Supporting Gold Star Families & Celebrating the Lives our Heroes Lived

What We Do


Legacy Projects honor, memorialize, and celebrate the lives of our fallen heroes in the towns where they lived, shared life, and impacted those around them – their families, friends, and community.


Legacy Events are sponsored occasions that allow Gold Star families to connect with our team, meet other families of the fallen, and experience comfort, healing, and joy together.


Legacy Challenges are specifically designed endeavors that take physical and mental challenges to the extreme to bring national awareness to our mission. 


The term “Gold Star” describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service. The Gold Star first made an appearance during World War I after being placed over a service flag’s blue star when a service member was killed in combat. The Gold Star signified the family’s pride in the loved one’s sacrifice rather than the mourning of their personal loss. Many Gold Star families wear the Gold Star lapel pin to signify their pride. The lapel pin displays a Gold Star with a purple background surrounded by a gold wreath.

Making a difference...

One family at a time



Gold Star




Legacy Highlights

– The latest Legacies news, events, and stories – 

Team Washington - Tim Punke & family RAAM 2024

Race across America for Legacies Alive

Tim Punke and his family is racing across America to raise funds for Legacies Alive. The family is participating in the Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. Starting in Oceanside, California, RAAM spans over 3000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet, crosses 13 states, and finishes on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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Marine Corps Marathon

2024 Marine Corps Marathon

Join Legacies Alive for the 2024 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. on October 27, 2024! Runners will fundraise to raise support for Legacies Alive projects and events designed to honor the legacy of service members who gave their all to our nation.

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2nd Annual Gold Star Family Picnic - July 2022 (Balloon animals and activities for the kids)
Annual Events

Gold Star Family Picnic

The Family Picnic is the cornerstone Legacy Event that connects Gold Star families each year. Hundreds of Gold Star families, Legacies Alive staff, and supporters come together for a weekend of comradery, encouragement, and healing – all made possible by an army of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. The event, which takes place at a private farm outside of Pittsburgh, features a weekend of activities, food, entertainment, fireworks, and an opportunity to honor and remember the legacies of our fallen heroes.

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Gold Star Family Spotlight

To our nation's Gold Star families, your sacrifice is not forgotten

Carol getting ready to release her balloon in honor of her son, Brian

Carol's Story

Legacies Alive is more than an organization that connects Gold Star families together. It is veterans connecting us and connecting with us, men who have led and served alongside our fallen, have experienced their own loss, and are dedicated to honoring those who have fallen.

When I first learned about Legacies Alive and Mike Viti’s Hiking for Heroes Legacy Challenge, I asked myself, “How can this help me?” But when I met these men who are so passionate about honoring the fallen and supporting their families, they quickly became like family. They and the other Gold Star families I met through the events and challenges have become a integral part of my life as I process the grief. We share a deep bond.  READ MORE  

To our fallen American heroes,
your legacies are forever alive.

The Legacies Alive mission is to strengthen and support the Gold Star families of our nation’s fallen heroes and to bring national awareness to the life and character of all service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Founded by combat veterans, we feel a special connection with these families and are deeply committed to our cause.