Perpetuating the Noble Principles for which They Fought and Died
Find Us on Facebook Twitter Instragram
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc

GENERAL NEWS

Two National Veterans Service Nonprofits Enter Partnership

Wreaths Across America and American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. build patriotic awareness COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oct. 20, 2016 — As of 2 p.m. today, two leading national veterans service nonprofits, Wreaths Across America (WAA) and American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. (AGSM), have entered into a formal partnership in an effort to build a stronger awareness for each group's common missions, while supporting educational events throughout the nation that teach lessons of patriotism.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Columbia Falls, Maine, WAA is best known for its annual wreath- laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and yearlong efforts to support its mission: "Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve and Teach the next generation about the true cost of freedom." AGSM was established in 1928 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1984 with the core purpose of supporting families of fallen and wounded soldiers, teaching lessons of patriotism and inspiring respect for the country.

The signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two groups outlines nine key agreements, such as establishment of a steering committee with a representative from each organization, collaborative volunteer efforts and development of a partnership page on WAA's website. "For years, American Gold Star Mothers has played a crucial support role for thousands of families across this country," said Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA. "This official partnership is truly an honor for me, and I'm eager to start our work together. Our combined efforts will no doubt help to shape and inform the next generation of patriots."

Current AGSM president and retired U.S. military servicewoman, Candy Martin, has devoted her entire life to the service of others, whether through her active time in the Army or as a volunteer in her community. As a mother of a fallen soldier, she thinks of her role as more of a calling than a job. AGSM strives to keep the memory of their sons and daughters alive by working to help veterans and members of the armed forces, as well as their families and communities. Martin believes that WAA is a fundamental partner in AGSM's broader community of service and remembrance.

"This is a perfect marriage to me because both organizations come from the same ideals as far as 'Remember, Honor, Teach,'" Martin said. "The mission of American Gold Star Mothers is service to veterans, service to their families and patriotism. We want to teach the world – teach the general public – that freedom isn't free and that there's always a name, always a person, always someone that is the reason for the freedoms that each one of us enjoy every day. And to me, that mission goes hand in hand with Wreaths Across America."

About Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization's mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at more than 1,100 veterans' cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.

For more information, to donate or sign up to volunteer, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. Follow Wreaths Across America on Facebook and on Twitter.

About American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. (AGSM) is an organization of mothers who lost a son or daughter in service to the country. AGSM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in 1928 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1984. As a Veterans Service Organization, AGSM supports veterans and their families through a broad range of activities and programs. Members also participate in patriotic events. To accomplish its widespread mission, members are active in chapters across the United States. For more information, please go to www.goldstarmoms.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


CSEG SCHOLARSHIP FOR MOTHERS OF FALLEN MILITARY HEROES

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — For Cathy Mullins of Owensboro, KY, "surreal" may best describe her life as she embraces another year of community support and efforts for Kentucky Remembers, an annual event she leads that will honor veterans with a parade, 5K race and evening concert on Nov. 5.

Kentucky Remembers started as a simple concert in 2012 to thank the Owensboro community for their support of the Mullins family after their son SPC Brandon Scott Mullins was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. Four years later, the event has grown exponentially, "This year's event is very exciting, emotional, and overwhelming in that since losing Brandon, this day, Kentucky Remembers, has grown from a simple concert to a fun day of events involving our entire community," explained Mullins.

"The number of sponsors has nearly tripled and is far reaching beyond what we could have ever expected."

Her dedication to this cause is one reason Columbia Southern Education Group (CSEG) awarded her the Grace Darling Seibold Scholarship in partnership with the American Gold Star Mothers. Mullins, who is a member of the group, recently received the scholarship which honors the mothers of fallen men and women of the U.S. military.

"Catherine is a life-long learner who embodies all that founder Grace Darling Seibold stood for which was selfless service to the veteran community and strength as the mother of a fallen soldier," said CSEG Business Development supervisor Fonta Mitchell. CSEG, the parent company to Columbia Southern University and Waldorf University, established the Grace Darling Seibold Scholarship to help members of American Gold Star Mothers (AGSM) access an online education.

"When the scholarship was announced, I honestly did not consider applying because I already have a master's in elementary education," said Mullins who teaches music for the Owensboro Community and Technical College and community outreach music classes for the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra.

