Burying a child is not natural for a parent, but for the American Gold Star Mothers it’s something each one has had to experience. Barbara Benard is the National President of the American Gold Star Mothers. Her son Brent spent nearly 20 years in the Pennsylvania National Guard. In 2005 he went to Iraq, he would not come home.
On December 1st, 2005 Brent did his fellow soldier a favor. “He had volunteered for the mission that day to give a rest to one of his men and he was in the middle of the convoy” said Benard. That’s when an armor piercing rocket propelled grenade struck his vehicle. “The shrapnel from that hit his pelvis and severed the femoral arteries” said Benard.
Sergeant Brent Adams died from his wounds. “My cell phone rings and it’s my daughter and she’s crying hysterically and she says mom Brent.. and that’s all I remember because they said I screamed and dropped my phone and fell to the floor” said Benard.
Grief overwhelmed her. “I didn’t care if I ate, I didn’t care if I got dressed. I didn’t care about anything” said Benard. Roughly 10 months after her son died Benard discovered the American Gold Star Mothers, which is a group of women just like her that also share the pain of losing a child to war. “That has helped me tremendously because it has helped me to work through my grief” said Benard.
She says no one can relate to her loss except for those that have also experienced it. That’s why the American Gold Star Mothers have become her extended family. “You can’t wallow in your self pity so you have to take that energy and turn it into a positive action” said