The 63rd Regional Support Command hosted its 4th annual Gold Star
Family Day event on Septemer 24, 2016 at Armed Forces Reserve
Center, Mountain View, Calif., to honor local Families who have
dealt with the loss of loved ones in combat.
was coordinated by David Harvey, Army Reserve Survivor Outreach
Service Program, who invited local families and community veterans
to the ceremony.
“Our mission is to build a unified support
program which embraces and reassures survivors that they are
continually linked to the Army Family for as long as they need us,”
The event is one of the ways they keep the
affected Families closely linked to the local military, Harvey said.
The sacrifice and hardships endured by the surviving Families
were recognized by Norman Aleman, veteran services officer for the
San Mateo County region.
“We don't know what you're going
through, we don't know the sorrows, we don't know the long nights,
but we do know that we're here for you,” Aleman said. “Each and
every day, we are here for you.”
Aleman urged the Families to
hold on to the memories of their children, the good and the bad
“Hold on to them, that last hug, the last smile, that
last conversation,” Aleman said. “Reach out to the families that are
with you, the service members, the staff ... there is no greater
sacrifice and we are here to honor you.”
Five Gold Star
Mothers were recognized and given a standing ovation by the
Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and contractors within
the 63rd RSC.
Sept. 24, 2016 - Soldiers from the 63rd Regional Support Command
give standing applause to Gold Star Mothers (from left to right)
Beverly Balsley, Dianne Layfield and Deloris Kesterson, in honor of
their sacrifices during the 63rd RSC's 4th annual Gold Star Family
Day event at Armed Forces Reserve Center, Mountain View, California.
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Alun Thomas)
The mothers included Beverly Balsley, Deloris Kesterson,
Dianne Layfield, Jacqueline Sigua and Beth Womack.
Balsley, of Hayward, Calif., lost her son, Spc. Michael
Balsley, when he was killed instantly by an improvised
explosive device in Iraq on January 25, 2007.
Balsley spoke about the support her family was given by
military related organizations following Michael's death.
“At Michael's funeral I saw lots of people holding
flags, all these motorcycles – it took my breath away,”
Balsley said. “It was such an inspiration to me. I grew
great strength from it.
Balsley asked Soldiers and
veterans to stand during her speech, thanking them for their
“I want you to know America honors you for
what you do ...you're an inspiration to us all,” Balsley said.
Also speaking at the event was Maj. Gen. Nick
Tooliatos, commanding general, 63rd RSC, who said he's been
proud to show the depth of support provided by the command
to the Gold Star Families during his three years in charge
of the 63rd RSC.
“We have as many Soldiers as
possible here today to recognize these Families,” Tooliatos
said. “We want you know how much we support you and always
Tooliatos also pointed out Brig. Gen. Doug
Anderson, deputy commanding general, 63rd RSC, who himself
is a Gold Star son.
“Doug lost his father in Vietnam
and we have other similar families in the unit,” he said,
asking them all to stand.
Tooliatos said the Families
of the fallen at the ceremony are the finest the nation has
“It's hard to watch the news today and see
a country I love going through what it is right now,”
Tooliatos said. “But everything that's right about our
country is represented by these families here today and for
that we should give them a round of applause.”
By U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class LaTonya Kelly
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