Fort Polk’s Survivor Outreach Services will host an event from 9-11 a.m. on Sept. 28 at the Family Readiness Center, bldg 924, that celebrates and recognizes the strength and enduring spirit of Gold Star mothers. These moms know the ultimate sacrifice of losing their soldier in service to the nation. All survivors in Louisiana and Texas linked to Fort Polk’s SOS program are invited. Gold Star mothers in attendance will receive a rose.

Fort Polk’s Survivor Outreach Services will host an event from 9-11 a.m. on Sept. 28 at the Family Readiness Center, bldg 924, that celebrates and recognizes the strength and enduring spirit of Gold Star mothers. These moms know the ultimate sacrifice of losing their soldier in service to the nation. All survivors in Louisiana and Texas linked to Fort Polk’s SOS program are invited. Gold Star mothers in attendance will receive a rose.
The guest speaker at the event is Kim Barry Graham. She teaches creative writing at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and is the author of the book “A Song In the Night.” Graham is a Gold Star mom who speaks publicly on her spiritual journey through the loss of her son, Pvt. Mark W. Graham, who was severely injured in Iraq and later died at Brooke Army Medical Center. A reception and book signing will follow the presentation.
This event is also an opportunity to spread the word about what SOS is all about. The purpose of the program is to deliver on the Army’s commitment to families of the fallen. These services connect family members with people who can help them cope with their loss.
Often after the loss of a loved one, there are unresolved issues or questions that may surface months or years after the loss. The Army is dedicated to fulfilling the Army Family Covenant by providing support to families of the fallen by furnishing support and standardized services to active, reserve and Army National Guard families.
SOS is a holistic, multi-agency approach to delivering these services by providing access at garrisons and communities closest to where families live.
Benefits coordinators, financial counselors and support coordinators deliver individualized support and attention to survivors across the nation.
The SOS mission includes:
-Expanding and improving services to survivors
-Defining roles and responsibilities for all agencies and components
-Improving responsiveness and streamlining the assistance process for families
-Providing access to benefits coordinators, financial counselors and support coordinators locally, and long-term family case management
Benefits coordinators provide expertise on local, state and federal benefits. They also work with casualty assistance officers, providing the surviving family with assistance to understand and apply for their benefits.
While financial counselors provide assistance to surviving families through investment and estate planning education, they also work closely with benefits coordinators, Army long-term family case management and legal assistance to address the needs of surviving families.
Local support coordinators function as the long-term support personnel for survivors. Support coordinators facilitate support groups, provide life skills education and connect survivors with counseling resources. These coordinators work closely with benefits coordinators, casualty assistance officers and Army long-term family case management to ensure survivors receive their necessary services.
For more information visit MyARMYOneSource.com, click on “Family Programs and Services” for the Surviving Families link or call a Fort Polk SOS support coordinator at 531-1965/1174.