Do you know what a Gold Star Pin looks like? Do you even know what it is?
In the article headlined “Fewer of Us Can Relate to Military Life — and Death,” (Weds, Jan 4), USA Today quoted a military widow who said no one asks her about the pin she wears. Having never seen a Gold Star Pin, I don’t think I would recognize it, or think to convey my sympathy to the wearer.
The Gold Star Lapel Pin (left) was established by Congress in 1965 to identify widows, parents, and next-of-kin of Service Members killed in combat. The Next-of-Kin (right) pin signifies a service-related death or suicide during active duty other than combat. For example, a death during training.
Next time I see someone wearing a Gold Star or Next-of-Kin pin, I’ll know what it means, and I’ll be sure to say “I’m very sorry for your loss,” and ask how they’re doing. This simple acknowledgment will convey my gratitude.
More information: http://www.army.mil/media/198223
Marna Ashburn Krajeski is the author of HOUSEHOLD BAGGAGE: The Moving Life of a Military Wife and HOUSEHOLD BAGGAGE HANDLERS: 56 Stories From the Hearts and Lives of Military Wives. She blogs at HouseholdBaggage.com and GreatGetTogethers.com.
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