Jacksonville Gold Star father empathizes with families of service members killed in Afghanistan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Twenty years after the war on terror started, families are still facing the same pain and frustration they have been facing since it began.

Dave Seamans is the president of Florida’s Fallen Heroes.

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“It brings back memories. it does. this brings back a lot of memories for the families of the past that I’ve lost their heroes.”

He, more than many, understands the pain 13 American families are experiencing today.

“It’s just a horrifying feeling that they are going through,” he said.

Seaman’s son was killed in 2005 in Iraq. He says just hearing about the explosion was painful.

“My wife and I heard it coming yesterday. We felt… feel it all over again. They’re going to feel. The emotions were running strong for us.”

Today, he and his wife are already praying for those families — knowing what they’re about to go through.

“It’s going to be very emotional, SOS will stay with you for the first hour... and then they will start the process.”

The process itself is a struggle. On average, remains take seven days to return home. With the chaos in Kabul, it could be longer.

“The reality is that when that casket comes out of the airplane, when you see it, that’s reality. Reality hits you and it’s very emotional.”

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He says that over the next few weeks and months, these families will need support. They need to know people care.

“They will be very touched that America knows. America cares.”

He asks anyone who may be feeling this pain in the next few weeks to reach out.

“Speak from the heart. let everyone know how you feel. Support the families, the fall and families need the support right now.”

There are resources available. Colonel Loving with Five Star Veterans says anyone struggling should reach out to their local military bases, Firewatch, religious organizations or even local doctors.

They say the most important thing you can do is to talk to someone if you need help.