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Jan. 9, 2023

Blue and Gold Star Families, who are they, and what do they mean?

Blue and Gold Star Families, who are they, and what do they mean?

Today we are talking about Blue Star and Gold Star families.

Blue star family designation started back in WW1 as a way for families to show support and recognition of active duty family members serving in a combat zone.

We talk about how that has evolved today. How to recognize and Blue and Gold Star families?  How can we honor them?

We briefly talk about the organization Blue Star Families and how it differs and what their mission is.

Stay tuned for the kickoff to our financial series starting next week!

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[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to today's show. I wanted to focus. As we come into 2023, we are in 2023 now on, I, I've kind of been thinking about, you know, I've done 52 episodes, which is insane to me. 52 episodes of the show and just kind of thinking about what, what do I want this next year to look at?

[00:00:24] What or to, to focus on, to look like, to feel like and because I kind of feel like this last year of, of episodes and just the show in general was just kind of me with my hair on fire, figuring it out and just trying to make the best of it. So this year I really wanted to try and be a little bit more.

[00:00:48] not a little bit more, that's not the right word. I just wanna be more more thoughtful and more expand on the military knowledge a little bit more. I feel like, you know, I've, I've talked about this before. I've been a military spouse for over 20 years, and there's so many things that I don't, I don't know.

[00:01:09] I don't know what it means. I don't know. organizations that exist, benefits that exist. You know, just, I think that there's just, and you know, as I've talked to many, many military spouses over the last year, is that there's just this, a lack of, there's just a breakdown of communication. You know, there's so many resources and so many outlets and so many things, and it's just finding it and and knowing about it.

[00:01:33] part of that is, is going to be, you know, just what are some things, and this is for me personally, and then you can, you know, hit me up on on Instagram or my email and let me know if there's things that you would be interested in learning more about. So one of the things that was on my list is , what is a blue star family?

[00:01:51] What's a gold star family? What, what does that mean? What, what, what are, what are those things at all? So that's kind of what we're gonna touch on today. And then that's gonna lead us into I'm gonna be doing a series, the next few episodes on finances. That's one of the things that when I first started the show, I wanted to focus on because.

[00:02:07] Again, through our military career we've seen a lot of things and I have been friends with people that have been through some pretty traumatic experiences related to the military and what that has meant to them financially has been pretty crazy. So we're gonna dive into that a little bit. 

[00:02:25] Blue Star and Gold Star family. A Blue Star family consists of immediate family members of a service member during a time of conflict. So the Blue Star, , , it started back in World War I for, as a way of family members to be able to show. Their support and that they had a family member, a child serving actively in combat overseas.

[00:02:53] And so there was a, an army captain back in World War I, who had at the time had two sons serving on the frontline, and he's the one that made this blue star service flag. So what it looks like, so that if you see it, you could recognize what it is. It's essentially a long rectangle and it's a red, it's red in the background, and then it has a smaller white rectangle on the inside of the red one.

[00:03:20] And then there's a blue star inside of that white. And what it means is each blue star designates. A family member that's serving overseas so you can have multiple blue stars on a flag. I, I feel like it was more, the flag was more of a World War I, world War ii thing. I, I honestly I haven't seen one myself.

[00:03:43] I don't, I mean, we haven't lived on. We haven't lived on a lot of military bases, but it's not something, I think now that I know what it is, maybe I would rec see it more. But I, I think, I feel like the actual flying of that flag is a little bit more of like an old school kind of thing. . So that's what a Blue Star family is.

[00:04:01] A Blue Star family is a family that has an an immediate family member serving in a combat area, and then a Gold Star family is the immediate family member or members of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict. So similar to. , the the Blue Star family flag, it's the same way.

[00:04:27] What they do is they would just, if the, if the service member died in combat, they would place a gold star over the blue. So it's essentially, you know, the gold star with just a small outline of the blue, again with the red background, white on the inside, and then the flag the star inside of that. And then, , they, so a Gold star family can display the Gold Star service flag.

[00:04:50] So if you see that, you would know what that means who are killed or who died while serving in the armed forces. And then the number of gold stars on the flag corresponds with the number of individuals who were killed or who died. And then a gold star is placed over the blue Star. We just talked about that over the Blue Star.

[00:05:07] On the Blue Star service flag so that the blue forms a border and creates a gold star service flag. And then the US Department of Defense also issues gold star lapel pins to immediate family members of a fallen service member of the military. So these pins are worn by spouse's, parents and children.

[00:05:25] of service members who are killed in the line of duty. And it's a it contains a gold star on a purple circular background. So if you see someone wearing that on on their lapel or on their collar, that is what that means, that they are the immediate family member of a fallen service military member who died, someone who was killed in the line of duty.

[00:05:47] So, There is that. And then so who you, you can, they have like, you know, the Department of Defense specifies who can display this flag. But again, , I don't feel like I see it, but you have to have authorization to be able to display the Blue Star flag or the Gold Star flag.

[00:06:06] And then gold Star Mother's Day and Family's Day. So the, in 1936, a congressional resolution named the last Sunday of September as Gold Star Mother's Day. And, and then it was amended in 2011 by President Barack Obama. That included the recognition of all Gold Star family members on that day.

