News: 311th ESC dedicates parking space for Gold Star families
Story by 1st Lt. Fernando Ochoa
LOS ANGELES – The 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command dedicated a parking space for Gold Star families at its West Los Angeles U.S. Army Reserve center Aug. 28 in honor and recognition of the sacrifice of family members who have lost a loved one in military service.
In remembrance, President Barack Obama proclaimed the 29th day of September to be remembered as Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day in sympathy and respect for the nation's gold star mothers and families.
“The intent of the designated parking spot is to honor all that surviving families and fallen warriors have done for the United States of America, and recognize the sacrifice of the these families who have lost that loved one in military service,” said Adrian Balbo, Survivor Outreach Services Support coordinator. “It is not just a parking spot with a sign but a symbolic reminder of the warriors who have fallen and their family.”
Survivor Outreach Services is the official Army program designed to provide long-term support to surviving families. Support coordinators provide support through the grief period, coordinate support groups, provide information and referral services, and provide other services as required.
“I think it is important to show respect to the families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” said 1st Lt. Phothong Chanthanivong, Reserve Center manager. “It shows that we care about those who are left behind and is the lest we can do.”
A Gold Star family is one who has lost an immediate member, having died, as a result of their service in the military.
The pain of such a loss is unimaginable, yet in spite of the daily agony, many of these remarkable people turn to one another with an open-hearted offer of support or reach out to comfort those who have also just lost someone.