Gold Star parents

Gold Star Parents Retreat, a retreat for the parents of fallen soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be at the Lone Oak Ranch and Retreat in Gainesville from April 13 - 15.

Parents from across the country will attend the three-day retreat to honor, celebrate, and share stories of their sons and daughters that have given their lives in service to our country. Gold Star parents Terry and Elisabeth Burgess of Fort Worth started the retreat in February 2016.

Their son, Staff Sgt. Bryan A. Burgess, was killed in action in Afghanistan in March 2011. Terry and Beth started the retreat as a way to help other Gold Star parents learn that it is OK to talk about their loss.

The retreat offers parents of fallen soldiers unique ways to honor their sons and daughters. A Gold Star quilt with the thoughts and prayers of the parents was created at the very first retreat. A mosaic made of plates broken during a “broken plate therapy session” features a battlefield cross. Gold star-shaped balloons are released at dusk as a memorial at each retreat.

The April retreat will feature Dallas magician David Hira as the keynote speaker. More than 30 Gold Star parents are expected to attend the retreat.

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