"However, since working on the Kentucky Remembers project, I realize that as a lifelong learner, additional training and insights from studies in leadership and communications would help me in taking this project to new heights."

The scholarship is named after the founder of the mothers' group whose members "were citizens or legal residents of the United States or of the Territorial and Insular Possessions of the United States, at the time of their sons' or daughters' induction into the United States Armed Forces and whose sons' or daughters' became missing in action, died while on active duty, or died as a result of such service..." The Seibold scholarship will cover up to $17,100 in one online degree program (associate, bachelor, master or DBA) at either Columbia Southern University or Waldorf University as applicable.

The scholarship will be applied directly to the recipient's tuition for up to 60 semester hours or 24 consecutive months in the selected online degree program, whichever comes first. Mullins, who helped reorganize the Kentucky chapter of AGSM, plans to obtain an online bachelor's degree in organizational leadership with a focus on leadership communication.

"I love online education! I have taken many graduate courses online over the years and find that the convenience is unmatched. Although I love a traditional classroom environment, I have found that online classes can be more intellectual and thought-provoking," she said. To apply for this scholarship and learn more, please visit the CSEG scholarship page.

Columbia Southern Education Group, the parent company of Columbia Southern University and Waldorf University, provides education and training solutions through these universities to help corporations meet their workforce needs. These institutions offer flexible educational programs designed to challenge and motivate adult learners. To learn more, visit www.csegroup.com. Based in Washington, D.C., the American Gold Star Mothers Inc. is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of U.S. military. It is a Veterans Service Organization that was established in 1928 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1984. Visit www.goldstarmoms.com.


Aug 9, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CSEG OFFERS SCHOLARSHIP FOR MOTHERS OF FALLEN MILITARY HEROES

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Columbia Southern Education Group (CSEG) is proud to support the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. to offer a special scholarship honoring the mothers of fallen men and women of the U.S. military.

CSEG, the parent company to Columbia Southern University and Waldorf University, has established the Grace Darling Seibold Scholarship to help members of the American Gold Star Mothers group access an online degree in the subject of their choice.

The scholarship is named after the founder of the mothers' group whose members are mothers "who were citizens or legal residents of the United States or of the Territorial and Insular Possessions of the United States, at the time of their sons' or daughters' induction into the United States Armed Forces and whose sons' or daughters' became missing in action, died while on active duty, or died as a result of such service…"

The Seibold scholarship will cover up to $17,100 in one online degree program (associate, bachelor, master or DBA) at either Columbia Southern University or Waldorf University as applicable. The scholarship will be applied directly to the recipient's tuition for up to 60 semester hours or 24 consecutive months in the selected online degree program, whichever comes first. Textbooks and fees will be the responsibility of the scholarship recipient.

Eligibility requirements for the scholarship include:

  • An American Gold Star Mothers member in good standing for the last two years and must retain membership while on scholarship
  • Scholarship applicants must be available to begin their coursework within six months of the date of the award
  • Capable of maintaining a 2.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.0 graduate GPA
  • Remain in good standing with CSU/Waldorf throughout his or her degree program

To apply for this scholarship and learn more, please visit the CSEG scholarship page. Columbia Southern Education Group, the parent company of Columbia Southern University and Waldorf University, provides education and training solutions through these universities to help corporations meet their workforce needs. These institutions offer flexible educational programs designed to challenge and motivate adult learners. To learn more, visit www.csegroup.com.

Based in Washington, D.C., the American Gold Star Mothers Inc. is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of U.S. military. It is a Veterans Service Organization that was established in 1928 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1984. Visit www.goldstarmoms.com.


AGSM National President, Cindy Kruger and BSA Representative Bray Barnes at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. Boy Scouts of America and American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Join Forces! Washington, D.C. (February 13, 2016) — American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) signed a memorandum of understanding on February 5, 2016 at AGSM Headquarters in Washington, DC. The BSA and AGSM have both had a long history of supporting the members of the military, veterans, and their families. Both organizations strive to promote service and respect for the country and teach lessons of patriotism. The BSA is an active participant in the World Scout Committee's Messengers of Peace initiative, a global program designed to inspire millions of young men and women across the world to work toward peace through service. All of these shared values and goals made a formal agreement between the BSA and AGSM a natural choice.

