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Army North News Feed
NEWS | Sept. 25, 2022

Never Forgotten, always Remembered, Gold Star Mothers and Families honored in proclamation ceremony

U.S. Army North

The loss of a loved one can feel like a lost piece of a puzzle that can never be found. The Gold Star Mothers and Families program doesn’t fix the puzzle, but rather, honors the legacy of fallen service members.

As a tribute to our fallen service members and their families, the Army Support Activity’s Survivor Outreach Services and U.S. Army North hosted a ceremony to honor Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day, with local Gold Star mothers and families, leadership representing each military service branch, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and the Joint Base San Antonio community, Sept. 25, 2022.

The ceremony included speeches and a proclamation of Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day, which is celebrated annually on the last Sunday of September, nationwide.

“There’s nowhere else in our society that we ask someone who has lost so much, to give, yet again of themselves, and wrap themselves around people who are suffering in a way that only they understand,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John Evans, U.S. Army North’s commanding general.

Evans told the story of a good friend, depicting the strength and resolve of our Gold Star mothers and families.

“I was overwhelmed at the strength of this Gold Star mother, who had lost her son, not two years before, to be able to walk up and offer a rose to a mother, who is fresh in her grief, from losing her son in the past five days,” said Evans. “I asked her how she finds the strength to do it.”

“She said, John, we’re part of a very reluctant club, a club for which we want no membership. A club for which the price of membership is a terrible, terrible price. But we value every one of our members,” Evans shared.

Gold Star mothers and families are honored and respected for continuing to give our country each day. This ceremony is one small way to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Yet, it is those Gold Star mothers and families that continue to give back to their communities on behalf of their fallen servicemember.

“As a mother of a fallen hero, I’ve learned it is our duty as Americans to help each other find a way to keep living and honoring at the same time,” said Dr. Carla Sizer, Gold Star mother and retired U.S. Air Force officer.

Sizer lost her eldest son, Spc. Dane R. Balcon, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.

“I remember September 5th like it was yesterday,” said Sizer. “I turned down my street and I saw that white van and two Army Soldiers standing in my driveway. I immediately knew they were there to notify me… I never in a million years imagined that my son was killed in action. At that very moment, my life fell apart.”

In the days and weeks following her son’s death, she worked with the casualty assistant officer assigned to her.

“I recall… he came every day for three months while I was grieving, and noticed that he was struggling too,” Sizer recounted. “I asked, why do you continue to keep coming to my house day after day, knowing that I am not ready…”

This officer’s response was not something she expected. He confided to her that she was his first notification ever.

“Sgt. Dean looked me straight in the eyes and he said my hope is that someone will be there for my wife too,” said Sizer. “This interaction with Sgt. Dean was a perfect example of our duty to help others navigate the most painful parts of our lives; the loss of a loved one.”

Sizer’s commitment to her son’s legacy ensures that he is always remembered, much like many other fallen service members’ legacies that live on with their Gold Star mothers and families.

“The mothers and fathers of our fallen servicemembers are forced to know what the real price of freedom is. Being a Gold Star family is a distinction that no one seeks. But a Gold Star is a symbol of the loved one,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

During the ceremony, Mayor Nirenberg presented a proclamation officially declaring Sept. 25, 2022, as Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day for the City of San Antonio. The proclamation helped to ensure that the legacy and sacrifices of these servicemembers and families are never forgotten, always remembered.