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    Fort Carson Community Honors Gold Star Families

    Fort Carson Community Honors Gold Star Families

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Daphney Black | Members of the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders, a local veteran organization, walk on...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Daphney Black 

    14th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT CARSON, Colo. (Dec 7, 2019) – The holidays stir up a lot of different emotions for each of us, but for a unique group of people that one particular day is a time of healing and excitement.

    Gold Star Families from Fort Carson and surrounding areas gathered at the Colorado Springs Airport Dec. 7 to board on the Snowball Express to Disney World.

    “it’s definitely a mixture of emotions,” said Griselda Galietti, a Gold Star Spouse. “It’s wonderful that the Gary Sinise Foundation provides such a great opportunity for the kids and that we are able to participate with them. It’s also very sad to know that we are part of this due to a great loss in our Family.”

    Grief is there in some form in our lives. It is never-ending and the holidays make it even harder because Christmas is a time for Family and togetherness.

    “Snowball Express gives us an opportunity to have a great experience and remember them in a good way in a good light,” Griselda said. “it allows us to express ourselves without feeling judgment or pity.”

    Griselda’s husband, Staff Sgt. Joseph Galietti, passed away in June 2017, their daughter, Giana, was only two years old at the time.

    “It was very hard, challenging not understanding why dad was not here, said Griselda about her now five-year-old daughter, Giana. “She knew that there was a dad in her life, but she did not understand why he was not here anymore.”

    While nothing can replace their loved ones, every time they participate in Snowball Express, their Family grows a little bit bigger, making it a bit easier to deal with their loss.

    “Snowball Express actually helped me meet people, said Morgan Fisk, another Golden Star Spouse participating in the Snowball Express. “Now I have friends from Alaska to Florida, New York to England. I would not have known any of them without Snowball Express.”

    Morgan’s husband, Cpl. Michael Fisk, was only 22 years old when he passed. And like many Gold Star Spouses, Morgan did not know who or where to turn.

    “Gary Sinise Foundation has helped so much in just being able to express how we are feeling,” said Griselda. “Knowing that there is someone we can talk to and someone else is feeling how we are feeling.”

    While the Families waited to board their flight, they were provided with time to socialize with one another.

    The 4th Infantry Division Band entertained the Families with popular Christmas songs.

    Additional entertainment includes Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, therapy dogs, a Gyrsaker Falcon, and children games.

    The waiting area was filled with excitement.

    The staff assistant to the general manager of American Airlines and lead coordinator for the Fort Carson Snowball Express, Serra Piko, expressed sincere gratitude, admiration, and respect to have been part of the event.

    “I believe it’s healing to be amongst each other because I cannot relate as much as they can relate to each other,” said Piko. “I just want them to have the most amazing time they can, enjoy their trip to Disney, enjoy each other, make friends, and have an amazing time.”

    As the time to board the flight approached, leaders from Fort Carson and Peterson Base, local volunteers, and veteran organizations to include the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders form a line at the boarding gate to cheer them on and wish them a safe and happy journey.

    “I think all of us get busy in our daily lives, and if it’s not right in front of us, we forget, said Col. Robert Glazener, Fort Carson senior mission chaplain. “But events like this reminds us of the sacrifice of the men and women who came before us and the willingness to die and defend our freedom and give our children the freedom to go on to school and accomplish great things. And this does remind the military that people who came before us are very important and we stand on their shoulders today.”

    These Families have paid the ultimate sacrifice. It is a blessing to have these types of organizations for the kids and the spouses, as well.

    “I have no doubt that Snowball Express has a huge impact on every Family to build a relationship and actually give the kids a reason to smile,” said Glazener. “I think it helps them realize that they have a family, an extended family that knows and understands what they are feeling and gives them an outlet to talk about their feelings and have some fun.”



    Date Taken: 12.07.2019
    Date Posted: 12.10.2019 13:53
    Story ID: 354865
    Hometown: BURKE, VA, US
    Hometown: GRAND PRAIRIE, TX, US
    Hometown: PUEBLO, CO, US
    Hometown: WOODSTOCK, IL, US

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