Gold Star family thankful for West Texas Pride family weekend

Gold Star family thankful for West Texas Pride family weekend

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The West Texas Pride are going to be paying their respects to Gold and White Star families here in the Permian Basin this weekend.

"To become a Gold star, it's the sacrifice of your son, to his country," said Gold Star mom Denise Garza. "So it's not easy."

Her son, Damian James Garza, died more than 11 years ago on Aug. 4, 2005 in Afghanistan.

In their front yard, rests a memorial, and another inside their home, that they say helps them make it through each day.

"At night, we have a place to come out and sit down," said Garza.

This weekend, his picture will be up on the jumbo-screen as the West Texas Pride football team recognizes him and his family, all these years later.

"They don't forget our sons scarf ice," said Garza. "That was the biggest fear. Every Gold Star parent will tell you their biggest fear is that they will be forgotten for what they gave up and what they were willing to do."

Garza said the Pride have done this before for their family and others, but that doesn't dilute how much it touches their hearts.

"Just knowing that Damien will always be remembered," said Garza. "Just seeing his picture up on that JumboTron is always amazing."

When he was at home, Damian had a catch phrase, and his mother knows if he could see himself on that JumboTron this weekend, he'd be sure to say it.

"I always hear those words from him," said Garza. "I see him popping his collar. He used to grab his collar and pop it and you know, smile. Because I'm bad like that."

No matter how many times her husband and her go out to a memorial for Damien, it never gets any easier.

"It's harder than anybody can imagine," said Garza. "I always have that feeling in your chest. But we know that we want to be there to support our sons."

For those who want to take part in paying your respects, there will be a special ceremony at halftime of the Pride game, which starts at 7 p.m. at Grande Communications Stadium on Saturday.

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