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Gold Star Families to attend riverboat cruise

Jun 07 2023
Latek | Kentucky Today

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The Kentucky National Guard and Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) will host a riverboat cruise June 11 for 500 Gold Star Families aboard B&B Riverboats' Belle of Cincinnati in Newport.

Gold Star Families from five states are expected to attend the Kentucky riverboat cruise for a day of fun, food, and socializing. The title Gold Star Families is reserved for the families of military members who have died in the line of duty. It is meant to honor their Service member’s ultimate sacrifice while acknowledging the family’s loss, grief, and continued healing.

Kentucky SOS will be available in the lounge to issue tickets to Gold-Star family members beginning at 11:15 a.m. Boarding will begin at 11:50 a.m. with final boarding at 12:50 p.m. The cruise will depart up the Ohio River at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to return to the dock at 3 p.m.

This year, Kentucky’s SOS team has coordinated 10 locations for riverboat cruise departures. Along with Newport, Kentucky, cruises are also planned in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Minnesota, Oregon, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio. The goal is to have 12 to 15 locations ready for next year. The first SOS riverboat cruise took place at Newport in June 2014.

The Kentucky National Guard’s SOS program furthers the Army’s commitment to families of the fallen by connecting families with resources and others that can help them cope with their loss and move forward.

Other services include:

  • Sustain a comprehensive multi-agency program that improves Soldier and family preparedness in the event of a catastrophic loss.
  • Maximize cooperative efforts within the National Guard casualty and family programs.
  • Extend support to Families both before and after a crisis by maximizing cooperation between government and non-government agencies.
  • Ensure survivors receive all benefits to which they are entitled.
  • Encourage our survivors to remain an integral part of the National Guard family for as long as they desire.