AGSM local chapters will be able to contact local BSA councils to provide BSA members and units the opportunity to participate in local AGSM projects as well as Messengers of Peace service projects that support the two organizations' shared values and goals. The types of service projects undertaken will vary by local area but will benefit veterans and their families, honor the memory of the fallen, promote service and respect for the country, teach lessons of patriotism, support gold star mothers, or benefit another common cause.

Many of the service projects envisioned will have multiple beneficiaries. As an example, the planting and maintaining of trees could be executed to honor the sacrifice of the sons and daughters of gold star mothers, improve the landscape of the community, encourage BSA members to be Messengers of Peace, and support the United Nations Environment Program's Billion Tree Campaign project.

AGSM provides thousands of service hours each year in the fulfillment of its mission to serve veterans, to cooperate with all Veterans Service Organizations, civic, and patriotic organizations, to help all gold star mothers in their sorrow, and to remember the fallen. The MOU between the BSA and the AGSM will increase these volunteer hours as well as help to provide service to our veterans who are most deserving of our respect.

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be "Prepared. For Life.®" The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.4 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

About the Messengers of Peace Initiative

Launched in September 2011, Messengers of Peace is a global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. Through the use of social media, the initiative encourages Scouts from around the world to share what they've done and motivate fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their communities. Originated by the World Scout Committee, administered by the World Scout Bureau, and driven by youth volunteers worldwide, the initiative has provided over 600 million service hours around the world. For more information on the Messengers of Peace initiative, please visit www.scouting.org/messengersofpeace AGSM Chapters and Departments can go to Scouting.org, click "Join Scouting" and by entering a zip code, can find the contact information for local Scout units!


Tipping Season in Maine Marks the Beginning of the Veterans’ Wreath
October 8, 2015 by Susan Patten

A veterans’ wreath is a symbol of honor, respect and victory and is constructed by wrapping 10 balsam fir tip bouquets on to a circular ring, and adorned with a red bow to represent great sacrifice. Each of the bouquets represents a special quality that our veterans embody and the tips are harvested every fall from the balsam fir trees that stand tall and proud in down east Maine. Last year, Wreaths across America placed over 700,000 fresh wreaths on the headstones of our fallen service men and women thanks to donors who sponsored wreaths. That represents a lot of harvested tips taken from the trees. Wreaths across America founder, Morrill Worcester, has been growing balsam fir tips since 1999 and he says it takes about 10-14 years to get tip land producing lush tips that make full balsam bouquets.

http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/tipping-season-in-maine-marks-the-beginning-of-the-veterans-wreath/


Federal Benefits Available for Survivors

A summary of some federal benefits, many of them federal income tax free, that might be available to families ( spouse, child, or parent) who have lost loved ones.


TSA Precheck Formally Expands to Members of the Military at More Than 100 Airports

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. NR-081-13, December 19, 2013

As the result of the ongoing partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will officially extend tomorrow TSA Precheck expedited screening benefits to all U.S. Armed Forces service members. Service members, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, reserves and National Guard will be able to enjoy the benefits of this expedited screening program at more than 100 participating airports when flying on nine major U.S. airlines.

If a service member has entered their DoD identification number correctly in a flight reservation, they will be permitted access to TSA Precheck lanes. The expedited screening will allow service members to keep their footwear on as well as light outerwear, laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry on in select screening lanes. More than 30 million passengers have experienced TSA Precheck since it launched in October 2011.

DoD has worked closely with service members worldwide to inform them of the process of updating current and/or future reservations along with their airline profiles to include their DoD identification number. That ID number will be used as their Known Traveler Number, and enables TSA to expand the program to all airports offering TSA Precheck. Previously, members of the U.S. Armed Forces could utilize TSA Precheck lanes at 10 domestic airports by presenting their Common Access Card (CAC).

"Expanding the TSA Precheck screening benefits is great news for our service members, and is a tangible sign of this nation's gratitude for the men and women who serve this nation bravely each and every day," said Mary Snavely-Dixon, director, Defense Manpower Data Center. "We will continue to work with the Transportation Security Administration to help expand this program further."

"TSA is grateful to the brave men and women in uniform who continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction," said TSA Deputy Administrator John W. Halinski, a 25-year Marine Corps veteran. "Providing TSA Precheck expedited screening while on travel is the least we can do for the members of our military."

TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport. No individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. Travelers can check the T TSA Precheck Participating Airports page for information on locations of active TSA Precheck lanes.

