Essential Pittsburgh
2:10 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

What Makes a Child a Gold Star Child?

Gold Star Children, was founded in 2008 to raise awareness about American child survivors whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the US military.
Gold Star Children, was founded in 2008 to raise awareness about American child survivors whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the US military.
Credit Gold Star Children

An estimated five-thousand American children have lost a parent to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

Children who have lost a parent to war are the subject of the documentary Gold Star Children: Two Generations Sharing Loss and Healing, premiering today on the Pentagon channel.

The film’s writer, producer and director Mitty Griffis Mirrer, is a gold star child. Mirrer says the documentary is about helping the current group of gold star children.

“Its about paying it forward and empowering todays gold star children to be in a better place to help tomorrow's gold star children.”

Mirrer goes on to say, “When an active duty serviceman or woman dies on the battlefield or otherwise, that child is every American’s responsibility.”

Mirrer interviewed over 100 widows widowers, and children from 2 generations of war and the majority of the interviews were done with TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and other organizations that offer community and support. All of this work combined to make a very hopeful film that focuses on the progression of the gold star children.

One of the focuses is a gold star child named Sierra Becker, according to Mirrer, “in one hour you’re able to see her progression from the knock on the door to the strong and articulate 14 year old she is today.”