Weatherford Democrat

Local News

November 22, 2012

Gold Star Families offer comfort during holidays

PARKER COUNTY — It’s never an easy thing to lose a loved one, especially in the act of combat.

But John W. and Carol Savage are doing their part of help the families of lost military loved ones cope with the struggle.

The Savages lost their son, John J., in 2008 at the age of 26. Army Sgt. Savage was killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The first year is the worst time,” father John Savage said. “During the second year, you’re kind of in a cloud and the third year is when you start getting through it.”

Part of the initial grief came from not really having anyone else to talk to, said stepmother Carol Savage.

“Right after the funeral, we had people everywhere around us, but as time went on, nothing,” she said. “It was a real struggle not having anyone to talk to, anyone that really understood what we were going through.”

A few months ago, the Savages began the process of localizing a national organization, Gold Star Families.

Gold Star Families helps to support families by organizing events and seminars. At the state level, the Gold Star Support Center in Fort Hood hosts the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, as well as the Survivor Outreach Services conventions.

Seeing the aid of these programs, the Savages, along with other Parker County Gold Star Families, teamed up to make those same services available to local residents.

“We just really want to get this going,” John Savage said. “What we’re trying to do is arrange to meet once a month, with a barbecue or pot luck dinner, just some way to get together in fellowship.”

So far, seven families have joined the Parker County group.

“We have one new member who’s really struggling bad right now,” John Savage said.

“We just try to embrace her every chance we get,” Carol Savage added.

Being there for each other is just one of the benefits of the group, Carol Savage said, as families keep in constant contact with one another during the tougher times of the year.

“When the date of their death comes, we call or text them with a little message like ‘Thinking of you and your son on this day’ or something like that,” she said. “The holidays are pretty tough too. And we realize that this is the time to outreach.”

Gold Star Families has already seen support from the City of Weatherford as well. Earlier this month, the city and Gold Star members helped create banners for five Parker County fallen soldiers. The banners were displayed around the courthouse the week before Veteran’s Day.

“We’ve got a heart to help people, and we feel that this is where we’re really needed,” Carol Savage said. “This is a healing process for all of us.”

Anyone that has lost a loved one in the military is encouraged to join, and can contact the Savages, at 817-596-4875 or 817-598-9712, or Kaye Jordan at 817-599-8998.

“There may be more and more others around the area that we’re not aware of,” John Savage said of families. “This is our heart, and this is what we want to do.”

Gold Star Families is in the process of creating a directory with contact information for each family.

“That way, if they need to talk, they can always reach someone,” Carol Savage said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Event center hosts barn-raising

    Many businesses boast old-fashioned country charm, but one Weatherford event center is bringing back old farm traditions to assemble the newest addition to its property: a 19th century barn. 

    April 18, 2014

  • David May named Mineral Wells Index general manager-editor

    Weatherford Democrat Editor David May has been named general manager-editor for the Mineral Wells Index.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pair charged with assaulting kids

    Two Weatherford teens were arrested last week on charges of chasing down two bicycle-riding children in a car and assaulting them in a church parking lot, where the encounter was recorded.

    April 17, 2014

  • easter basket.jpg Easter egg hunt times, locations

    Following is information provided to the WD on four local Easter egg hunts and celebrations planned for Friday and Saturday:

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2014 ACSI High School District Art Show Winners.jpg Weatherford Christian announces ACSI Art Show winners

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Larue, Jeffrey.jpg Wanted sex offender found in Weatherford

    A sex offender reportedly sought by Hood County authorities after failing to register as required was found in a Weatherford hotel last week, police say, after exposing himself to an employee.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 loc WC choir.jpg WC choir presents the works of Eric Whitacre

     The Weatherford College Choir will showcase the music of composer Eric Whitacre on Tuesday, April 29. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Alkek Fine Arts Center. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show is free.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greenwood Horse Trials to begin May 2

    The annual Greenwood Farm, Inc. International Horse Trials kick off Friday, May 2.

     

    April 16, 2014

  • Bob Tallman Speaking at Chapel.jpg Tallman speaks at WCS chapel

    World renowned Rodeo Announcer Bob Tallman, better known as the “Voice of Professional Rodeo,” stopped by Weatherford Christian School’s elementary campus april 10 to speak to over 150 students in grades Pre-K through 6th at their bi-weekly chapel. 

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hitting the trail for MS

    STEPHENVILLE – The Cowboy Capital MS Trail Ride is a fun-filled event dedicated to raising funds that support national research into the cause and cure for Multiple Sclerosis as well as provide programs to more than 9,000 people in the Lone Star Chapter area whose lives are touched by MS.

    April 16, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case