The Golden Knights have many visitors, dignitaries, celebrities and other service members stop by to visit with the Team throughout the year. But today the Team had the distinct honor of a visit by 20 members of Operation Support Our Troops of Illinois. What makes this visit so special? Every member of the group has lost a family member in Iraq or Afghanistan. The support group was in Homestead for their meeting and Leap of Faith Seminar. After hearing about this amazing support group, the Team “jumped into action” to show these families our support and that we will never forget the ultimate sacrifice their loved one has endured.
The group spent the day with the Golden Knights viewing training operations, other tandems and even a Golden Knight birthday celebration. Wounded Warrior SGT(R) Zach Arnold, member of the support group, spent time talking with Team members and with SGT George Perez, of Gold Demonstration Team, comparing each others prosthetics. SGT Arnold was wounded in Iraq in 2007 by an IED while deployed with B Troop 3-89th CAV 4th BDE 10th Mountain Division. Many of the members talked about how today has been one of the best days. They felt like they were back with a family that they only knew with their loved one. Being around Soldiers.
Operation Support Our Troops is a national group that was founded 8 years ago by Deb Rickert. The main purpose of Operation Support Our Troops is to help family members cope with their loss of a family member. What makes Operation Support Our Troops different from most other support groups is that instead of reliving the tragedy of their loss, the group is taught to embrace life without feeling guilt from moving on. That there is more to grieving than going to memorials. That there are other ways to heal without feeling like they are letting go. At every meeting the group is given tools to help get them through the grieving process.
Operation Support Our Troops also makes sure that service members still in Iraq and Afghanistan receive a touch of home by sending care packages. OSOT sends over 200,000 pounds of care packages each year to the service members. If you would like to show your support for our troops visit the Operation Support Our Troops website.
The Golden Knights were truly honored to have these families visit. The Team proudly salutes each and every one of the members and honored to call them family.