Silver Star Families of America placed May 1st on the national calendar as a day to remember and honor all those who have suffered wounds and illnesses while on active duty in a war zone. It is also a day to thank groups like Silver Star Families of America for their consistent support of veterans and their families.
I first came across this group while researching a chapter for War Trauma and Its Wake: Expanding the Circle of Healing. I conclude the chapter by “highlighting some interventions that benefit our wounded warriors and their families on their long, tortuous journey home.” Among them:
Recognition. Only those warriors injured in combat receive the Purple Heart medal. This leaves many warriors wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan with no concrete recognition of their service. Silver Star Families of America (SSFOA) rectifies this by awarding silver star banners or certificates. These are not to be confused with a Silver Star medal, which is issued by the government for gallantry in action. The SSFOA banner/certificate is an unofficial recognition that expresses the community’s appreciation. Similarly, one can submit a request to the SSFOA to honor caregivers, usually relegated to the ranks of unsung heroes.