CommunityVeterans In Focus


Gold Star Spouses Day honors the backbones of those who died while serving

Kiley and Capt Jake "Red Stripe" Fredrick
Posted at 6:16 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 19:16:17-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Hearing that knock on the door, and seeing those two uniformed service members on the other side is one of the most heartbreaking moments a military member's spouse will experience.

As our soldiers march for our freedom, their families walk on eggshells.

April 5 is National Gold Star Spouse Day. On this day, we honor the surviving loved ones of armed forces members who died while serving their country.

This day acknowledges the men and women who were the backbone of those who died in combat.

Kylie Fredrick Bult was eight-and-a-half-months pregnant with their second baby when she received that heartbreaking knock on the door.

At that moment, there were no words to describe that gut-wrenching feeling.

Her husband, pilot and Corpus Christi native Marine Capt. Jake ‘Red Stripe’ Frederick, had been killed during a mission off the Japanese coast Dec. 7, 2016.

"Every day is a day of remembrance of the sacrifice that embodies that Gold Star, or the heroes who gave all in the name of freedom," Fredrick Bult told KRIS 6 News in an email.

A little more than five years ago, Frederick Bult said she was sitting in her kitchen when she came across The Wingman Foundation. She didn't know anything about the foundation, and today, she said it is one of her biggest blessings.

The Wingman Foundation advocates for families which have lost an active member while on-duty. It hosts events throughout the year, to help remember and honor the sacrifices of our troops, including the local Red Stripe Memorial Run, which honors Jake Frederick.

Through the foundation, Frederick Bult said she has built everlasting relationships with other women who have lived through the same pain.

She calls it her "blessing in the storm," and now uses the foundation to help share its mission with anyone in need and serves as its director of communications, Gold Star advisor, and as a member of the mishap-response team.

Frederick said losing her husband has made her and her family stronger and more forgiving, teaching her son Colt, about sacrifice and the cost of freedom at an early age.

Despite his loss, however, she said he loves his country, and has a fire inside him for all things patriotic.

“[The Wingman Foundation] created hope," Frederick Bult said. "A way forward, and a new sense of family and community for my little family that didn't exist before.''

For more information on The Wingman Foundation click here.