Photo by Sterling Journal-Advocate
Dan and Michelle Benavidez
A Gold Star family came through North Platte Saturday on their way to an annual recognition rally in Illinois, and stopped at VFW Post 1504.
Dan and Michelle Benavidez's son, SSG Kenneth Mayne, was killed in action in 2008 in Iraq. The couple is walking 1,080 miles from Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs, to Marseilles, Ill. Where the Middle Eastern Conflicts Memorial Wall is located. They plan to reach the wall on June 16.
Staff Sgt. Ken Mayne's name is on the Wall in Illinois. He was killed by an improvised explosive device outside of Baghdad, on Sept. 4, 2008.
His parents were in Sterling, Colo. Friday.
“He loved being in the Army,” Michelle told the Sterling Journal-Advocate newspaper. “He was proud to serve his country. He really cared about the men who served under him.”
The two hope their walk will help others remember the men and women that are coming home from war, “who need our help.”
For those not familiar, a Gold Star family is a family that has lost a family member in military service.
The couple is walking 18 miles a day. They walked from the Golden Spike Tower into the city on Fourth St. Supporters joined them.
Lincoln County Scouts in full uniform and their families were asked to assist in honoring the Benavidez and their son's sacrifice by lining Fourth St., holding flags.
There was a rally at the VFW. Tee-shirts were sold for $20 to help raise money for the effort.
It was an opportunity to pay tribute to the members of the military and their families who serve, protecting our freedoms every day, Scout leader Brian Phares said.