Gold Star Families
Florida honors its Gold Star Families. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things anyone can go through. Florida Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) connects you with people who can help you move forward and find strength.
SOS Support Coordinators are located strategically throughout Florida to provide long-term support and assistance to Families of the Fallen.
Services provided by Florida SOS:
- Provide expertise on State and Federal survivor benefits.
- Provide guidance and assistance to the family in regard to entitlements and local resources.
- Arrange for estate and financial advice when requested.
- Educate the military command, community social services and support agencies of the needs of our military survivors.
- Form networks and support groups so survivors will have peer support readily available.
- Connect survivors with appropriate mental health support/counseling as requested.
- Supply survivors with resource referrals for peer support, bereavement counseling, emergency financial services, Tricare, educational benefits, military reports and military benefits.
Chad Graham, president and CEO of the Woody Williams Foundation, joins FDVA Executive Director James S. “Hammer” Hartsell at the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Dedication at Florida National Cemetery, Oct. 6, 2021. The Foundation raises awareness about our Gold Star Families’ enduring sacrifice.
Governor DeSantis Signs Bill Supporting Gold Star Families
TAMPA – On June 26, 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed CS/CS/HB 427: Honor and Remember Flag, at the University of South Florida’s Office of Veteran Success.
“Here in Florida, we take great pride in being the most veteran-friendly state in the nation,” said Governor DeSantis. “With more than 1.5 million veterans living in Florida, this community makes up an important part of our state’s identity. While we may never be able to fully repay these men and women for their sacrifices, we will continue to do everything we can to support them and their families.”
CS/CS/HB 427, sponsored by Rep. Tommy Gregory and Sen. Joe Gruters, allows the flying of a new flag, the Honor and Remember Flag, to serve as the state’s emblem of the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of duty. It allows the flag to be flown on Veterans Day, Gold Star Mother’s Day and a day on which a member of the United States Armed Forces who is a resident of Florida loses his or her life.
For more information on CS/CS/HB 427, read the bill summary HERE.
The Gold Star license plate is a special license plate developed to honor the family members of a servicemember killed while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. For more information, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/motor-vehicles-tags-titles/personalized-specialty-license-plates/specialty-license-plates/.
Consult the following websites for assistance and additional resources.
Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)
Navy Gold Star Program
American Gold Star Mothers
Gold Star Fathers of Florida
Gold Star Awareness
Gold Star Wives
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
Florida National Guard webpage on Survivor Outreach Services
Taps Natural Disaster Response
Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation honoring Gold Star Families