Gold Star Families

U.S. 202 Rededicated as the Gold Star Highway in Honor of Families of Soldiers who have made the Ultimate Sacrifice for Their Country

Images Courtesy of Delaware Gold Star Families
Article Courtesy of Delaware Department of Transportation

Wilmington- (New Castle County) – The DelawareDepartment of Transportation (DelDOT) announced today the rededication of U.S. 202 from the Delaware/ Pennsylvania line south to the I 95 interchange as the Gold Star Highway. Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan along with Governor John Carney made the announcement to an assembled audience within the sculpture garden of the Blue Ball Barn. Formalizing the event, the Governor proclaimed Monday, September 25, 2017 as “Delaware Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day”.

CNN has described the Gold Star designation as a venerated status that no one wants. For nearly 100 years, inclusion has been earned for losing an immediate family member serving during war/conflict. A Gold Star Lapel Button is issued to immediate family members of those who have lost their lives in the defense of democracy during WWI and II, and any subsequent armed hostilities in which the United States became engaged. It is also issued for Act of Terrorism deaths. Formal recognition of these families was launched in 1947 by an Act of Congress. The Next of Kin Lapel Button was authorized retroactive to March 29, 1973, for those who lost their lives while serving on active duty in other than a combat theatre or act of terrorism.

Reading from his proclamation, Governor Carney said, “Gold Star Families have suffered tremendous loss; it is the duty of our State and Nation to bring honor and remembrance to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who remain behind – continuing to live graciously in their absence.” The Governor continued, “the State of Delaware offers sincere gratitude to Gold Star Family members while honoring the tremendous sacrifices their loved ones made in order to protect and secure the freedoms and liberties that Delawareans enjoy each and every day. I call on all individuals throughout the State to join in commemorating those who lost their lives, while supporting their loved ones who continue to live in our midst.”

“The Gold Star Highway will serve as a daily reminder of the wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and other family members who lost a loved one in service to our nation,” Secretary Cohan said. “We know that naming a road cannot diminish the loss that Gold Star Families have endured, but we do hope that our actions here today will convey the profound respect we have for their sacrifice. As we hope we demonstrated on Sept. 15 when we dedicated the POW / MIA Parkway in Dover, the state of Delaware honors the service and the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.”

While several organizations representing Gold Star family members have been established in memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, respecting the privacy of families, there are no public records on how many Gold Star Families there are. However, over 6,000 United States service members have died in the conflicts within Iraq and Afghanistan alone.

First observed in 1936 as Gold Star Mothers’ Day, the last Sunday of September is now observed as Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day.

Those immediate family members eligible as a gold family member include: widow, widower, mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, mother through adoption, father through adoption, foster mother in loco parentis, foster father in loco parentis, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, son by adoption, daughter by adoption, brother, sister, half-brother, and half-sister.

Larence Kirby, Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs said, “My most poignant memory about identifying “fallen heroes” at the Port Mortuary (Dover) was ensuring their return home to awaiting families. These loved ones, Gold Star Families, deserved closure and to be reunited with heroes who laid down their lives, defending our freedoms.”

In 2006, American Gold Star Sibling, Judy C. Campbell, approached VVA Chapter 83 to express her appreciation for all the chapter does within the community. However, she also expressed her concern there was nothing being done to honor and recognize Gold Star Families that reside in Delaware. As a result, the goal of the newly formed VVA Chapter 83’s Gold Star Program was established to honor and recognize the Gold Star Families that reside in Delaware, recognizing the supreme sacrifice made to secure democracy.

Concluding the celebration Judy Campbell told the group, “the work we do is the model for other states to follow, ‘lest we never forget.'” As President Harry Truman said, ‘Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.’

View the Proclamation and Gold Star Highway Photos.

Kent Vietnam veterans to honor Vietnam Dustoff Association crews who saved them

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 1, 2017
Contact Dave Skocik 736-8500 cell

Kent Vietnam veterans to honor Vietnam Dustoff Association crews who saved them

Joe Startt Jr. in front of a Dustoff Huey helicopter bearing the 45th Medical Company patch similar to the one that saved his life in Vietnam

Joe Startt Jr. in front of a Dustoff Huey helicopter bearing the 45th Medical Company patch similar to the one that saved his life in Vietnam


“That others may live,” was the slogan of the UH-1 Dustoff helicopter crews who flew into firefights to rescue the wounded in Vietnam. That slogan and heroism has been passed down to today’s medical evacuation crews who serve in harm’s way across the globe.

The Vietnam Dustoff Association is coming to Dover for their September 21-23 national convention. They will hosted by Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America.

They have special meaning to Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president, who will never forget his own lifesaving ride after being wounded in Vietnam in 1969.