Further information on TSA Pre?™ for military members can be found at www.TSA.gov and www.defensetravel.dod.mil.

Return to top of page.


National Military Family Bereavement Study

National Military Family Bereavement Study (NMFBS)
By Myra Rintamaki (myrar2004@gmail.com), AGSM Liaison

According to Dr. Jill Harrington-LaMorie, the Senior Field Researcher for the study, dealing with the dual affects of both grief and trauma can be an overwhelming experience for survivors who deal with, and alternate between, conflicting sets of thoughts, feelings, and reactions. She states it may take months or years for traumatic death survivors to truly begin to work on their grief.

Have you wondered how your grief pathway and feelings compare to other military survivors? Family members are interviewed separately. The goal is to understand how death affects the family over time by conducting three interviews over two years. Information collected from this five-year study will help our military and survivor organizations know how to provide the best support and resources for our Gold Star Families. If you and your family member are interested in participating in this study please visit their webpage at www.militarysurvivorstudy.org. Your interest and participation will help support military survivors in the future.

Return to top of page.


National Anthem Etiquette

http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/36C3.txt

Sec. 301. National anthem

(a) Designation. - The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

(b) Conduct During Playing. - During a rendition of the national anthem -

(1) when the flag is displayed -

(A) all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;

(B) men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and

(C) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and

(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

(Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1263.)

Return to top of page.


DoD To Implement Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

The deadline for eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP) has been extended to Oct. 21, 2012, providing those eligible more time to apply for the pay under the program guidelines.

"Even with extensive outreach efforts, and tremendous support from the President, Congress, the VA, veteran and military service organizations, and friends and family around the world, some qualified individuals have not yet applied," said Juliet Beyler, acting director of Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management. "We highly encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply for this pay; you have earned it."

RSLSP was established to compensate for the hardships military members encountered when their service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss authority between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service in order to receive the benefit of $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status.

When RSLSP began on Oct. 21, 2009, the services estimated 145,000 service members, veterans and beneficiaries were eligible for this benefit. Because the majority of those eligible had separated from the military, the services have engaged in extensive and persistent outreach efforts, to include multiple direct mailings, public service announcements, and continuous engagements with military and veteran service organizations, social networks and media outlets.

To apply for the pay, or for more information on RSLSP, including submission requirements and service-specific links, go to http://www.defense.gov/stoploss.

Return to top of page.


Gold Star Mother trips to Vietnam

The National Dusters, Quads & Searchlights Association, has taken Gold Star Mothers back to Vietnam under their Operation Gold Star program. There have been no trips for several years mainly due to the age of the mothers so they are considering closing their fund. If, however, there is a mother who would wish to go they will reconsider. The trip is long and a physical would be required. If there is anyone who would qualify for the trip they are asked to call Robert Lauver at 530-374-1699 or 570-847-6177 as soon as possible.

Return to top of page.


"DoD Announces Transferability Options For "Post 9/11 GI Bill"

June 23, 2009

The Defense Department announced today its policy for transferring educational benefits to the spouses and children of service members under the "Post 9/11 GI Bill," which takes effect Aug. 1, 2009.

"This is as it should be in a volunteer force where families also serve," said Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy Bill Carr. "Transferability of GI Bill benefits is the most requested initiative we receive from our service members, and we believe it will assist us in retaining highly qualified military personnel."

Career service members on active duty or in the selected reserve on Aug. 1, 2009, and who are eligible for the "Post 9/11 GI Bill," may be entitled to transfer all or a portion of their education entitlement to one or more family members. To be eligible, service members must have served in the Armed Forces for at least six years, and agree to serve four additional years, from the date of election to transfer.

Service members with at least 10 years of service, who by DoD or service policy are prevented from committing to four additional years, may transfer their benefits provided they commit for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute.

Additionally, to maintain proper force structure and promotion opportunities, temporary rules have been developed for service members eligible to retire between Aug. 1, 2009 and Aug. 1, 2012. Depending on their retirement eligibility date, these service members will commit to one to three additional years, from the date of election to transfer. The services will provide further implementation guidance. Beginning June 29, 2009, eligible service members may make transfer designations by visiting this Web site: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/TEB . The full transferability policy is available here.

