KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Losing the life of a loved one is a risk service members and their families take every day in the armed forces. The Air Force aims to care for the families of the Airmen who pay the ultimate sacrifice to defend their country.
Ashton Belcher, brother of Maj. Arthur R. Belcher’s, received a Gold Star Family ID card including installation access, utilization of recreational services, services available at the Airman and Family Readiness Center and unescorted access to the installation.
Ashton was a child when Arthur crashed his plane in Southeast Asia. Ashton said he still remembers when his brother was pronounced missing and killed in action.
“I came home to my dad and said, ‘Daddy, there’s two men outside in a blue car,’” said Ashton. “Then they came in and read the letter, gave their condolences and did everything they could to help us.”
Holly Fisher, 81st Force Support Squadron Air Force Families Forever Gold Star Coordinator, believes it is the Air Force’s obligation to take care of the families of Airmen like Arthur.
“When service members deploy, the thought of them not returning has to go through their head,” said Fisher. “They need to know that their families will be taken care of.”
Although losing his brother was not something he wanted to happen, over time Ashton grew to be proud of the sacrifice his brother made for his country.
“He was a good pilot,” said Ashton. “My brother gave his life for his country.”
Fisher said providing care for the families of service members is an honor.
“Personally, it fuels me,” said Fisher. “Helping people every day and easing people’s pain is heartwarming.”
Ashton is grateful for the support he received from the Air Force when his brother passed away.
“This means a lot,” said Ashton. “It brings more recognition to my brother.”