Breaking News
More () »

Memorial Day and mental health: how military families remember the fallen

Veteran-owned Gold Star Nutrition in Knoxville is committed to helping families of the fallen and providing support through the painful sting.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Memorial Day is a tough reminder for many families who have lost loved ones serving our country.

The day is all about remembering those service men and women and their sacrifice. For those left behind, the mental health impact is something that can't be ignored this holiday or any day.

Inside Gold Star Nutrition off Dry Gap Pike in Knoxville, protein may line the shelves, but patriotism is what they sell.

"We have got to thank God that those men and women lived and died for us," Jeremy Kidwell, co-owner of Gold Star Nutrition, said.

The shop also does cryotherapy, supplements and meal prep. It also sells 7Five apparel.

All four of the Kidwells who opened the shop in Knoxville two years ago are veterans. The meaning behind their shop name is personal.

A Gold Star family is a family that lost a loved one serving our country. The owners know the mental impact losing a loved one can have.

Jeremy and Jared's older brother Jonathan Kidwell knew the feeling all too well.

Credit: Gold Star Nutrition

"Jonathan helped us open the shop, because he wanted to help the people he lost in Iraq and Afghanistan," Jeremy Kidwell said.

Jonathan dealt with the pain of remembering, suffered from PTSD, but died last year from a heart attack.

"When you hear those taps play, as that flag is folded, and you realize sacrifice, and you realize the absolute courage it takes to do some of the things people do for our freedom, you realize that every single thread, every star every drop is precious, more precious than than almost anything," Jeremy Kidwell said.

Memorial Day brings a reminding sting and an empty seat at the table for many.

"The mental anguish sometimes of remembering is a tough thing to deal with too," Jeremy Kidwell said.

The Kidwells say the best way to honor the fallen is saying their names and offering support.

"Their loved one was there for you and you had no idea," Jeremy Kidwell said.

Gold Star Nutrition has donated over $15,000 so far to Gold Star families, with the help of other organizations. The Kidwells say they want to keep doing more for people, and won't stop offering support anytime soon.


Before You Leave, Check This Out