JAMES FRAZIER - GOLD STAR FAMILIES CONVERSATIONS MAY 25, 2016
JIM FRAZIER is a Gold Star Family member in Illinois who leads Gold Star Survivor Outreach efforts. This conversation was recorded on May 25, 2016 as part of our Skokie Theatre series in advance of the City of Chicago Memorial Day ceremony and parade. The wide-ranging discussion is centered on the important work being done to support Gold Star Family members in Illinois and across the country.
Jim Frazier on grieving:
“I have discovered the message that I will drill as much as possible to the families I talk to … who are 'stuck', and that’s the most common … getting stuck because of what they’re afraid of. If you say to a grieving family ‘it’s time to move forward,’ they will get very angry with you because their thought is … ‘if I move forward than I have forgotten about my loved one … I’m supposed to forget about them? I’m never going to forget about them’. What’s difficult to explain is that you can heal without ever forgetting them … healing to me means that damage no longer controls me.”
Jim Frazier on how to help Gold Star families:
“Today in our society, we’re not afraid to walk up to that veteran and say thank you for your service, and that’s fine, but what do you say to someone who’s wearing one of these? It’d be nice if everyone knew what it was. It’s a little gold star with a purple background … this is given by Congress and it means you lost a loved one in combat. When you meet a family or an individual that’s got one of these … thank them for the sacrifice of their loved one … ask the name of the loved one because there’s nothing better I like than when somebody uses my son’s name because then it tells me that I’m not the only one remembering him … somebody else is remembering him too… and then say 'tell me something about Jake' and shut up. That’s all you gotta do.”