Gold Star families honored in Lincoln by motorcycle group

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Three Gold Star families were honored Monday morning at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Antelope Park.

The family members were presented with a Memorial Plaque of Distinguished Service, which recognizes the sacrifice of the fallen service member in their family. The Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Northwest RV and Motorcycle Group presented the awards.

The group is currently traveling across the country as part of its annual Memorial Torch Motorcycle Ride, which starts in Eugene, Oregon, and ends at the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

The mission of the group as they travel is to stop and honor Gold Star families, to remind them that they are loved and never forgotten. Army Sgt. Jessica Jackson, Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Bauer, and Army Pfc. Trenton Scholl were honored at the ceremony.

Jim Jackson, father of Jessica Jackson, thought the ceremony was “absolutely great” and said he was initially surprised that he was contacted by the group to honor Jessica.

“It’s just great to see that in spite of what’s going on in the world and the economy and the way things are, that people still are willing to sacrifice for others and to do the best they can to help each other,” Jackson said.

Jackson also talked about his daughter’s journey in the Army, saying “the reason she joined the Army was because she wanted to be a police officer.”

Jessica served from 2011 to Aug. 15, 2014, when she lost her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jackson commends the sacrifice of the volunteers in putting the ceremonies together, helping with morale, and supporting the families of service members in their grief.

“And a lot of this is not only driven by veterans, but there’s civilians, and they’re mostly volunteers, and when you think about that it’s pretty incredible that they spend a lot of their personal time making this happen for everyone,” he said.

This year, the Memorial Torch Motorcycle Ride will end on Aug. 7, when they will perform a closing ceremony and extinguish the memorial torch.

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