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Gold Star Mission Run helps families grieve and honor fallen soldiers


ROCKFORD (WREX) – Servicemen and women risk their lives everyday for our country. When they die in the line of duty, some families say it’s their duty to carry on their legacy.

“I don’t want their names, not just my son’s name, but their names to be forgotten because they gave their lives,” Nita Cross said.

On Saturday morning, families, friends and supporters laced up their shoes to run in the first-ever Rockford area Gold Star Mission Run for the Fallen.

The goal of these runners is to remember those who have served and to offer their support to the families that have lost.

“They’ve gone through a lot of loss and it’s a loss they can never have back,” Cross said.

Cross lost her son Kyle, while he was in Iraq,

He died just 31 days before he was suppose to come home and it’s a moment she’ll never forget

“It’s devastating….it’s totally life changing and it’s something I would never wish on anyone” Cross said.

A tragic loss, but one that’s also inspired her to get involved with Gold Star Mission.

Over the past two years, the organization has raised over $68,000 for scholarships.

But the founder of Gold Star Mission says events like these do more than just raise money.

“It’s a healing event for community members and survivors of Gold Star family members and service members that are remembering soldiers that they served with that were killed in action,” president and founder David Helfrich said.

For Cross, it’s also an event that has helped her heal.

“He is still giving and he keeps encouraging us to carry on his tradition of wanting to do for his country and your fellow man,” Cross said.

Encouraging acts of kindness to help service families keep fighting and to keep the memory of their fallen soldiers alive.

Gold star mission has another race scheduled in September in St. Charles, IL.

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