Article Display

Gold Star Mothers honor legacy of their sons

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
With heavy hearts and strong spirits, two American Gold Star mothers, from the South Carolina chapter, mustered the courage to tour Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., as tribute to their fallen sons, April 22.

“Time today has served as a reminder of the importance of slowing down and honoring the ultimate sacrifices made by our Gold Star families,” said Lt. Col Chad Bellamy, 20th Fighter Wing, chaplain. “My prayer is that grieving families may forever know their loved one made a difference and their legacy lives on through our commitment to wear this uniform and serve our nation.”

The group had lunch at the Golf Course with Maj. Darryl Hebert, 20th Force Support Squadron commander, discussing their sons’ lives, followed by a visit to Memorial Lake with Colonel Derek O’Malley, 20th FW Commander, Chief Master Sgt. Johnny Grassi, 20th Medical Group superintendent and Bellamy.

With somber faces, all three service members handed a tiny blue bag to each parent. The gift bags contained t-shirts and dog tags, symbols of appreciation, yet none of the parents were able to contain their emotions. Tears and smiles broke out across their faces as they shook hands with the service members, continuing the fight their sons left off.

“I think the primary reason we came today was to observe what takes place in our military and keeping our son Andrew’s name alive as he fought beside and for these military members” said retired Master Sgt. Patrick Bubacz, father of Staff Sgt. Andrew Bubacz. “It’s both a sad reminder and a tribute to our son for his heroism to be able to come here and be reminded where he worked.”

Teresa Hick’s son, Jason, passed away while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2003. Lynda and Patrick Bubaczs’ son, Andrew, passed away from non-combat related injuries while deployed in 2010.

Dating back to World War I, the American Gold Star Mothers organization started because blue stars were given to parents of children in combat; and while their sons and daughter came home, not everyone was so lucky. A group of women whose sons never came home put together the American Gold Star Mothers organization and continue helping others get through the passing of their sons and daughters, keeping their memories alive.

The parents of Andrew Bubacz and Jason Hicks were presented with base access cards as a token of the undying gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.