Interested in connecting with others who have lost a sibling while
serving in the military? Contact Tiarrah.
She has a brother who is part of
our fallen hero warriors. Please
email us pictures of you
with your sibling so we can post them on our webpage.
TAPS has more
Welcome to the Washington State Gold Star Mothers.
We come from different backgrounds, different likes, different dislikes,
different cultures, and different faiths. We all have one thing in
common - we are all Gold Star Mothers. Our mission is to support
Veterans, Military Families and Each Other. We want to keep our
children's names and memories alive, even though they are no longer with
us on earth. If you want to learn more about GSMs please contact Monica
McNeal, GSM of LCpl Eric L. Ward, USMC, KIA, 8.17.90-2.21.10,
Our alliance is to each Gold Star Mother that we encounter.
The Washington Chapter covers a lot of geography - events are scheduled
through out the state. As a member you are the best person to get
involved in your community and share event ideas that the Chapter can
support. We currently are busy supporting the WA Fallen Hero Banner
Project, carrying banners in many parades and events throughout the
Private Facebook page is has the most current information. You will
need to request to be a member and we will verify as we want to keep
this page for GSF only and a few others that support GSF.
In 2014-2015 our focus is Supporting Veterans.
Our key projects include:
We look forward to sponsoring some trips to DC to honor our WWII
This event happens on the 2nd Saturday of December each year across the
Nation. Numerous Washington Cemeteries participate. The wreaths that the
WA GSM support are delivered to Tahoma National Cemetery and Grandview
Cemetery. We direct all our fundraising that the wreaths will be
delivered to these cemeteries. We meet at various locations to
participate in the program and to lay wreaths on Veteran's grave sites.
The 2014 WAA Funds Drive has begun. WA GSMs are partnering with 5
Appliances in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Seattle, Southcenter and Tacoma
for donations. Stop in and make a donation to buy wreaths for Washington
July 26, 2014 - Fallen Hero Banners.
Seafair Parade, Seattle. Only 80 Banners. WE
NEED ADDITONAL VOLUNTEERS.
* Arrive at 6:30 PM at the Seattle Center
* Wear Red, White, Blue or combo and comfortable
* The parade route is 2.5 miles long and will end at
* Park either at the end or beginning. Paid parking.
Expect to walk, taxi, bus or shuttle.
Contact Kim Cole at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Jenifer Dumaw Gorman at
email@example.com for more details.
July 26, 2014 - Fallen Hero Banners,
Ferndale, WA. Contact Tami Elliott at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.393.0360.
July 26, 2014 -
Brothers/100 Mile March, Mercer Island, WA.
Cheer/Support station. Details to follow.
July 26, 2014 - Vietnam Veterans
Appreciation Dinner, 6 pm, Holy Family Parish Dining
Hall, 505 17th Street SE, Auburn, WA. Free for
Vietnam Veterans, $10.00 donation requested for
others. RSVP to
email@example.com or 360.357.7684.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the beginning
of the Vietnam War, the Veterans Memorial Museum
will host “The American Veterans Traveling Tribute”,
commonly referred to as the Vietnam Traveling Wall,
from July 31st to August 3rd, 2014. The Traveling
Wall that will visit is the largest of the 5 around
the country, 360’ long and 80% of the size of the
real Wall. Six special programs will be held while
The Wall is at the Veterans Memorial Museum.
Thursday - Laying of the Wreaths: 6:00 PM.
Friday - Opening Ceremonies, 6:00 PM, LtCol Travis
Wofford, Air Force Cross Recipient speaker.
Saturday - Vietnam Remembrance Day, 11:00 AM, John
Plaster speaker. John Plaster in Vietnam ca 1970
after a POW capture; 4:00 PM, Special Guest Speaker
Bestselling Author J.A. Jance telling the stories of
our Missing in Action. Music by 133rd Army Band the
Sunday - Early Morning Community Church Service,
8:00 AM, Chaplain Stan Baker, speaker; Closing
Ceremonies, 2:00 PM, Ron Averill, speaker.
In order to host The Wall and these events, many
volunteers are needed. Committees have already been
formed and we are beginning to collect names of
those who are willing to help. We are not asking you
to sign up for specific shifts at this time, but are
asking what job you would like to do so that the
appropriate committee chair can contact you when the
time draws closer.
