The Other Victims In War: Gold Star Families

With the 2016 Presidential election nearing, you may have “caught wind” of the term Gold Star families and Gold Star mothers.

It seems that one of the Presidential nominees has upset a large percentage of these Gold Star members with a policy he wants to institute if he is elected President of the United States.

The Father of a United States soldier who is Muslim demanded that Donald Trump apologize for his proposal and to take a look at the sacrifice that even Muslim soldiers have made in the War on Terror.

Before I tell you Trump’s policy proposal and the backlash from the Father of United States Army Captain Humayun Khan, let me first explain what and who Gold Star families are.

What is a Gold Star family?

You may have driven by a home that was flying a flag that had a gold star on it.

Maybe you met a person wearing a lapel pin with a gold star on it.

These are people who had a family member who was a member of one of the United States armed forces and lost their lives in war or conflict.

The United States recognizes that not only did the soldier sacrifice, but their family also made an ultimate sacrifice.

To recognize their sacrifice, they are deemed Gold Star families.

The history of the Gold Star family

It was during World War I that families of servicemen deployed began flying flags with a blue star.

If the knock came on their door that every family member does not want to hear telling them their family member was killed in the service of their country, the blue star would become a gold star.

This recognition continued to grow in stature.

It was a way for families to grieve as well as support other families with soldiers deployed to the war zone.

A woman by the name of Grace Seibold who lost her son in World War I started a group called Gold Star Mothers.

President Woodrow Wilson approved the wearing of a gold star on a black arm band by U.S. women that showed their loss.

The last Sunday of September has become known as Gold Star Mother’s Day and has been recognized as such since 1936.

Just before the end of World War II, a group that honored the wives was formed called Gold Star Wives.

Since that point, the term Gold Star Families has been used readily.

Now in the political arena

Before I dive into this controversial subject, I must say that I am attempting to write this piece from a “center ground” position.

I am not at all happy with either presidential candidate, but I also do not approve of the wide stance taken by journalistic sources on a Democratic side.

I have watched what is supposed to be professional journalists standing and writing all-out attacks against Republicans on a regular basis.

It makes me sick because the media wants to control the outcome of elections.

Instead of just reporting the news, they are playing it to support Democratic views.

So in an effort to teach proper journalism, I will write this the way sources such as Time, CNN, MSNBC and all others should.

What Donald Trump said

Mr Trump’s policy proposal is to do much better background checks on any and all Muslims in the United States and entering the United States.

Actually he said about Muslims, “They are not coming to this country if I am elected President.”

It seems that Khizir Khan, the father of the Army Captain I mentioned earlier took great offense to this.

He and his wife stood at the Democratic National Convention and spoke out against Trump and this policy.

He stated that Trump was attacking American Muslims.

Donald Trump, in his “tell it like it is” demeanor spoke out and asked why Khan’s wife had nothing to say.

The mother of Captain Khan is a Gold Star Mother, and I will be the first to say that what Donald Trump said was uncalled for.

It must have been very difficult for her to stand seeing pictures of her son and trying to keep from breaking down in tears.

But, I must also say shame on her husband too!

Is the policy Trump proposes an attack against Muslim Americans?

Hillary Clinton took a completely opposite approach and actually said, “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant.”

We have witnessed several attacks within our country by, you guessed it…Muslim Americans.

They used radical means to kill other Americans.

Were these the peaceful and tolerant ones?

And at this point in time, it seems our greatest enemy is coming at us from Islamic radicalism.

This is just a point that should be considered.

But back to the point…Gold Star Families.

Gold Star Families need to be honored and respected

I really hope that Donald Trump will read this, because I will say that he does owe Mrs Khan an apology.

No, I do not believe he owes Muslim Americans an apology, but he does owe this mother of an American soldier an apology for his statement about her.

Now we as a nation have to go to some drastic means to protect our nation.

I understand that Gold Star families have signed a petition that Trump should say he is sorry.

But to claim that Hillary Clinton is a better choice and to use your position as Gold Star families to push people to vote Democrat is in my opinion, WRONG!

Have we already forgot about Benghazi?

The Gold Star Family recognition was not meant to be a politically generated program.

It is meant to honor and respect the families of soldiers who gave their lives defending the United States.

So please wear your lapel pins and fly your flags.

Mourn and remember your son or daughter; but please do not use their sacrifice as a political means to have your favorite candidate elected.

Keep in mind that the Gold Star Family registry is maintained by Military Families United which is a 501(c)(3) organization.

As such, I believe they are not supposed to take sides politically.

When members of this organization begin doing so, it makes this non-profit look bad.

Let’s keep this election on a solid system and not bow to this level.


How many Gold Star Families are there?

There are well over 450,000 service member families registered as Gold Star Families.

Final Thoughts

I hope that I was able to get my point across about keeping the Gold Star Family designation non-political.

This may cause a debate, so I just ask that all comments be kept civil and respectful.

We do have people of other cultures who have or still fight gallantly for the United States of America.

We owe them our thanks, and we owe a huge thanks to those families who have sacrificed a loved one.

You can leave all comments, questions and suggestions below.

Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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