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NEWS | March 24, 2023

National Gold Star Spouses Day: ‘We support your strength and courage’

By A.J. Marshall Jr. Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator, Army Support Activity

April 5 is Gold Star Spouses Day, a day that honors spouses who lost their military significant other in the line of duty or because of their military service.

This year’s theme is “We support your strength and courage.” The Survivor Outreach Services office at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston will honor all Gold Star spouses and recognize surviving military spouses at a National Gold Star Spouse Day tribute from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 5 at the Survivor Outreach Community Center, 2414 Stanley Rd., building 131. A light lunch will be provided.

The national observance originally started as Gold Star Wives Day and evolved to Gold Star Spouses’ Day in 2010, as directed by U.S. Department of Defense guidance.

Our Gold Star spouses have made tremendous sacrifices with the loss of their service members under hostile operations. Our surviving spouses who lost their spouses while serving on active duty will also be recognized.

Both have lost, both have served, and both have supported the nation and they won’t be forgotten. They will always be a part of this military community and Survivor Outreach Services will continue to serve them and connect them to our military community.

The Gold Star tradition dates back to 1918, when, in the midst of World War I, families with someone serving in the military flew flags with blue stars representing each family member currently serving. When a member was killed in the war, the star was changed to gold to let the community know about the sacrifice that the family had made. This tradition has evolved to include wearing a Gold Star lapel pin that is awarded by the military to the surviving family members.

This tradition continued through World War II, and in 1947, the U.S. Congress approved the design and distribution of the Gold Star lapel button with a purple center, which identifies the surviving family members of those who have been killed in action. Those families whose service members died while on active duty receive a solid gold pin.

In both cases, we honor and show respect and support for these military families. The Fort Sam Houston Survivor Outreach Services sends our thanks to our supporting partners from the JBSA Military Family & Readiness centers and Tuesday’s Children for assisting in this appreciation program.

Our military community means what it says when we say “we support your strength and courage” to our community of Gold Star Spouses and surviving military spouses.

To attend the tribute, send an RSVP to by March 27.