North Island to Reserve Parking for Families of Fallen Soldiers
Posted by: kateg 5 years, 11 months ago
CNIC to Honor Gold Star Families with Designated Parking
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In an effort to honor those who have given their all in the defense of our country and to those they left behind, Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is implementing the Gold Star program to ensure family members of active duty fallen Sailors have continued access at all Navy installations.
Since June 30 Navy installations have begun implementing designated parking spaces for Gold Star Family (GSF) members at various locations on base in order to recognize and honor these families.
By providing Gold Star program members designated parking spaces, these Navy family members will be able to access resources and support services without having to obtain an escort onto the base.
Gold Star Family members' designated parking spots will be available at Fleet Family Service Centers and commissaries, among other locations. Additional parking spaces may be designated at the discretion of the base commanding officer with consideration for expected use and parking space availability. Additional designated parking may be offered at locations such as military cemeteries, chapels, memorials and other locations as the base commanding officer deems appropriate. GSF member designated parking spots on installations will allow GSF members to attend on base ceremonies and events, memorials, museums, and visit with other Gold Star program members.
While the details and issuance of Gold Star access cards is still being finalized, family members of fallen service members can receive the paperwork to register for the program with the Department of the Navy's Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO) program.
Naval District Washington (NDW) installations such as Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) and Naval Air Station Patuxent River have already begun implementing the GSF parking spaces. Though a seemingly small gesture, the sentiment is that of respect and honor.
"Although a parking space seems like a trivial thing, when compared to what these family members have gone through, it's one way of saying that they will always be a part of our military family," said Capt. Frederick "Fritz" Kass, NSAB's commanding officer.
Historically, mothers of fallen service members began calling themselves "Gold Star Mothers" during the First World War. Since 1936, the United States has been observing Gold Star Mothers Day on the last Sunday of September to honor these mothers.
In 1967, Congress standardized the service banners and established the Gold Star lapel pins to issue to immediate family members of service members killed in combat, including those who have committed suicide in theater. The Next of Kin pin signifies a service-related death or suicide during active duty other than combat. In 2010, Congress designated Dec. 18 as Gold Star Wives Day.
For more information on CNIC programs, visit http://cnic.navy.mil/.
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