Jobs to be filled include: Security - 24-hour coverage is required. Parking. Set-up and Break-down - Thursday morning and
Sunday afternoon. Computer searching - for names and locations
on Wall. Thursday afternoon through Sunday. Uniformed escorts - to take people from
computers to location on Wall. Museum maintenance - clean-up of site, inside
and out, during event. Pre-event grounds preparation - mowing,
weeding, cleaning. Guided tours of the Museum.
Each shift will be 4 hours long but of course
volunteers are welcome to come back each day. If you
are willing to help in any way, would you please
give us your name, phone number, and e-mail address?
You may leave it at the Museum, or call Donna Loucks
at 360-736-2147 or send her an e-mail at
When The Wall was here in 2007, an estimated 12,000
people visited. Most of those people did not come
inside the Museum, but just looked at The Wall. We
hope for an equal or larger crowd this time and
would like to offer frequent, scheduled tours of the
museum gallery. In order to do that, we need more
people trained to be tour guides. This is a larger
commitment that will require advance training, but
tour guides are needed on a regular weekly basis and
for special tours. If you enjoy talking to people
and telling stories, please consider learning to
The theme of the program is “To Heal and Honor”.
Many veterans returning from war bury emotions deep
inside their mind and heart and do not learn how to
reconcile with them until 20 to 50 years later.
Unfortunately some never are able to come to grips
with these emotions. One of the major goals of the
Veterans Memorial Museum is to sponsor events such
as this to help the HEALING process begin.
All of the museum’s programs are intended to HONOR
those who serve or have served our country. The
freedom our citizens and our County currently have
is a direct result of the millions of American
servicemen and women who have served their country
in peace and war! Secondly with the Traveling Wall
at the museum we will also HONOR those who made the
ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
Sept 27 - 28, 2014 - Join us for
the Eighth Anniversary of
TIME OF REMEMBRANCE, a
statewide event is being planned to honor the
families and comrades of Washington, Oregon, Idaho,
Hawaii and Alaska's Fallen during this Global War on
Terrorism. This tribute, being held in the cities of
Pasco, Richland, Kennewick and West Richland,
Washington, honor those who have died for their
country and the families left behind. The 2014 "Time
of Remembrance" committee, is leading this effort.
Saturday, September 27th the families and fellow
comrades of the fallen will have the opportunity to
privately meet for a time of sharing, and will
attend break-out sessions which will provide
information to assist in the process of coping with
their loss and sacrifice. A Candlelight Vigil will
take place at Columbia Park at the Veteran's
Memorial in Kennewick. The public is invited to join
the families at the beautiful Candlelight Ceremony
next to the Columbia River. The Vigil will start at
Sunday, September 28th, there will be an official
State Recognition Ceremony hosted by the City of
West Richland at Flat Top Park. Our goal is to have
each of our heroes memory represented. This will be
the seventh year for the families of Washington
brought together for a time of comfort and healing.
We encourage all citizens to attend this important
event as we give back to those who have given their
all. Please help us welcome the Families of the
Fallen from the States of Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii and
Alaska for the first time. The Memorial Ceremony
will begin at 11:00 am.
Sept 28, 2014 -
Race for a Soldier, Gig Harbor, WA. As awareness
has increased about high suicide rates and
destructive behaviors, some very good programs have
been developed, but, undeniably, more help is
needed. The VA hospitals alone cannot aid our
soldiers to the extent required. The funds raised by
Race for a Soldier and the focused attention on the
cause will benefit and offer hope to soldiers who
are otherwise falling through the cracks.
Sept 29, 2014 - Sea-Tac Airport to meet
the WWII Veterans that are returning from the Honor
Flight to Washington, DC. Meet Mr. Bassett, (91 yrs)
who the WA State Chapter supported for this trip. 8
PM, baggage claim-South end.
Oct 2, 2014 - Stand Down 2014 - Clallam
County Fairgrounds, 9 AM - 3 PM. Volunteer
Opportunity. The GSM Lead is Konnie Brand. Volunteer
contacts: Tammy 360-417-2383, Paul 360-640-0296.
