Opinion: Gold Star inspiration


She stood at the antique podium, awaiting the assembled audience to finish the requisite applause that welcomed her to speak. She stood, as if humbled by the recognition of the one who’d introduced her. She stood, a Gold Star Mom, whose only son was killed in action while serving our country.

“I’m inspired by you,” she said. “I’m honored by you, and honored by the fact that you’re providing education.” She didn’t mention the stunning and unimaginable suffering inure to her loss. Instead she talked of the happiness in knowing that her son was contributing to the schooling of the children of U.S. Marines killed in action. Again, she thanked the donors who’d joined the scholarship ceremony and returned to her seat.

When asked, Ron Overton, a longtime supporter, likewise deflected his own service (his father a World War II Army veteran, Ron a retired Marine, and two sons on active duty), instead saying, “You hear all the time about sacrifices of time, or money. But how can it compare to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice? And the sacrifice made by the families of those lost?” He remembered the funeral of a friend whose son died in Iraq in 2006. Even as they mourned inconceivable loss, they made provisions for the young man’s family. But what of the families of others?

Founded in Indiana by Shirley Slaugh and her late husband, Capt. Larry Slaugh, in 1995, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has honored scores of young men and women by supporting the education of their children or those of others killed or wounded in action.

On Sept. 14, the group holds its biggest fundraiser, a golf outing. Reach out to Sean Dixon at mcsf.org/indy or indygolf@mcsf.org or call 317-340-8868 if you can help. Consider corporate sponsorship. They are already planning 2018.