[00:06:27] So the last Sunday of September is gold Star Family Day. So what can you do ? What can you do to honor the blue and gold star families? You know, since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been ongoing for so many years people kind of forget, you know, the meaning of blue and gold star families.

[00:06:46] But by recognizing the significance of the blue or gold star service flag in the gold star lapel pin, you can honor those who have survived, whether it be a parent or spouse or a child, and just the knowledge and the recognition. The importance in honoring those family members. So a little bit, kind of somber so essentially the Blue Star family is someone that has a, a family member serving in combat presently at the time. And then the Gold Star family has a family, immediate family member who was killed in the line of duty. So, so those were those two. And then, you know, In the military community, you have probably heard of blue Star Families and Blue Star Families is its own thing.

[00:07:37] So Blue Star Families is an organization that was it was founded by military spouses in 2009. And essentially it's organization that so I'm just gonna read you their little blurb that they have on their thing. So so it was founded by military spouses in 2009 to empower these families to thrive as they serve.

[00:08:01] We're committed to strengthening military. by connecting them with their neighbors, individuals, and organizations to create vibrant communities of mutual support. Believe, we believe that we're all stronger when we take care of one another. So they have a lot of different programs and you know, in chapters and things all over the.

[00:08:20] all over the world. They do not have any in the state of Colorado . But they do have a lot of, they do have a lot of programs and one of their huge things that they do every year that you might have heard of is the Blue Star family survey the military. Family survey that they put out, that they, that they conduct every year.

[00:08:39] That thing is robust. . I I don't think I'd heard about it previously, but you know, obviously I'm have been, well entrenching myself in the learning about more about military, the military spouse community, ? What resources and options and things that are out there and blue Star Fam I heard about this survey and so when it came out, I can't remember what it was, it was in the summer.

[00:09:02] I don't remember, but it's open for like, I feel it like it was in the summer. It was like June or July. And they, you know, highly encourage military families to take it. And it was intense. I think I spent, I spent a good 20 minutes on it and I still wasn't even like a fraction of the way through it.

[00:09:19] And then note to self, don't hit the back button because everything went away. And I was like, and that's me done because of . It was, it was a lot. But they're asking a lot of real, you know, they really are trying to get the pulse. the pain points for military families. There were a lot of questions in there about feel about integrating into your local community.

[00:09:40] Do you feel like you're supported? Do you feel connected and things like that? Which I don't know. I, it's just, I don't know. Maybe I'm not in the right firm in mind, to have this conversation today. I'm I'm not super happy with the military right now. They're where you just, it's like it's just one, it seems like it's just one thing after the other.

[00:10:01] You know? Like they wanna send Michael to the school and it's over the girls' spring break and I'm like, really? Really? We whole week off of school that we could do something together as a family and he's gonna go t d. . Awesome. I'm super happy about that. Anyway, I digress. So , but it's, you know, I don't know, it, it, it's interesting to me because I feel like I don't know, like what do, what do we expect there to be as far as like a community supporting your military families?

[00:10:39] Like, I, I, I don't know. I don't think that, I don't think it's there. Like I, I as a, as a military family, in the community that we are in in Denver, I feel like it's almost like, who cares? I, I don't know. You know what I mean? Like why? . I, it doesn't come up in, well, it does come up. It comes up a lot in regular conversation, , because they're like, oh.

[00:11:07] I'm like, oh, well we've only been here for a year. Oh, well where did you come from? Well, , you mean last, or like, we've lived in, you know, six different places in the last eight years. What do you, and so then it's like, oh, well, we're a military family. Oh, okay. But that's kind of, that's the only way. Comes up and then you know, with the girls' school, they honor veterans on Veterans Day.

[00:11:34] And they did like a whole program and stuff, which was really cute. But like, otherwise, there's, it's . It's not there. I don't know. It's, it's interesting because it's, I don't know where we are. It's like, is it like an outta sight, outta mind kind of thing? Is it. You know, people don't think about if, if we're not actively engaged in a conflict like we were for so many years in Iraq and Afghanistan, if we're not engaged in an active conflict, then it's not happening.

[00:12:09] But. The military still exist, there's still deployments, there's still workups, there's still, I mean, it's still, we're still grinding away and . And it's, you know, this, this lifestyle is, is really, really, really challenging. And again, I'm like super salty today, , so I'm gonna try, we're not gonna talk about that too much because not feeling super awesome.

[00:12:34] But anywho okay. I really went off on a tangent there. So I just wanted to keep it short and sweet. Gold star families, blue star families, what are they? So we've covered all of that stuff and then this is leading us into the financial series that is coming up next, over the next few weeks. And the first thing that we're gonna be talking about are, is life insurance and survivor benefits.

[00:12:59] BP survivor benefits program, what that looks like, what that means, and just making informed decisions in that way. So that's coming up next week. And then we're gonna get into more financial stuff, too. Financial planning. How do you pick a financial planner? What do you need to do? What do you need to look out for, things like that.

[00:13:19] I'm gonna share some resources that way, and then I am hoping to talk to some other male spouses in the finance and retirement kind of area so that we can get even more insight from them. So stay tuned for all of that, and I hope you have a good rest of your day.