GSMs will be part of the Massing of Colors and
GSMs attending will need to wear white.
Sequence of Events
1 PM Ceremony and Massing of the Colors.
2 PM Interactive displays at Cowan and Memorial
4 PM Commemorative pinning event.
5 PM Event ends.
Oct 14, 2014 - JBLM, GSM/GSF Picnic. For
info call 253-966-5047.
Nov 1, 2014 - Fund Raiser for our Hero
Justin Norton. Visit
his web site for further information.
Nov 6, 2014 - JBLM, SOS Office, Fallen
Hero Tree Decorating, 5-7 PM. For info call
Nov 8, 2014 -
Auburn Veterans Day Parade. We will be lining up
on L Street NE in Auburn. Please wear RED, WHITE or
BLUE Combo and comfortable shoes. The recommended
parking is at the Auburn Transit Center, 2nd and A
St. SW. Parade starts at 11 AM. We're still awaiting
the number of banners. We have requested 100+ so
need all the volunteers we can find!!! Thanks!
Monica (cell 206.852.4559) will check in for the
group, please be at the location by 10:15 AM.
Nov 10, 2014 - Elma, WA High School
Veterans Day program. Starts at 1 pm. GSM will be
honored and will pin Vietnam Veterans for the 50th
Commemorative for the Vietnam-era Veterans. RSVP to
Monicammcneal@aol.com if you want to reserve
chairs. Please wear white. Map
Nov 10, 2014 - JBLM, $1.50 per game,
$2.50 for shoes, 5 pm - 7 pm. For info call
Nov 14, 2014 - Seattle University
Athletics and the Seattle University Alumni
Association are partnering to honor those who have
served and those who are serving at the home opener
for the Seattle U Men's Basketball team at KeyArena
on Friday, November 14. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm with
an opening ceremony by the ROTC cadet color guard
from Seattle University's MG Patrick H. Brady
GSFs to be honored at the event but you must RSVP to
Jaime Yslas at the email below. Please share this
information with any Veterans you know.
Veterans, active duty, military and their guests can
pick up free tickets at the will call window at the
East Box Office of KeyArena on game night. Veterans
and their supporters will be seated in section 107
of the arena. Tickets can be picked up on the day of
the event starting at 6:00 pm. Doors to the Arena
open at 6:00 pm. There will be a table on the
concourse located just inside the east entrance
where Seattle University.
Alumni can pick up their three-colored ribbon and
learn about the Seattle University Veteran Community
which supports several hundred students who are
Veterans. This group provides opportunities for
camaraderie, community service, networking, and
mutual support. There is also an Alumni Rally in
Club Live before the game, which all SU alumni are
encouraged to attend. There are a lot of great
opportunities to be involved with Seattle U, we hope
to see you at KeyArena November 14th!
Dec 4, 2014 - Holiday Mail for Heroes,
Seattle Tennis Club, 5-7 pm. GSM invited as guests.
RSVP via this event....like if you ARE attending -
This is our (Red Cross) fourth year doing Holiday
Mail for Heroes and I love that it is such an easy
way to engage the community. We invite select
donors, volunteers and our Board of Directors to
come to the event which is sponsored by our women’s
philanthropic group called the Tiffany Circle.
This is largely a social event, and the people who
come are serious about signing lots of cards! There
will be a short program with 2 speakers; Jim Aitken,
a veteran and history buff who will share a story or
two and Dawn Angelo, our CEO, who will briefly
outline American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces
Programs. We would also like to recognize any Gold
Star Moms in attendance.
Parking: The Seattle Tennis Club allows Red Cross
guests to park in the lot from 5PM – 7PM
The Club is decorated for holidays and we’ll play
some festive music and have wine and appetizers.
Dec 8, 2014 - American Lake Women's
Health Clinic Holiday Party - 9600 Veterans Dr. SW,
Tacoma, WA 98493, Building 5, 10am - 12pm.
Coming South on I-5
From Sea-Tac Airport, go to I-5, south to Tacoma.
Continue south through Tacoma on I-5, then take exit
Once you exit, get into the right hand lane and
proceed onto Gravelly Lake Drive.
