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Five Years Stronger - Gold Star Families gather for annual recognition

June 11, 2018 | By stephendmartin
Story and Photos by 1st Lt. Michael Reinersman, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment [caption id="attachment_29097" align="alignleft" width="300"] Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard speaks with Gold Star families during the Survivors Outreach Services' Riverboat Ride on the Ohio in Newport, Ky., June 10, 2018. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Michael Reinersman) NEWPORT, Ky. -- Surviving family members of fallen U.S. military service men and women set sail for a riverboat ride on the Ohio River, Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Newport. These families, known as Gold Star families, are recognized by Survivors Outreach Services' (SOS) for their sacrifice and in remembrance of their troops. To see all photos from this event, please click HERE. Organized by National Guard and Active Duty SOS coordinators, family members from 10 states enjoyed a ride on the Ohio River and a meal sponsored by Northern Kentucky's B&B Riverboats and Gordon Food Service. This event marks the fifth year in row B&B Riverboats has sponsored the event to support Gold Star Families. “It’s always nice to get together once a year and see all the smiling faces,” said Terri Bernstein, captain of the B&B Riverboats. “I look forward to seeing everyone next year as well.” Bernstein is the widow of Staff Sgt. Nicholas R. Carnes, a Kentucky Guardsman who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Carnes was a Ludlow, Kentucky, native, and served as a riverboat captain. Activities for children and live music by Steve Bonafel & One Iota were part of the festivities. While many enjoyed the event, today was also a moment to remember their lost loved ones. “It’s nice to come to this event and it’s a special way to honor our son,” said Karen Wallace, mother of the late Kentucky Guardsmen Sgt. Daniel W. Wallace, who died in Afghanistan in 2008. “We’ve kept in touch with SOS Coordinators and it’s nice to know they haven’t forgotten about us.” Senior National Guard leaders and former senior leaders from around the region as well as from the National Guard Bureau attended to support and encourage family members to remain an integral part of the military family for as long as they desire. “This event brings us to a point of re-zeroing our thoughts and commitment to military families,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard. “We should never forget the sacrifice our Gold Star families have endured.” Survivor Outreach Services is part of the Army Casualty Continuum of Care. It’s designed to provide long-term support to surviving Families of fallen Service Members. Mark Grant, the Kentucky National Guard SOS coordinator, said the SOS regional events are growing and thankful for the support from local, regional and national partnerships. “They come to be part of the Army Family,” said Grant. For information about Survivor Outreach Services, visit For more information about the Gold Star programs, log on to  

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