BUFFALO, N.Y. — Memorial Day is set aside to remember the men and women who gave their lives protecting our country and our freedoms.
But for the mother's of those military men and women that were killed while in the Armed Forces, Memorial Day is every day.
Fran Davis, is a part of the Western New York Gold Star Mothers organization.
Her son, Army Pfc. Benjamin C. Schuster, 21, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 101st Cavalry Regiment. He was serving with a unit out of Pennsylvania when he died from a gunshot wound in Ramadi, Iraq on February 25, 2006.
Davis says her son was committed to being a soldier. "This is what he wanted to do. He wanted to be a soldier. He wanted to serve." she says.
The mission of Western New York Gold Star Mothers is to remember their children and provide support to each other.
They also offer support and services to veterans through the VA Hospital and American Legions.
There are currently over 300 Gold Star Mothers in Western New York, but Davis says that there are only about 16 that are active.
"It took me a long time to be an active member, so I understand when other moms don't come forward to join us. It took me a long time to say, 'yeah I'll take responsibility...' Once I did, it was very gratifying and fulfilling," she says.
"When we come together, we're really a force to be reckoned with," says Davis.
Davis wants people to remember these soldiers all have a story and families who need time to heal. She recommends those who lost loved ones in the Armed Forces should reach out for support.
Davis also says that while many of the soldiers were killed in action or by accident, some soldiers are dying by their own hand and she wants those parents to know that there is support for them as well.
For more information on Western New York Gold Star Mothers: https://www.facebook.com/WNYGSM