OCEAN COUNTY – Ocean County has established one of the first Gold Star Identification Programs in the state. Gold Star families were recognized by the Freeholders and County Clerk’s Office March 28.
Gold Star families are parents or legal guardians of those who have lost an immediate member of their family who died on active duty in the U.S. Military. The ID card was established by former Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year.
The families can use the IDs for military discounts where they are given.
“We are so honored to have you here and so proud of all of the veterans from Ocean County that have served our country over the years,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Services Bureau, said. “You and your families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country and I want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done.”
The ID program is overseen by County Clerk Scott Colabella’s office.
“Ocean County is – if not the first – one of the first counties in the state to implement this program,” Colabella said. “I join with the Freeholder Board in thanking all of our Gold Star parents for joining us and for the ultimate sacrifice your child made on behalf of our nation so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today.”
“In addition to the veteran identification cards offered by the County Clerk, this program allows for family members of veterans to be recognized,” Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Clerk’s office, said. “The Board of Freeholders appreciates the efforts of the County Clerk as we all recognize our service men and women and their families.”
The county has issued more than 10,000 veteran ID cards. The Gold Star Parents ID will display the “Gold Star Parent” on the card, as well as true name and branch of the armed forces the deceased child served in while on active duty.
Applicants must show: “certification from an organization formed for the support of parents of members of the armed forces who lost their lives while on active duty for the United States, that the applicant is a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian; the service member’s federal DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty, which identifies the member of the armed forces who died while on active duty for the United States and or documentation indicating the applicant’s relationship to the service member,” according to county officials.