MIL-OSI Security: Defense News: ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY, VETERANS AND STUDENTS PAY TRIBUTE TO GOLD STAR FAMILIES DURING SOMERSET COMMUNITY EVENT

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Source: United States Navy

Navy and Marine Corps Sailors participating in Fleet Week New York (FWNY) attended the event. Vice Adm. John Gumbleton, commander, Task Force 80, and deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, served as one of the guest speakers to pay tribute to the sacrifices of Gold Star families. During his remarks, Gumbleton honored the Gold Star families in attendance, as well as recognized the service of veterans. He took time to inspire the next generation in a call to service.

“We should all reflect that service is not an obligation, it’s a choice, so, it is important to think that of all of the choices that you have in this modern life, are you going to do something that is bigger than yourself,” Gumbleton said, as he encouraged the youth in attendance to find pathways to contribute to society.

During the event, two Gold Star family members shared stories of their loved ones who died in service to our nation to include U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Ronald Kubik and U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Dalton Beals.

U.S. Army Veteran Ed Graf, history teacher and coordinator of the annual “Proud to be an American Day” appreciated the dedication from civilian, military and education stakeholders who came together to support and honor Gold Star families.

“The presence of Vice Adm. Gumbleton certainly added so much to our ‘Proud to be an American Day’ ceremony,” Graf said. “He was not only a great speaker, but an inspiration to the students and comforter to the Gold Star families.”

Graf added that the yearly event is a day set aside to teach students about how to honor the Gold Star families and the importance of service to one’s country.

Static displays were available for touring at the event in Somerset to include the Nimitz Virtual Reality Trailer and a U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y helicopter.

Now in its 36th year, FWNY is the city’s time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and witness the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. Nearly 2,300 U.S. service members will participate in the festivities this year.

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