Honoring Gold Star families in Delaware

     (Photo courtesy of Judy Campbell)

    (Photo courtesy of Judy Campbell)

    Delaware’s Gold Star Program is asking for help to raise money for two road signs and a memorial that honor Gold Star families living in the First State.

    The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 83 Gold Star Program was established about 15 years ago. Since then, the organization has strived to make Delaware the model for other states as to how to honor families of fallen service members.

    “So far, we’re really setting the bar,” said Judy Campbell, VVA Chapter 83 Gold Star representative. “We have an annual proclamation for Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day, which is the last Sunday in September, we’ve got Gold Star license plates, we’ve received accolades from the Delaware Medical Academy for work that we do with our military veterans regarding their benefits and PTSD.”

    And now, Campbell has her sights set on two road signs on Route 202 by the Delaware-Pennsylvania state line. Signs that read, “Gold Star Highway,” would be placed on the north and southbound sides.

    “Originally we thought the cost would be $5,000. However, the cost has come in much higher at $15,553.30 per DelDOT,” said Campbell, in an email to supporters.

    The chapter is also seeking financial support which would go towards a $42,000 Gold Star memorial. Campbell said she has already raised $5,000 towards her goal.

    VVA Chapter 83 has partnered with the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, whose goal is to have Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in every state.

    Woody Williams is a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. The 93-year-old Marine served in the Battle of Iwo Jima and is the sole surviving Marine from WWII to wear the Medal of Honor.

    The chapter has secured a site for the memorial at the Delaware Memorial Bridge Memorial Park, which Campbell said is half the battle. 

    “If every Delawarean, if they just gave what they have — a $1, if it’s $5 — we’d have this done in no time,” she said.

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