Service members may be eligible for the "Post 9/11 GI Bill" if they served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged. Based on the length of active duty service, members are entitled to a percentage of the cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher learning. Members not on active duty may also receive a monthly living stipend equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents, and to an annual $1,000 stipend for books and supplies.

The Department of Veterans Affairs administers the "Post 9/11 GI Bill," and determines eligibility for education benefits. Further information on eligibility, benefit levels, and application procedures can be found at their Web site, http://www.gibill.va.gov.

Return to top of page.


Statue honors NH Gold Star Mothers

NECN.com
March 30, 2008
Statue will honor gold star Mothers

Play video

(NECN: Manchester, NH) - Their sons and daughters may have fought in different wars, but they share the same grief. They are gold star mothers.

In World War II, families who lost a son would display a flag with a single gold star, thus the title gold star mothers. To honor them the city of Manchester, NH will erect this statue in Stanton Place showing a mother holding a crumpled telegram with news of her son's death.

The sculptor of the planned statue says these women have another thing in common. Incredible strength.

Gold star mothers and grandmothers came for the groundbreaking.

Dan Gionet's mother telling us about her son, killed when an IED hit his tank in Iraq. He had just spoken to his grandmother the night before.

Elaine Gibson's son Timothy was killed when his helicopter crashed in Iraq. The planned statue is very important to her family.

Kristen Caira has the story for Manchester.

Return to top of page.


Gold Star Lapel Pin authorized for uniforms

By Jim Tice - Staff writer, ArmyTimes.com
Posted : Monday Jan 28, 2008

The Gold Star Lapel Pin has been authorized for wear on the Army green uniform by soldiers who have lost an immediate family member in combat.

While soldiers always have been eligible for the pin, Army regulations have restricted its wear to civilian attire.

Under the recent change in policy, the pin is authorized for wear on the green uniforms of soldiers who have lost a spouse, mother, father, child or step-child to combat.

An interim change to Army Regulation 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms), requires enlisted soldiers to wear the pin centered vertically and horizontally on the left lapel of the green uniform.

Officers should wear the pin centered on the left lapel one-quarter of an inch below their branch insignia.

Return to top of page.


Legislation Allows Veterans to Salute the Flag

August 2007, WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today praised the passage by unanimous consent of his bill (S.1877) clarifying U.S. law to allow veterans and servicemen not in uniform to salute the flag. Current law (US Code Title 4, Chapter 1) states that veterans and servicemen not in uniform should place their hand over their heart without clarifying whether they can or should salute the flag.

"The salute is a form of honor and respect, representing pride in one's military service," Senator Inhofe said. "Veterans and service members continue representing the military services even when not in uniform.

"Unfortunately, current U.S. law leaves confusion as to whether veterans and service members out of uniform can or should salute the flag. My legislation will clarify this regulation, allowing veterans and servicemen alike to salute the flag, whether they are in uniform or not.

"I look forward to seeing those who have served saluting proudly at baseball games, parades, and formal events. I believe this is an appropriate way to honor and recognize the 25 million veterans in the United States who have served in the military and remain as role models to others citizens. Those who are currently serving or have served in the military have earned this right, and their recognition will be an inspiration to others."

Return to top of page.


Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act

This act was recently sent to President Bush for his signature. This law would prohibit protestors at funerals at national cemeteries and shrines. It would prohibit protests within 300 feet of a cemetery entrance and 150 feet of a road into a cemetery for 1 hour before and after the funeral. Violators would face a $100,000 fine and a year in prison.

This law covers only Federal cemeteries but several states have passed similar laws covering all cemeteries in those states.

Return to top of page.


Stolen Valor Act to Penalize Medal Frauds

July 22, 2005, WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman John T. Salazar (CO-3), the only veteran from the Colorado delegation, today announced the introduction of the "Stolen Valor Act", legislation to penalize distributors of phony medals and those who fraudulently claim to be decorated veterans. Salazar's legislation would place criminal penalties on those who falsely claim to have risked their lives for our country, restoring honor to those who have truly earned it.

"Medals recognize the best American qualities - courage, honor, and sacrifice," said Salazar. "These honors are reserved for those who willingly risked their lives for our country. The Medal of Honor is our nation's highest military honor. And the Purple Heart is only awarded for genuine acts of courage. It is our job to protect the honor and integrity of our veterans, to make sure the memory of their heroism is not tarnished."

