Story and photos by Spc. Nathan Thome
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Gold Star mothers attended a celebration luncheon held in their honor by Survivor Outreach Services at the Fallen Heroes Family Center, Sept. 19.
The luncheon included a meal cooked by members of the Fort Carson Culinary Arts Team, a raffle giveaway and a resiliency class.
“On behalf of (Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson), this is a wonderful program. I have never seen anything like this before; this is special, and will continue for years to come,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Bills, acting senior commander, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson.
The luncheon is usually held on the last Sunday of September, because it is the day of national recognition of Gold Star mothers.
“We celebrated this early, because a lot of the mothers are going to Washington, D.C., at the end of the month to join the national event,” said Gigi Wilson, SOS financial counselor. “This is in recognition of their sacrifices, because they lost a (child); it’s a way of showing that we are here for them.”
Members of the culinary arts team and Olebria Green-Lassien, a Gold Star Mom, made the luncheon possible; with the cooks’ skills in the kitchen, and Green-Lassien’s specialized menu.
“This is a very good cause. It’s for mothers who have lost a lot and sacrificed a lot, so doing this for them is special,” said Spc. Angela Williams, food service specialist, Headquarters Support Company, 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Inf. Div. “It makes them feel that they are wanted and needed, and that they can be appreciated for their sacrifice.”
When Williams heard about the luncheon, she spoke with her leaders to assist with the event.
“I coordinated with my leaders to see if they could help out in the decorations, cake and food,” she said. “There was a lot of work put into it, but they were willing to help us out, because it’s a good cause.”
Williams said she loved the feeling of honoring the Gold Star mothers.
“If they ask me to come back next year, I’ll help them do it all over again.”
June Wigglesworth, a Gold Star mother and native of Hawaii, attended the event.
“It’s extremely important that they comfort the Families, because they’ve given so much, given up their son or daughter — that’s such a supreme sacrifice,” said Wigglesworth. “It helps the Families to know at least they were appreciated. So this is very much welcomed. It’s very comforting.”