About the Parents

Who are surviving military parents?

You are a cross section of America and found from sea to shining sea. You live in a big city, a small town or somewhere in between. You’re married, divorced, widowed, remarried, single or in a committed relationship. You’re Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Alaska or Hawaiian native, or a combination of races. You became a parent when your first child was born, or though remarriage, adoption or foster care.

You are also a part of a growing group you never wanted to join—you’re a surviving military parent, a mother or father of an adult child who died in the military. This isn’t how you dreamed life would turn out. But it did. And you can’t fix it.

Gold Star parents

As a surviving military parent, you’re coping with a tough set of circumstances, many of which are unique to a military loss:

  • You found the casualty notification process unnerving
  • Your child’s military funeral is etched onto your heart
  • You look at an American flag and think of your child
  • You take attacks on America personally
  • Others can’t identify with your profound military grief


My son did not ‘pass away.’ He was killed—there’s a big difference.