When I deployed to Afghanistan as a bomb technician, my family knew the risks.  They knew that I may not come back.  That’s a reality that every soldier, sailor, Airman and Marine’s family faces when they watch their loved one raise his or her right hand and take the oath of service.  

But that does not make it even one iota less painful to send your son or daughter off to foreign soil and see them return in a flag-draped casket. 

Being a Gold Star family is an honor that absolutely no mother wants.  Unfortunately, in light of the tragedy in Kabul, there are thirteen more mothers to honor this year.  Thirteen more mothers are trying to make sense of their losses and make sure that the memories of their children’s bravery and compassion live on. 

On this Gold Star Mother’s Day, we honor all the mothers who raised their sons and daughters to protect our communities, and we thank them for the sacrifice they have made, knowing that there is no way we could ever repay them. 

Our nation is forever indebted to these courageous women, and they are the mothers of America.