B. G. Burkett's award winning book "Stolen Valor" first exposed the problem of medals fraud. Current law only allows prosecution of imposters who wear an unearned Medal of Honor on their person. Salazar's legislation will expand the law to include those who publicly claim to be decorated veterans, allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to finally prosecute several high profile cases (see attached profiles.)

"Shame on those who claim credit for acts of courage they did not commit, their lies are criminal" said Salazar. "Medal recipients are often too humble to parade their honors. By letting the phonies continue their masquerade, we diminish the honor of our true heroes. Federal law enforcement agents are willing to go after these frauds, Congress needs to provide the tools necessary to get the job done."

Salazar's legislation is the direct result of the efforts of Pam and Doug Sterner of Pueblo and Medal of Honor recipient Peter Lemon of Colorado Springs. The city of Pueblo in Salazar's congressional district was designated "America's Home of Heroes" by Congress, because it is home to more Medal of Honor recipients than elsewhere in the country.

Return to top of page.


Financial Salesmen Prey on Gold Star Families

Some Gold Star Family members have been contacted shortly after learning of the death of their loved one by salesmen representing themselves as financial advisors. They usually get a letter that looks very official with government like markings and patriotically themed stamps. They try to sell various financial products; annuities, life insurance, etc or offer other financial advice which would involve commissions for them.

We suggest you avoid these unsolicited offers. These folks know you have just received a large insurance settlement and do not necessarily have your best interests at heart. When you're ready, if you need help investing the insurance money, ask a trusted family member or friend to help you. There is no rush.

Return to top of page.


POWs Who Die In Captivity eligible for Purple Heart.

The Department of Defense announced today it has expanded the Purple Heart eligibility criteria allowing prisoners-of-war who died in captivity to receive the award.

The revised department policy presumes, for service members who die in captivity as a qualifying prisoner-of-war, that their death was the "result of enemy action," or the result of wounds incurred "in action with the enemy" during capture, or as a result of wounds incurred as a "result of enemy action" during capture, unless compelling evidence is presented to the contrary.

The revised policy allows retroactive award of the Purple Heart to qualifying prisoners-of-war since Dec. 7, 1941. Posthumous award will be made to the deceased service member's representative, as designated by the secretary of the military department concerned, upon application to that military department.

Each military department will publish application procedures and ensure they are accessible by the general public. Family members with questions may contact the services: Army: Military Awards Branch, (703) 325-8700; Navy: Navy Personnel Command, Retired Records Section, (314) 592-1150; Air Force: Air Force Personnel Center, (800) 616-3775; Marine Corps: Military Awards Branch, (703) 784-9340. For further information, media representatives should contact Eileen Lainez, (703) 695-3895, eileen.lainez@osd.mil.

Return to top of page.


America's Heroes at Work

America's Heroes at Work is a public education campaign focusing on the employment challenges of transitioning service members living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Designed for employers and the workforce development system, the project provides information and tools to help individuals with TBI and/or PTSD succeed in the workplace--particularly members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the other millions of Americans experiencing these common conditions.

TBI and PTSD have been called the signature injuries of the Global War on Terror. With more and more veterans facing these issues as they transition into civilian life, employers are recognizing a need to educate themselves on the workplace needs of the TBI and PTSD populations. That's where the America's Heroes at Work Web site comes in. Located at www.AmericasHeroesAtWork.gov, the site features common employer questions, success stories, downloadable fact sheets and practical information on implementing simple workplace supports to help those with TBI and PTSD achieve workplace success.

Return to top of page.


Holiday Cards for Service Members

There have been some inquirers about sending Christmas cards to Walter Reed addressed to "Recovering American Soldier".

Walter Reed is NOT accepting mail addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier". However, they are participating in a Red Cross effort to get cards to Soldiers and Veterans.

In a partnership between American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, the general public is invited to send holiday cards to be distributed to members of the US Armed Forces, their families and Veterans. These cards will be screened by Pitney Bowes and then distributed by volunteers of American Red Cross Holiday cards should be mailed to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD. 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 12. Please do not include gifts, money or inserts. Glitter is also not recommended on the cards.

For more information, visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center Resource page or the Red Cross Holiday Mail page for Holiday Mail for Heroes program guidelines. Walter Reed is not accepting mail addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier."

Return to top of page.

Quick Links