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JSS helps Remember the fallen, honor survivors


Joint Services Support Director, Col Carl Steele , and Sarah Vargo, the Washington National Guard’s Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator, took a trip to Silverdale last month to honor and present the daughter of Sgt. Floyd F. Dickens with a Gold Star Lapel Button and U.S. flag, for her and her father’s sacrifices and dedication to country.

“I was given the honor and privilege of connecting with Michaele Hosea; her son Vince contacted Survivor Outreach Services inquiring about his mother’s eligibility to receive a Gold Star Lapel Button,” Vargo said. “The Gold Star Lapel Button is not an award. It’s a symbol of honor.”

The symbol designated for survivors consists of a gold star on a purple background, bordered in gold and surrounded by gold leaves. The lapel pin is presented to family members of U.S. Armed Forces members killed in combat operations.


Col Carl Steele presents a flag and Gold Star Lapel Button to Michaele Hosea of Silverdale.

Michaele Hosea is the daughter of Sgt. Floyd F. Dickens, who was killed in action near Kapfelberg, Germany on April 26, 1945.  In June, Mrs. Hosea shared an article, written by her, with the JSS about her father’s heroism resulting in his death.

“Sergeant Dickens saw a wounded comrade fall. Because the enemy fire was intense, he knew medics would not be able to reach the solider. So he went himself. He gave the wounded man first-aid, started to carry him back, but was pinned down by machine gun fire. He got up once more and attempted to cover the short distance to safety. He was cut down by another burst of machine gun fire.” (Article provided by the family, “Dickens Gives Life to save Comrade”)

Michaele even shared her earliest childhood memory with Sarah and COL Steele during the ceremony on July 10.

“Taps played for my father’s final homecoming, my first recollection of earthly sound. Ironic that his final music should herald my awakening to life.” (Michaele’s Soap Box, May 1981).


Sgt. Floyd F. Dickens

She then went on speaking of her memories of a man coming to her grandmother’s home for dinner throughout her childhood.

“The man would look upon me and my siblings with sadness,” said Michaele Hosea. “Of course, as a child, I couldn’t understand why.”

In her adulthood, Michaele came to learn the man who frequented her grandmother’s home was the man whom her father sacrificed his life to save. 


Floyd's discharge papers.

During the pinning ceremony visit, Michaele shared pictures, letters and some of the awards her father received.

“Michaele shed light on the lifelong journey Survivors endure, sharing an article she had written in preparation of the Armed Forces Parade in 1981,” said SOS Sarah Vargo.  

“Year after year, it’s the parade that I look forward to,” Michaele then went on to poignantly state. “I will stand attentively at the curbside amidst the festive throng, tracing in my thoughts parades of other years and other times. As if by this yearly ritual I could expunge an ancient loss.”

Michaele made sure to mention a passage from her writing that touched on the importance of reaching out to our young military children, “For the children of the slain, no matter how many years may lapse, forever within is the child of that war” (Michaele’s Soap Box, 1981). 

It may have been decades since she lost her father, but Michaele will undoubtedly add this moment towards the top of the the memories that remain of her brave father and soldier.