‘Gold star’ kids learn from new military heroes

About 15 kids who lost somebody special in their lives to military combat spent some quality time with like-minded mentors Saturday morning.

The youngsters got an archery lesson, enjoyed a picnic together and then hiked a nature trail along Lake Poway on the first outing of the Gold Star Corps, a new arm of the Special Liberty Project, Inc.

The term “gold star” dates to World War I, when families flew flags with a blue star for family members in military service. The blue star was changed to gold for anyone killed in action.

Each boy or girl in the Gold Star Corps is paired up with an active-duty military member or veteran who helps them learn the skills of outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, hunting and fishing, said project founder and president, Jessica Merritt.

“The whole goal is for them to have a heroic role model in their lives, someone to guide them through fun and adventurous outdoor activities,” Merritt said.

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