Gold Star families spend Father’s Day remembering dads who paid the ultimate sacrifice
SAN ANTONIO – For families with dads who served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice, Father’s Day is spent honoring and remembering.
“It’s hard to explain sometimes,” said Rosa Hester the widow of a fallen soldier.
On Sunday, the national nonprofit Tuesday’s Children put a new spin on the day to give Texas gold star children a big reason to smile.
“The idea is that Father’s Day can be a toughy,” said Liz Zirkle, the director of military initiative for the nonprofit. “And as you saw with the with the little ones with the children and with their moms, can be a tough day. And we want to honor and remember the fallen service member, at the same time, having the back of the surviving parents, so we bring them here just to have fun, let a kid be a kid.”
Several Gold Star families were invited to spend the day at SeaWorld San Antonio where they enjoyed rides, visited the animals and had fun.
“We reconnect with our families, that we all share the same loss,” Rosa said. “And we feel loved and cared for surrounded by the people in your organization. You know, the people that do their programs, the events, they’re amazing.”
Rosa was at the park Sunday with her 9-year-old son, Matthew.
She explained her husband and Matthew’s father was SGT Joshua A. Hester, US Army.
“He served in the army for 15 and a half years,” Rosa said. “Matthew didn’t get to meet him. Unfortunately he passed away a month before he was born, but I’m sharing all their stories or their memories, experiences with him. And as he’s getting older, he’s getting more questions and these people are here grateful for because sometimes I don’t have the answers for those questions. And they’re just amazing, giving me support.”
Rosa said she could feel her sweet husband’s presence on Sunday.
“I feel his presence and I know Matthew feels him too and he’s watching over us,” Rosa said. “I know that he’s glad that we’re here with everybody.”
Tuesday’s Children provides support for families impacted by post-9/11 military service-member deaths.
“From mentoring to job skills, we’ve we’ve got you covered and if we don’t have the solution, we have lots of friends who we can find that solution for you,” Zirkle said. “So reach out, we’re here and we’re waiting for you.”