“I remember being told to hold on, help was on the way. In less than 15 minutes the ‘whop, whop, whop’ was like an angel’s voice telling me I’d survive. The UH-1 Huey on display at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park serves as an ongoing reminder of their heroism,” he said.
Paul Davis, vice president of Chapter 850, worked for two years with the federal government and even the White House to secure the helicopter. That was followed by a road trip caravan to Florida by Joe Startt and other members of the chapter to pick it up with the help of a trucking company sympathetic to veterans.

One of the highlights will be a Friday, September 22, 7 p.m., dinner hosted by the chapter at the Modern Maturity Center and followed by several events the next day.

Saturday’s agenda will include a special 10 a.m. ceremony at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road in Dover where crew members will be honored, followed by lunch at the Dover AFB dining facility where the Dustoff crews with be greeted by representatives of the 436th Airlift wing and some of today’s airmen. A special tour of the AMC Museum will follow.

“These men, several thousand of whom paid the ultimate price saving lives in Vietnam,” are our brothers who traded their tomorrow for our today,” said Mr. Startt. “We will always honor and revere them and we hope to see our brother and sister Vietnam veterans from across the state join us.”

The $35 plated dinner will be open to the public on a first-come first-served basis. The cutoff date is September 15. “Sponsorships are also available to help with the costs of honoring these heroes,” said Paul Davis, VVA State Council president. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities call 302-697-8384 or email Paul Davis.

Photo by Dave Skocik

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Retired Gen. Frank Vavala, presented Delaware Gold Star Representative, Judy C. Campbell with a prestigious award.

Gold Coin presentred to Judy Campbell, Gold Star Family Representative from Retired Adjutant Gen. Frank Vavala

Gold Coin presentred to Judy Campbell, Gold Star Family Representative from Retired Adjutant Gen. Frank Vavala

Retired Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, Gen. Frank Vavala, presented Delaware Gold Star Representative, Judy C. Campbell with a prestigious award.

The award for excellence was presented, in a private service, at the annual Memorial Day Service, Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at the Delaware Memorial Bridge Memorial Park. This annual service honors the sacrifice of the men and women that have given the “last full measure” in devotion and service to our Country.

There was no more fitting date or location for this presentation than the Delaware Memorial Bridge where Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, Sisters and Brothers gathered to pay their respects.

Delaware Gold Star Program has and continues to bring awareness of the daily sacrifice our Gold Star Families live with. During the private service it was discussed how we now have reserved seating at events for our Gold Star Families, Gold Star License plates, banners and multiple events throughout the year where our Gold Star Families are honored.

Our Delaware Gold Star ladies, particularly love the annual Victoria Tea where the ladies share Gold Star Families do have fun!

Our work is one where we vow to honor the motto of our Vietnam Veterans, “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another” and we will honor the families whose loved one gave their all!

Delaware Gold Star Representative shared with Gen. Vavala, “Our program has united Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, Spouses, Children and Siblings that never knew there were others that share in their loss.  We’ve come a long way,  but we still have a lot of work to do and we are honored to serve a cause greater than self.”

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“Tea for Two” in historic Dover

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 Gold Star Program hosted a Victorian Tea on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at “Tea for Two” in historic Dover, Delaware.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Siblings and friends of Delaware Gold Star Families enjoyed a variety of tea sandwiches, desserts and teas.

In their leisure time while awaiting arrival of all guests they read a current London, England newspaper.

Each Gold Star Family member introduced themselves and educated our guest on the faithful service and sacrifice of their loved one.
VVA Chapter 83 continues their mission of Honor, Service and Remembrance.

Three guests won a door prize of English tea.

Each guest went home with a floral presentation bouquet, poem, history of Valentines Day, crystal gold heart  and lace handmade ornament.

The Gold Star Families also went home with a Gold Star Banner, personalized heart picture of their loved one and Gold Star magnet for their car.

The enjoyable afternoon was summed up by Gold Star Mother Deb Marckese, Mother of Preston Marckese:

“Judy
Thank you again for the wonderful time. You put so much thought into everything that you do. I will remember this day forever….”

Photos:

Table set for 10

Table set for 10

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives and Gold Star Siblings holding their personalized presentation bouquet.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives and Gold Star Siblings holding their personalized presentation bouquet.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Siblings and friends of Gold Star Families.

Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Siblings and friends of Gold Star Families.

Each Gold Star Family went home with a personalized presentation bouquet, tote bag containing the history of St. Valentine's Day, a handcrafted Victorian crystal and lace ornament, poem, Gold Star Banner and Gold Star magnet for their automobile.