Veer left at the 2nd stoplight, go to the 3rd
stoplight (approximately ½ mile), which will place
you at the intersection of Gravelly Lake Drive and
Turn left at this light, (Veterans Drive SW) and
follow Veterans Drive for approximately 1 mile. This
will take you directly to the medical center grounds
Coming North on I-5
Proceed north on I-5 and take exit 124.
At the end of the off ramp, turn left and go over
the freeway onto Gravelly Lake Drive.
Follow Gravelly Lake Drive in the left lane (veering
left at the third light) to the fourth light that
will place you at the intersection of Gravelly Lake
Drive and Veterans Drive (approximately ½ mile).
Turn left at the light onto Veterans Drive and
proceed for approximately 1 mile. This will take you
directly to the medical center grounds.
From Lakewood, take Gravelly Lake Drive and proceed
south to the light at the intersection of Gravelly
Lake Drive and Veterans Drive.
Turn right onto Veterans Drive and follow for
approximately 1 mile, which will lead you directly
to the medical center grounds.
Volunteers needed - arrive at 9:30 for set up.
They have requested a donation of some gift baskets.
Monica McNeal will donate a basket and some other
raffle prizes ........if you are volunteering can
you create a small basket and bring it to the event
or coordinate how to get it to someone who is
Valerie Marks is helping with the coffee donation
Questions: call Arlene Murray 253.720.1766 or
Valerie Marks 360.761.1766.
Jan 10, 2015 - Gold Star Family
Luncheon, 10:30 am - noon. Guest speaker Dr. Charles
Wisenhunt, PhD. The cost of the luncheon is $10.
Please RSVP to Monica McNeal at
Monicammcneal@aol.com by Jan 4, 2015. More
Feb 7, 2015 - Save the Date/Details to
follow. JBML Volunteers needed 8-5 pm. Marine Active
Duty & Reservist pre-screening. Nick of Time
The project is lead by Laurie Finlayson, who's son
died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. David was on a
training run in Hawaii.
June 25-27, 2015 - American Gold Star
Mothers National Convention, Kansas City, MO, Westin
Kansas City at Crown Center. Details to follow.
Sept 26-27, 2015 - Time of Remembrance -
WA, ID, OR. Details to follow.
Snohomish Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast, Dec 11,
GSMs Myra Rintamaki and Monica McNeal.
Fallen Honored by Wreaths Across America and WA GSMs,
Dec 9, 2014
Each year the
Wreaths Across America organization tries to
decorate as many graves at veterans cemeteries as
possible. They are aided by many other organizations and
individuals who buy wreaths and place them at various
cemeteries across the country.
In addition, most states have a ceremony at their
Capitol to honor those that served. This year the
Washington State Chapter of AGSM, was represented by
Valerie Marks, Secretary and Mary Bradshaw at the
ceremony in Olympia.
Veteran Appreciation was sponsored by Seattle
University and honored our Vietnam-era Veterans with the
50th Anniversary Commemorative Pin.
Valerie Marks and Arlene Murray (WA
GSW Tahoma Chapter President)
2 Vietnam Veterans receiving their Commemorative Pin.
Valerie Marks, WA State Secretary and
Monica McNeal, WA State President in white.
Veterans Day Assembly Alma WA High School, Nov 10,
WA GSMs support the Veteran's Day Assembly at Elma
High School in Elma, WA. Deonna Philips and Monica
McNeal do the pinning and flag presentation to honor and
recognize our Vietnam-era Veterans. About 40 Vietnam
Veterans received the commemorative pin and Welcome Home
Auburn Veterans Day Parade, Nov 8, 2014
WA GSFs participate in the 49th Auburn Veteran's Day
parade. We carried 100 of the WA Fallen Hero Banners and
we won the General’s Award – Best in Parade! See the
article and other winners
SOS-JBLM Hero Tree Trimming, Nov 6, 2014
Tree with Stars of our Heroes.
Marks/Venning GSF Family.
Kristine Fallstone, GSM.
Stars dedicated to individual fallen
Families Gather in Tri-Cities to remember fallen
heroes, Sept 26, 2014
than 160 family members of service members killed in
recent wars are expected in the Tri-Cities this weekend
for A Time of Remembrance.
