Gold Star families honored in Hillsborough County with flag exhibit

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The country is set to remember the brave men and women who died while serving our country, but so far, there have been several ceremonies this weekend.

Gold Star families were honored in Hillsborough County Sunday with the inaugural Garden of Gold exhibit and flags display.

The Veterans Council of Hillsborough County, MacDill Air Force Base, the Gold Star Families, and Hillsborough County’s Consumer and Veterans Services hosted the ceremony.

It’s been nearly five years since Staff Sergeant Maurice O’Bryan Tucker died. His mom, Barbara Wade, says there’s never a day where she doesn’t think about him.

“Every minute of the day,” Wade said.

Tucker served five years in the military before he lost his life on June 25, 2016, in Alaska. Wade says her son was loving, caring, and helped everyone. She even got a call from one of his soldiers just a day ago.

“He said, ‘I will never forget Maurice for what he did for me,'” Wade said. “He took a stranger he didn’t know off the streets, allowed him to stay with him, teach him how to be a soldier.”

Tucker was one of 31 men and women honored Sunday at Hillsborough County’s Veterans Memorial Park.

Their names and faces were unveiled on their own individual flag for the first time.

Wade says every family supports each other.

“It’s an honor to be able to take the time out of your life, when there are people who don’t know the meaning of Memorial Day is, but to come out here is very special,” Wade said.

The Garden of Gold exhibit and flags display was open to the public until 5 p.m. Sunday and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Veterans Memorial Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission and parking.

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