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NEWS | Nov. 10, 2022

Gold Star Families enjoy a day of racing at Churchill Downs

By Spc. Brett Hornback, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky National Guard aided in Survivors Day at the Races, the largest Gold Star family event of the year at Churchill Downs, Nov. 6.
 
Family members and loved ones of fallen service members gathered from fourteen different states to witness the fifth race of the day which is dedicated to the heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to United States.
 
Every year Kentucky Guardsmen assist the Survivors Outreach Service (SOS) in facilitating the event.
 
Hundreds of Gold Star families arrived through the gates of Churchill Downs, and were escorted up to the prestigious Millionaire's Row.
 
Once in Millionaire’s Row, the families were served lunch and encouraged to watch the all the days’ races from balcony seating area, while other entertainment for the whole family was available from betting on races for the adults to face painting for the children. 
 
Throughout the day, Gold Star families are given the chance to reunite with fellow families they’ve met in previous years and celebrate their loved ones together.
 
“Seeing the smiles and camaraderie between families that show up every year is what keeps me coming back,” said former airmen and Kentucky Survivors Outreach Service coordinator, David Orange.
 
Survivors Day at the Races is the largest of all the 600 events SOS provides for Gold Star families throughout the year. Being the horse racing capital of the world gives Kentucky and its Guardsmen the unique opportunity to give back to Gold Star families.
 
“Today Guardsmen get not only to thank Gold Star families for their sacrifice, but to really celebrate the life of their loved ones,” said Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard.
 

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