Each Gold Star Family went home with a personalized presentation bouquet, tote bag containing the history of St. Valentine’s Day, a handcrafted Victorian crystal and lace ornament, poem, Gold Star Banner and Gold Star magnet for their automobile.

Gold Star Mother of Preston Marckese, Deb Marckese sent this picture with a warm note: "Judy Thank you again for the wonderful time. You put so much thought into everything that you do. I will remember this day forever...."

Gold Star Mother of Preston Marckese, Deb Marckese sent this picture with a warm note: “Judy Thank you again for the wonderful time. You put so much thought into everything that you do. I will remember this day forever….”

Delaware VVA Chap 83 Gold Star Program Receives Award

Delaware Academy of Medicine Recognition Award

Delaware Academy of Medicine Recognition Award

Saturday, April 26, 2014, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 Gold Star Program was presented with the Delaware Academy of Medicine Public Health Recognition Award.

Pictured left to right:

Pictured left to right:
Judy C. Campbell, Bob Woodruff & Richard C. Campbell, Vietnam Era Veteran

Judy C. Campbell, VVA Chap. 83 Gold Star Representative, accepted the prestigious award on behalf of VVA Chapter 83.

Bob Woodruff, was the keynote speaker at the Awards Banquet and left the audience spell-bound as he described being seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq in 2007. We encourage individuals to obtain his book “In An Instance”  so you may learn of his miraculous on-going journey to recovery.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 continues to serve our veterans, Gold Star Families and community-at-large.

Like many volunteer organizations they often work silently and behind the scenes receiving little recognition and are honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award.

VVA Chapter 83 extends an invitation, to the public, for the 2nd Annual Gold Star Gala to be held 20 SEP 2014 at Dover Downs Casino & Hotel, Dover, Delaware from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door and may be obtained by contacting VVA Chapter President Tom Daws at: vnamvet@comcast.net (302) 738-8875 or Judy Campbell (302) 593-5991.

Pictured left to right:

Pictured left to right:
Executive Director Delaware Academy of Medicine, Tim Gibbs, Kathleen W. McNicholas, M.D., J.D. & Judy C. Campbell

Pictured left to right:

Pictured left to right:
Judy C. Campbell, Bob Woodruff, Richard C. Campbell

Vietnam Veterans Wall Of Faces Project

Share with others…

If you know of anyone that served during the Vietnam War or are of that generation, I encourage you to help us find the photos to go with the names on The Wall…

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/07/vietnam-veterans-memorial-fund-seeking-photos–90883.html

Gold Star Memorial unveiled

The following article was reprinted, courtesy of the Delaware State News

Delaware State News

Monday, Nov. 13, 2012, Page A1
Gold Star Memorial unveiled
Kent County Vietnam veterans introduce marker at ceremony
Delaware State News/ Dave Chambers Delaware Gold Star Mothers president Pauline Anderson, left, and Gold Star Families outreach coordinator Judy Campbell, both of Wilmington, proudly unveil the Gold Star Mothers and Families memorial Monday afternoon at Kent County Veterans Memorial Park as part of the Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America Veterans Day ceremony. More photos on Pages 45 and see a gallery and video at delaware. newszap. com.
By Jen Rini

Delaware State News

DOVER — The periods of war may have spanned generations, but the stories of sacrifice served as the connection.

The Kent County Chapter 850 Vietnam Veterans of America un­veiled the Gold Star Memorial on Monday as part of Veterans Day cer­emonies, as a tribute to Delaware’s families and veterans who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

Master of Ceremonies Dave Skocik, president of the Delaware Veterans Coalition and Vietnam vet­eran, recited the mantra of the Viet­nam Veterans of America during his opening statements. The mantra emphasized the organization’s drive to create a memorial to commemo­rate veterans, both young and old, who have fought in all conflicts from World War II to Afghanistan.

“Never again will one generation abandon another,” Mr. Skocik said.

Joining the gathering were legisla­tors including Sen. Thomas R. Carp­er, D-Del., Delaware Attorney Gen­eral Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, Lt. Gov. Matthew Denn and Rep. Har­vey R. Kenton, R-Milford, expressed their gratitude to the veterans and families present.

“I feel a special kinship with every one of you,” said Sen. Carper, a re­tired captain in the U.S. Navy.  He served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia and his grandmother is a Gold Star mother.

Pauline Anderson, president of Gold Star Mothers, reiterated her appreciation for the community of Gold Star mothers that inspired the memorial.

Mothers from all states honor the memory of their sons and daughters, she said, by volunteering and healing together.

“And after all these years I still get help,” Ms. Anderson said.

