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Gold Star Moms carry on legacy

Gold Star Mothers pull together for support and in support of veterans.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — They are three mothers who have a common bond. Their sons chose to serve their country. 

Patti Bager's son Robert joined the Army's 1st Armored Division. Ann Davis' son Nathaniel Jones Jr. went into the Navy, and Sandy Krege's son Travis went into the Army.

They all remember the contact they had with their boys during their service.

Ann Davis recalled discussing with her son when he should come home for leave. "In between April and Mothers' Day. So he said 'mom, when should I come home?'  So, I said come home for Mother's Day."

Patti remembers the relief she felt when she heard Bob was being reassigned from a combat zone, to Germany. "He called my husband and said, I brought my whole platoon home dad, he was very proud of that." 

Sandy Krege recalls Travis coming home on leave, just in time for the October Surprise Storm and the Sabres games he was able to take in. They also all remember the very moment when they all became part of a club nobody wants to join.

Krege says "He went back to Iraq after his leave was over and he was killed five weeks later." Patti remembers the day her life was changed forever. "He (Bob) was on a train(ing mission), and he got arced by an electric line when he was on his tank. So, he was burned over 70 percent of his body. I got the phone call. I couldn't believe it because I was thinking okay, he's safe now. He's not in Iraq anymore. You worry every day when your kids are in theater, and he was in a combat zone. He said people were trying to kill him every day. Then I said, thank God he's safe, and you still get the phone call anyways."

 Ann's son was one of 47 sailors killed in a turret explosion on the U.S.S. Iowa.

They are all members of the Buffalo chapter of the Gold Star Mothers. It is sort of a support group for women who have lost a child in the military. But it is also an organization that turns that sadness to service, the grief to activism. 

It is a small group that thrives on comradery and compassion. One thought that draws them together is that their profound loss was not in vain, that by serving and supporting veterans' groups they preserve their loved one's legacy; loved ones who were never able to become veterans.

Ann says, "We knew what our mission was once we lost that child. It is to serve, it's the only thing we can do."

If you would like to help them in their mission of service and support to other military families and veterans, there is a special day of music coming up on April 19th at The Cave, which is part of The Sportsmen's Tavern Music Complex.

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