What Every Military Mother Sees: Gold Star Moms


The Marine pilot chuckled when I showed him the picture my Army son sent me of himself with a giant weapon and a threatening expression.

“I have a picture of myself at the same age exactly like that,” the Marine said. “Everyone does.”

I’m sure those guys look at the picture and see themselves armed and dangerous.

I don’t see it quite that way. I see what every mom sees when she sees her own child in uniform. I see my little boy.

I see the five year old who begged for a Boot Camp birthday party. I see that raggy soldier costume coming through the laundry again. I see his baby face, his rounded cheek, his earnest expression.

I don’t see that when I look at other men and women in uniform. Just my own child.

Except for the last Sunday in September. Except on Gold Star Mother’s Day. That is the day we honor all those mothers whose sons and daughters served and died in uniform so that the world could be a better place. (Read more about Gold Star Mother’s Day and Resources here).

On Gold Star Mother’s Day, I am so aware of the precious lives of our fallen. Of how much their mothers put into them. And how even the love of a mother cannot keep them all safe. Is this what every mother sees?


We honor the courage today of Gold Star Mothers.  They may have the ability to now see every person in uniform as some mother’s son or some mother’s daughter.  They see them all as one precious life after another.  Which is what they really are.


This post originally ran September 29, 2013

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at JaceyEckhart.net.
  • Vietnam Vet

    God Bless all the Gold Star Moms for their pain and sacrifice.

  • God bless each and everyone who wears the flag on your uniform and gave the ultimate sacrafice. Thank you is never enough and to the families. My hearts and prayers are always there. As a Marine Mom, I know the price is so high.

  • Faye

    I am a Gold Star Mom, it is horrible!
    A club that we do not want any one else to be a member of!
    It is pure HELL! You never recover. The hurt an pain. You see your loved one
    Every where. You love them an miss then, no matter how long. it has been!

    • annemarie

      Faye, thank you does not seem adequate enough but Thank you. As a Mom of a little 4 year old boy who wants to be a solider your post brought a tear to my eye. I will say a special prayer for you and all the Gold Star Moms today.

    • MSG Retired

      God Bless You Faye. May you find strength in the fond memories of your child. Take solace in knowing that he or she died doing what they loved, for a grateful Nation that they loved. We all share your sorrow and wish beyond hope that there will never be another Gold Star Mother.

  • Jerri

    Faye~ my grandmother was a Gold Star Mom…..yes, it was horrible. My uncle died in WWII at the age of 19. She never recovered……..we all knew her grief was something that could not be soothed away. He was her first born, her favorite son. The unfortunate innocent victim in all of it was my father ~ just a year younger, he suffered to the end of his life (67) knowing full well his parents would rather it had been he who died, not my uncle. It was a cruel burden to carry. I loved my grandparents dearly, and the uncle I was never able to meet. Gold Star Mothers are very special people……. I so wish there’d never be another one added to the club. I hope one day your burden is lifted even if only slightly~

  • Kriss

    I just lost my son on 6 July 2015. He was a Lance Corporal in the Marines. I became a Gold Star MoM, but am still coming to terms with it. I miss my son terribly, but I know he would not want me to wallow in grief. I try to keep his memory alive and remember the good times we had. He was my bright light when I was going through cancer. He was always lifting me up and making me laugh. This club is not something I ever wanted to be a part of, especially this soon in his life, The one thing we have to keep in mind is that they are at peace now, so we must be happy for them. He was a proud Marine and he loved the Corp. Semper Fidelis

    • God bless and keep you. There is nothing I can say to make things right but know the sacrifices are never forgotten. Keep shining bright!!
      Thank you for sharing your story with how recent the loss. You are a very strong Marine Mom Semper Fi