Keynote Speaker Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Delaware’s adjutant general, delivered an emotional speech. He commended the men and women in service for their courage and commitment to America as well as the strength of the families whose loved ones didn’t return home.

“It’s a sacrifice that only they can understand,” Maj. Gen. Vavala said, flanked by his two granddaughters.

Maj. Gen. Vavala was also honored for his sacrifices in the service. He first joined the Delaware Army National Guard in 1967 as a private.

He was presented with proclamations from Delaware’s House of Represenatives and Senate which celebrated his leadership in more than 45 years of military service.

“I’m at a loss for words. I am truly honored,” he said.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 850 president Joseph G. Startt Jr. shared the story of his friend Wayne, who never made it home from Vietnam. He could never get in touch with Wayne’s family, so for years he had been looking for a way to memorialize his friend’s sacrifi ce for America.

“I’ve been thinking about him for 40 years,” Mr. Startt said. This memorial will be a form of closure, he said.

In front of the newly unveiled Indian granite memorial, Terri and Rich Clifton, of Milford, placed a brick in memory of their son Chad who was killed in Iraq.

The Abraham Lincoln quote inscribed the memorial reads: “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifi ce upon the alter of freedom.”

Mrs. Clifton softly touched the memorial before her and her husband were comforted by the crowd.

The ceremony came to a close with Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 850 bagpiper Bill Frantz playing a strong, but solemn, rendition of Amazing Grace as the crowd stood, hands over their hearts.

As the crowd dispersed, Vietnam veteran Danny Seeman chatted with fellow vets, tears welling in his eyes. He also said he sees the unveiling of the memorial as an opportunity to gain closure.

Mr. Seeman, First Vice Commander, served in the second half of the Vietnam conflict and his father served through the first. His two sons are also involved with the military. His oldest son served in the marine corp and his second son just returned home from his third deployment in Afghanistan.

“They paid the ultimate sacrifce,” Mr. Seeman said of the Gold Star families. “I can’t imagine what it is like to lose a son or daughter.”

Staff writer Jen Rini can be reached at 741-8250 or jrini@newszap.com. Follow her on Twitter@DSNJen_Rini.

Korean War veteran Sgt. William Richardson of Dover salutes during the national anthem before he recites the pledge of allegiance.
Delaware State News/ Dave Chambers Parker Jones, 4 of Elizabeth City, NC, grandson of Chapter 850 member Peter Senft of Dover, rings the ceremonial bell as each name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is read as Chapter 850 member Woody Postle of Dover assists.
Members of the Dover Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol post the colors at the beginning of the ceremony.

 

Video – 3rd Annual Nam Jam 2012

The 3rd Annual Nam Jam rocked its way into VVA Chap. 850 history in Dover, Del., on Saturday, August 25.

Alhough the day was partly rainy, spirits were high and dry as chapter members and friends enjoyed the music, food, drink and camaderie as evidenced by the remarks on the attached video.

Kent County Chapter 850, with the aid of its Associate chapter, hosts a number of events every year and is well-known in the community. Activities include three annual ceremonies at its county memorial park; fundraisers, including beef & beer and an annual dinner; parade participation; and community  support activities, including scholarship awards.

Chapter members also support an outreach ministry to veterans of all conflicts with a 35-foot information trailer and have also recently purchased a food trailer for community events.

Trip to the Wash D.C. Vietnam Memorial

 

I reconfirmed the date of June 4th with Dawson’s bus service today. The bus will pick us up at the North End of the Old Blue Hen Mall, near the Firestone store, at 9 am. We will return at 5 pm.

We will not be stopping for lunch as there are plenty of street vendors available in the area of the monuments.

As a reminder, we have about 25 seats still available. The trip is open to friends, family and generally anyone interested. Please do what you can to help fill the buses. If there are any questions, call 302-242-2232 and I’ll do what I can to get your answer for you.

There have been questions regarding the buses and their access/accomodations for those with wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices. Dawson’s has assured me their buses are handicapped accessible and there will be plenty of storage for these devices under the seating area.

Denny

Remembering The Brave

This slide show consists of photos taken at a formal dinner at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA.  It is a beautiful presentation of the honor, commitment and pride today’s heroes share with yesterday’s.

If you know a Marine or a soldier of any branch of the Military (of any age) make sure he or she sees this.  Wouldn’t hurt if all other Americans saw it too!

http://www.jensensutta.com/slideshows/RTB (Courtesy of Jensen Sutta Photography)

Here is a link to the blog about this amazing event hosted in Denver Colorado

Visit the Remembering The Brave website

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Welcome to the Delaware Vietnam Veterans Blog Site. You can find important information about Events, Meetings, Chapter News, etc.