When the United States entered World War I in 1917, George Vaughn Seibold, 23, volunteered, requesting assignment in aviation. He was sent to Canada where he learned to fly British planes since the United States had neither an air force nor planes. Deployed to England, he was assigned to the British Royal Flying Corps, 148th Aero Squadron. With his squadron, he left for combat duty in France. He corresponded with his family regularly. His mother, Grace Darling Seibold, began to do community service by visiting returning servicemen in the hospitals.
The mail from George stopped. Since all aviators were under British control and authority, the United States could not help the Seibold family with any information about their son.
Christmas Eve, 1918, the postman delivered a package to the Washington, DC residence of George and Grace Seibold. The package was marked, "Effects of Deceased Officer, First Lieutenant George Vaughn Seibold, Attached to the 148th Squadron, BRFC." No other information was provided.
Grace continued to visit hospitalized veterans in the Washington area, clinging to the hope that her son might have been injured and returned to the United States without any identification.
While working through her sorrow, she helped ease the pain of the many servicemen who returned so war-damaged that they were incapable of ever reaching normalcy.
After months of inquiry, the family received official notice. "George was killed in aerial combat during the heaviest fighting over Baupaume, France, August 26, 1918." His body was never recovered.
Grace, realizing that self-contained grief is self-destructive, devoted her time and efforts to not only working in the hospital but extending the hand of friendship to other mothers whose sons had lost their lives in military service.
She organized a group consisting solely of these special mothers, with the purpose of not only comforting each other, but giving loving care to hospitalized veterans confined in government hospitals far from home.
The organization was named after the Gold Star that families hung in their windows in honor of the deceased veteran.
After years of planning, June 4, 1928, twenty-five mothers met in Washington, DC to establish the national organization, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.
The success of our organization continues because of the bond of mutual love, sympathy, and support of the many loyal, capable, and patriotic mothers who while sharing their grief and their pride, have channeled their time, efforts and gifts to lessening the pain of others.
We stand tall and proud by honoring our children, assisting our veterans, supporting our nation, and healing with each other.
Information from the American Gold Star Mothers.