The Gold Star Mission is a nonprofit organization that seeks to Honor and Support Gold Star Families by preserving the memory of our Fallen Heroes through service to others in need.

The term Gold Star Family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag, which was first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which the armed forces of the United States were engaged. If that loved one died, the family replaced the blue star with a gold star, informing members of the community the family paid the ultimate price in support of our freedom.

The Gold Star Mission was established in 2017 in Springfield, Illinois after several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the Gold Star Families that lost a loved one in Afghanistan or Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a desire to provide scholarships for surviving children has evolved into widespread effort to assist Gold Star Families and others in need in order to preserve the memory of our Fallen Heroes.

Too often, we forget the ultimate sacrifices men and women make in order to preserve our way of life. For example, we will never forget twenty-six year old Army Staff Sergeant Josh Melton from Germantown, Illinois and forty-three year old Sergeant Paul Smith from Peoria, Illinois who made the ultimate sacrifice. On June 19, 2009 when on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) killing both Josh and Paul. These Soldiers died as heroes, leaving families and loved ones behind. They were respected members of their communities and will be missed greatly. Their memory must be preserved forever.

Currently, the Illinois National Guard has had 34 Soldiers and Airmen killed in action since September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, all communities across the United States share similar sorrows. Josh and Paul exemplified the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Now it is time we fulfill our obligation and never forget their sacrifice.

Gold Star Mission;

Pays Tribute to fallen heroes and their families

Enlists public Assistance in support of Gold Star families

Provides unique Programs honoring the fallen heroes

Encourages Selfless service

The Gold Star Mission is an opportunity to ensure that these service members’ names live on forever, and that their sacrifices create opportunities to enrich the lives of others. Thus, we must Never Forget.