July 4th Info & Blue/Gold Star Families

Reposted from 2016. The information is still relevant, and the WOD and class time are the same for 2017. 

Join us for our only class on July 4th at 8:00am for the Hero WOD, “PK,” filled with back squats, deadlifts and running! We'll have all the racks set up out front and cycle through each movement. With 2:00 of rest and a 400m run in there we'll have no issues making sure everyone has the right weights/movements, and a great workout. It's not a partner WOD, but it's going to feel like one! 

In case you don't remember who Andrew Pedersen-Keel (PK) is, he was a Connecticut resident KIA in 2013. A Captain in the US Army and a graduate of West Point, PK was a highly decorated soldier who actually served with some of our CFNH members. His family, headed up by Bob Keiser, have started the APK Charities with the goal of raising awareness and funds to benefit veteran charity organizations. One of Bob and APK Charities' main goals is to raise awareness about Connecticut's fallen heroes. When Bob was here on Memorial Day in 2016 he asked the 11:00am class if they knew what a Gold Star or Blue Star family was. A very small number of hands went up (ashamed to say that mine wasn't one of them), and Bob said this is what they really want to do – increase recognition for the people and families who have sacrificed so much. So let's take a minute to learn about what a Blue Star and Gold Star Family is.

Blue Star Family

A Blue Star Family is denoted by a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged. If you see a car with this banner, or see it hanging in the window of someone's house it likely means one of their loved ones is off helping protect and serve this great country. If you're talking to someone and notice this banner, thank them for what their family is doing for us. Remember: it's not just the soldier who makes sacrifices. Significant others stay home and take care of the babies, 18 year olds leave home for the first time, and little kids go without mom or dad for weeks or months at a time. They deserve some recognition too.

Gold Star Family

Should you see a Gold Star banner, denoted with the same white flag and red border, but with a Gold star, it means that this family's loved one has made the ultimate sacrifice while serving. PK's family is a Gold Star Family. If you ever see a Gold Star Banner, you know that family has endured a lot. We can thank them, support and have sympathy or empathy for them, but even better is to help with Veteran's services by, for example, volunteering at events that benefit Veteran's services, or honor the family and the hero by doing a really hard WOD and spreading information about things like APK Charities and the events they have – like the 5K Run and Ruck March on November 4th, mark your calendars now! One of the organizations APK Charities supports is the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial whose, “design was carefully considered and appropriately influenced by the Gold Star families of Connecticut. Our Fallen Heroes are no longer with us but their memory lives on in the hearts of their loved ones, our State and the Nation.” Visit the Memorial and consider making a donation or participating in an event hosted by them. 

Now that you know what a Blue Star and Gold Star family is, don't let it go unnoticed. And please educate your friends and family on the topic – the more people who know about this the more help we can provide as a country. We hope to see you on July 4th for an awesome WOD at 8:00am!


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