TRENTON, N.J. – Additional relatives of military members who died during active duty could soon qualify for Gold Star identification cards under a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer and passed by the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee today.
The bill (A1455) expands the Gold Star parent identification card program to spouses, domestic partners or civil union partners, and children, allowing more relatives to receive discounts and other military family courtesies. As is true for parents currently, the bill ensures children may be related by adoption.
“Our brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country leave behind more than their biological parents or legal guardians. This bill recognizes that other close relatives have strong family ties to the service member, and the loss of a loved one for these relatives is no less painful,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “Gold Star ID cards are a small token of appreciation for grieving military families.”
The Gold Star program dates back to World War I when military families would fly flags with blue stars for every immediate family member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star.
Under current law, county clerks or registers of deeds and mortgages are permitted to issue Gold Star parent identification cards with the proper documentation.