when we received the notice that Michael was killed in Iraq. As Army moms our hearts all dropped. We all felt we had lost a son along with you. The bond as family as friends we come together to support each other. Michael will always hold a special place in our families hearts. As your “family” will also. Michael will never be forgotten. I work in a school and every once in while when we are talking about the Military, Pokey’s name and other do come up. Your family will be in my thoughts tomorrow and everyday.

  4. Linda Rose said

    What a great letter and perspective. I have wondered about this for a long time. I honor all the mom’s on this day always and every day. But I have posted many times to honor all the family. Mom, dad’s, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, grandparents and anyone else who has been touched by the loss. We all need to be there for them in whatever capacity they need. Do not forget them after their loved one has been laid to rest. They need you in the coming days, months and years. They will never ever get over it. They just learn to live with it. They have told me their biggest fear is that they and their loved one will be forgotten. Let them talk and tell you about him or her. Let them talk about the time when…… It is my honor and privilege to know many Gold Star families. I love them dearly yet wish we had never met because of what brought us together. But it did and I will never ever forget them or their loved one. It has become very personal. There is a wall that has the names of all the fallen in the Middle East Conflicts. Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial built with the blood, sweat and tears of many volunteers. God Bless each and every one of our families and yes we need to change things.

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