SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – On Wednesday, May 2, the Gold Star Dads of America visited Springfield and received a resolution to honor the families of fallen military servicemen and women.
State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and State Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris) were honored to meet with members Jerry and Jeannie Terando from Morris, who lost their son, Josh, in Iraq on Nov. 10, 2005.
“This organization is crucial because they provide the support needed after the unimaginable loss of a child,” said Rep. Roth. “The Terandos are a truly inspiring family who raised a wonderful son who wanted to serve our country.”
Gold Star Dads of America, a not-for-profit 501(3)c organization was initially formed in California in 2007 by Mike Klasno, the Gold Star father of Sgt. Rhys W. Klasno. In Springfield, the resolution was read before the House by Representative JoAnn Osmond, officially recognizing the fathers of each and every fallen military member.
“I was so honored to meet so many families of our brave soldiers,” said Rep. Roth. “I am grateful we were able to honor them and thank the families for their sacrifices.”
Sen. Rezin echoed Rep. Roth, saying how meaningful it was to be able to meet these families and honor the fallen soldiers.
“I’ve met many Gold Star families and it is an emotional experience each time,” she said. “As a mother, I cannot imagine the grief they experience. As Americans, it is important to honor these soldiers and their families for all that they have done. They have given us the ultimate sacrifice.”
American Gold Star Mothers was formed back in the era of World War I, and has been a sounding board and support organization for mothers of fallen soldiers. Klasno realized that, after the death of his son, many fathers also desired to be a part of the healing process in the same vein of the American Gold Star Mothers.
Since the formation of this organization in 2007, Illinois is the first state to officially recognize the group. For more information on Gold Star Dad’s of America, itswebsite is http://goldstardads.org/.