PHILADELPHIA - Ten Gold Star families from around the country were recognized at a fundraising event Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia amid a stinging backdrop as the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
The event was organized by the Punishers Biking Group and the Michael Strange Foundation, it was held at the Fraternal Order of Police headquarters on Caroline Road in Northeast Philadelphia.
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Charles Strange, Michael's father, said he started the foundation to help other families who lost a loved one in action. Michael Strange was assigned to Seal Team 6, tasked with carrying out the assault that killed Osama Bin Laden, he was killed in action in August of 2011.
"Me and my wife started talking to some other Gold Star families and I said ‘Wow, they’re like me!'," Charles said. Through the common bond of tragic loss, Charles said the Gold Star families share how they grieve and remember their loved ones.
"They've helped me a lot, I'm from Louisiana and they don't recognize us that much, they don't recognize us enough," Collie Tomlinson said.
The White House over the weekend said the U.S. will send thousands of troops to Afghanistan to ensure an "orderly and safe" drawdown of their footprint in the country as the Taliban seize control.
"For a lot of Gold Star families, you know, people don't care that our sons died," Charles said. "We're back there today in the Middle East in Afghanistan we were there for 24 years, all our sons died fighting for our freedoms, something has to happen, something has to change."