It is beyond imagination to think about losing one’s child, but it is a tragedy that Michael Klasno is all too familiar with. Klasno lost his only child when his son was killed while serving in Fallujah, one month before his 21st birthday.

He left behind a pregnant wife and his daughter was born two months after his death. Klasno talked about his pride regarding the man his son had become, and described the pain of the situation by saying, “I always thought my son would be picking out music for my funeral, rather than the other way around.”

 Klasno is a Kingwood resident and founded Gold Star Dads of America ( These men are brought together by the shared experience of losing a son or daughter while they served our country. The organization is there to support family members who have lost a son or daughter while serving in the military.

“All of us dads are different -- different political parties, different religions, different walks of life -- but we have one thing in common. We all raised our sons to be “that guy” -- the one who served our country honorably. And we all lost our kids,” he said.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Gold Star Dads are holding a fundraiser at the Kingwood Harley Davidson on 111 Northpines Drive near Northpark Drive and I-59. A traditional Texas barbecue lunch will be served ($15 for adults, $10 for kids; ages 8 and under eat free). Klasno said that any uniformed military officer, policeman, fireman and EMS also eat free.

Kingwood High School will have their NJROTC color guard present at the event, where Klasno and other members will read the 655 names of Texan soldiers who have fallen while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq since Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. Klasno said there were originally 605 names, but the Gold Star Dads have added another 50 names for families who have relocated to Texas after their child’s death or who had children who trained in Texas. Event details can be found at

Klasno says the event will be held rain or shine: “Any day is a beautiful day to honor our brave fallen children.”

Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.

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