The families will start gathering Saturday to begin
sharing memories, said Shirley Schmunk of Richland,
whose son, Army National Guard Spc. Jeremiah Schmunk,
20, died July 9, 2004, in Iraq.
The weekend will culminate with the eighth annual
ceremony honoring those lost in Iraq, Afghanistan and
elsewhere at 11 a.m. Sunday at Flat Top Park in West
GSMs Visit Gold Star Mothers Monument in Everett,
Oct 15, 2014
TO THE MEN AND WOMEN
WHO WOULD ASK NOT
WHAT THEIR COUNTRY
COULD DO FOR THEM
BUT WHAT THEY COULD
DO FOR THEIR COUNTRY
THIS MEMORIAL IS FOREVER
THE EVERGREEN CHAPTER
AMERICAN GOLD STAR MOTHERS, INC.
L to R Monica McNeal,
Dedi Noble and Myra Rintamaki.
50th Commemorative for Vietnam-era Veterans at JBLM,
Oct 9, 2014
There was a large turn out to welcome
Vietnam era Veterans home.
Over 1000 Vietnam Vets have registered and even more are
expected to attend.
The News Tribune...
“It is never too late, never too late,
to pay tribute to the men and women who
served and continue to serve our country,” said I Corps
Commander Lt. Gen.
Stephen Lanza, the senior Army officer at JBLM.
Diane Tathum, Valerie Marks and Mary
Valerie Marks, Diane Tathum, Monica
Elizabeth Rose Huttula, Vietnam-era Gold Star
Mother, Passes Away, Oct 3, 2014
WA GSMs Support Puget Sound Honor Flights for WWII
Veterans, Sept 29, 2014
Family, friends and well wishers await the return of an
to SeaTac airport in Seattle, WA.
Gold Star and Blue Star Moms at the
GSMs Andi Bailey far right and Monica McNeal at left.
L to R GSM Jane Hughes, WWII Veteran
Mr. Bennett, FSM Monica McNeal.
WA State GSMs Show Their Support for NAMES
Foundation, Sept 7, 2014
NAMES Foundation is dedicated to honoring the life
and memory of 1stLt Nicholas Aaron Madrazo, USMC. He was
killed by a roadside bomb along with Capt Jessie Melton
(USMC), HM3 Eichmann Strickland (a medic), and an Afghan
interpreter on Sept. 9, 2008 in Kapisa Province,
Afghanistan. His life ended that day but the influence
Nicholas had on so many people has inspired the NAMES
GSM Linda Swanberg helps.
GSM Jenny Madrazo honors her son
inspiration for the founding of the NAMES Foundation.
GSM Monica McNeal does the 5K.
GSM Shelly Starr helps out.
GSM Debbi Jobs helps.
GSM Myra Rintamaki and grandson Owen
do the 5K.
Gold Star Mothers Attend and Support RallyPoint/6
Grand Opening, Sept 3, 2014
Director of WA Dept Veterans Affairs
Lourdes (Alfie) Avarado-Ramos.
Fallen Hero Banners in Prosser WA, Sept 1, 2014
We produced this in Prosser at the Labor Day parade. It
will be shown
on several public cable TV stations in our State in the
next few weeks.
McChord Air Force Base Does First Ruck Challenge to
Support WA Gold Star Mothers, Aug 8, 2014
GSMs Carol Jones Shields, Monica
McNeal and Jane Hughes come out
to cheer the runners on.
GSM and SOS Support the Pax2Pax Ride from Boston to
Seattle, Aug 7, 2014
GSMs and Survivor Outreach Services
Pax2Pax Charity Cycling ride
from Boston to Seattle. 2 USMC Veterans, Denny Salisbury
and Jay Knight, cycled
across country to raise money for the Johnny Strong
Charity Ride for Child’s Play.
GSM Families hosted the riders in their homes as they
finished in Seattle, WA.
GSM at the finish line above Monica McNeal and Mary
GS Families Attend Marine Week in Seattle WA, July
30- Aug 3, 2014
WA Fallen Hero Banners at the Seafair/Torchlight
Parade, Seattle, WA, July 26, 2014
WA Gold Star Families are Guest at Emerald Downs
June 23, 2014