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Gold Star Youth Mentorship Program

wear blue: run to remember seeks mentors

Mentors are needed to train with Gold Star youth. Photo credit: Courtesy wear blue: run to remember

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Wear blue: run to remember began the Gold Star Youth Mentorship Program last year, and it was a huge success. The program pairs active-duty military members with Gold Star youth for a nine-week running program that culminates on Memorial Day, a particularly challenging day for those who have lost a family member through war.

Wear blue: run to remember is in need of mentors to replace those who have moved and to expand the program.

Here are the specifics:

  • The nine-week program runs March 31-May 28 (Memorial Day). A Gold Star youth is matched with an active-duty mentor to reconnect to life as a military child by spending time with a servicemember while engaging in the life-affirming act of running and training to run a 5k on Memorial Day.
  • Runs are held every Saturday morning. Mentors also need to plan for the youth to visit their unit (or at least the museum on post) with them. There is a Heroes Hike the Sunday before Memorial Day, and the program concludes with the annual Memorial Day run the following day.
  • Wear blue: run to remember has partnered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which conducts the mentor interviews and background checks and handles the matching process.
  • The program is open to Gold Star youth ages 6 to 16 years. Each child will be mentored and given running shoes, running gear and a personalized wear blue shirt. He or she will be matched with a mentor of the same sex (even if the fallen parent was a different sex).
  • Active-duty mentors, male and female, married or unmarried, are needed - mentors need to be able to commit to as many weekly runs as possible (if they can't make a week or two, they can arrange for a fellow mentor to cover down) and the Heroes Hike.
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters will conduct interviews on post March 9 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Soldiers Chapel, located on S. 20th St. between Stryker Ave. and Railroad Ave. in the Ghost Brigade footprint across from the airfield. Those who can't make it that day can arrange to go to a Big Brothers/Big Sisters office to interview. However, mentor training is March 21, so all interviews and background checks need to be complete by then.
  • Matching takes place March 27, and the program launches March 31.

Wear blue: run to remember is a great way for military personnel and their families who aren't sure how to help a Gold Star family to volunteer.

Military spouse Clair Foley began volunteering with wear blue: run to remember four years ago after meeting a Gold Star family.

"It feels so great to actually be able to do something to help our Gold Star families," she said. "This program allows us to be a part of something that is so meaningful to them and that helps them get through the worst time in their lives, but does so in a healthy and uplifting way. It is something that gives them a sense of community when they need it. Wear blue offers Gold Star families peers that are or have gone through the same thing they are, and you also have community members that are there because they want to support them and want to honor their fallen servicemember."

For more information about wear blue: run to remember and the Gold Star Youth Mentorship Program, visit

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