About Gold Star Families

There is no greater honor than to serve our country in the United States Armed Forces. And there is no greater sacrifice a Family makes than to lose a loved one in service to our country.

The term “Gold Star Family” honors the Families left behind. Families are remembered for their sacrifices at Captain Joseph House. The following criteria outlines the eligibility for an immediate Family to participate:

All branches of the military

  • Post 9/11 deaths
  • KIA in combat
  • Death due to injuries sustained in combat
  • Death due to combat related PTSD (self-inflicted/suicide)

Families of our military’s Fallen Heroes travel a long, sometimes lonely road after the tragic loss of their loved one. When all the memorials, the bestowing of flags and gold star pins begin to end, Gold Star Families are left to start a new life on their own.

Captain Joseph House Foundation (CJHF) is the first Family-to-Family respite home in the country created to lend support to Gold Star Families of our military’s Fallen Heroes.

Gold Star Families At Captain Joseph House

CJHF’s “Home” provides a unique service for military families who have lost a loved one, extending the continuum of care during an expense-paid, 5-night, 6-day respite/retreat in the scenic Pacific Northwest. The House offers families a private, comfortable haven to heal, make new memories and rebuild family traditions without their loved one.

The Fallen will have served and died while in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States of America or died as a direct result of injuries sustained during this same combat service, having occurred on or after September 11, 2001, the Global War on Terrorism.

Gold Star Families served by CJHF are surviving spouses, parents and immediate family members.


Gold Star Flag

The Gold Star Service Flag is displayed in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our Nation. This flag is a white rectangular field bordered in red, with a gold star superimposed over a larger blue star so that the blue forms a border.

Behind the pin and flag lie stories of Fallen Soldiers and their Gold Star Families, the Survivors. Take time to recognize, respect and honor all surviving Family members.


Gold Star Pin

In 1967, an Act of Congress established the Gold Star Lapel Pin for issue to immediate Family members of service members killed in combat.

Gold Star Lapel Pins are presented to and worn by surviving spouses, parents and immediate family members of Armed Forces members killed in combat operations. The Gold Star pin is a gold star on a purple circular background.