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Kent Gold Star wife honored at softball event

1st Special Forces Group Public Affairs

Published: 04:42PM June 12th, 2014

A Gold Star wife was honored during a ceremony prior to the Combat Dual Major and Home Run Derby Softball Tournament held May 30 at Russell Road Park in Kent.

Angela Grissom was presented with a U.S. flag by Greg Zayas, executive director of 4 the Fallen, a veteran organization that assists with the transition for wounded service members and their families, as well as the families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, Zayas said.

“The passing of our service members often goes unnoticed and unsung by most of the world. They are usually remembered only by family and friends,” Zayas said. “4 the Fallen has a goal to ensure that these service members’ sacrifices do not go unnoticed.”

U.S. flags were presented to a member of the National Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, Nicholas Clark and Grissom. Her husband, Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom, died March 21, 2013 from injuries sustained from small arms fire March 18 in Afghanistan.

“It’s very emotional sometimes, but it is nice that through my husband’s death, people can understand the reality of what it means to sacrifice for the country. But ... they can only imagine a fraction of what it’s really like. It’s an honor that the community remembers,” Grissom said.

“Special Forces is a very small community, so you get to know their families very well, I’ve gotten to know these guys since I met my husband, I’ve known their children and I’ve watched them grow up. James and I used to play with their kids and babysit them and now they’re becoming adults and having their own children. It’s really exciting to know that you have — not just a military support community, but best friends and people that genuinely know you and care about you and they can understand more than the general person what you’re going through.”

One such friend is Master Sgt. David Blount, who served alongside Grissom.

“I was asked by coach Jaime Fregozo, one of the co-founders of the 4 the Fallen organization if they could honor Angela at the tournament, and if I could escort her since Sgt. 1st Class Grissom was a former team mate of mine.” Blount said.

Blount was Grissom’s team sergeant for 10 months and served with him for five weeks in Afghanistan.

“He was a great guy to be around who always had a positive attitude,” Blount said. “I met his wife at a marriage retreat. As a couple, the two of them seemed to be very happy, and the love they had for one another was radiant.”

“They may have left us way too soon, but their memory and what they stood for, will serve as an inspiration for all of us,” 1st SFG commander Col. Robert McDowell wrote in remarks that were read for him at the 1st Special Forces Group Memorial Day ceremony May 27.