On Saturday, June 4th, several Rhode Island Gold Star families were honored and recognized for the sacrifices made in combat by their loved ones. Recognized at the event were William Giblin, brother of Sergeant Timothy R. Gilbin, USMC; Ed & Regina Roberts, parents of Lance Corporal Holly A. Charette, USMC; Lynn St. Germain-Lundh, mother of Sergeant Brian St. Germain, USMC. and Sharon Toner, mother of Lieutenant Juinor Grade Francis L. Toner, USN.
Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, members of VFW Post 406, the Department of Rhode Island VFW, and The Artillery Company of Newport combined efforts to host a reception at the Artillery Company Museum on Clarke St.
Remarks were provided by state and local VFW members. Mayor Napolitano related her experience of losing a cousin during the Vietnam War, before issuing the proclamation that June 4, 2022 was recognized as “Rhode Island Gold Star Family Day” within the city of Newport. Each family represented was given a certificate recognizing and honoring the losses they have endured in becoming Gold Star Families.
Sgt Timothy Robert Giblin was one of 241 US servicemen killed as a result of the Beirut barracks bombing on Oct 23, 1983. Sgt Gilbin was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines serving as part of a multi-national peacekeeping force during the Lebanese Civil War.
LCpl Holly A. Charrette was one of four Marines killed on June 23, 2005 when a suicide bomber operating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) struck her vehicle while conducting a convoy in the vicinity of Fallujah, Iraq. She was the first female Marine killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt Brian St. Germain was one of six Marines killed on April 2, 2006 near Asad, Iraq. While conducting a convoy, the vehicle he and his fellow Marines were in rolled over as a result of a flash flood.
Lt. j.g. Francis L. Toner IV was one of two Navy officers killed at Camp Shaheen, Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan when an Afghan National Army Soldier opened fire on them, also wounding one other. Lt. j.g. Toner was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions that day in confronting the shooter while unarmed. His actions prevented the death and injury of additional servicemembers.