Fallen soldier's mother heading to Washington
A northern Michigan woman is heading to the nation's capital this weekend to be part of a special ceremony honoring a soldier.
On Sunday, Starla Owens will travel to Washington, D.C. to honor Sergeant Kyle White, who served alongside her son in Afghanistan and Italy.
Owens's son, Specialist Joe Lancour, 21, died in an ambush attack in 2007.
â??It's such a humbling experience,â?? said Owens. â??It's a humbling thing to see such an award presented and to know that this soldier served with your son. He was heroic in pulling two soldiers aside, one survived, one did not.â??
Lancour had devoted his life to the military.
â??He loved the army. He wanted to be a lifer. The guys tell me he wanted to blow things up,â?? Owens joked.
Congressman Benishek's office told Owens they wanted to send her to Washington, D.C. for the medal of honor ceremony.
â??The next thing I know, I'm getting clearance for the White House. It's going to be happening I'm going to be going and it's like wow, okay! It still hasn't sunk in all the way,â?? confessed Owens.
The ceremony comes at an emotional time for Owens.
â??Mother's Day is tough for the most part because I can remember getting a Mother's Day card from him.â??
Lancour deployed in May, but made sure he sent his mom a card right before he left. Five months later, he was killed in combat.
â??I remember the first Mother's Day after Joe was killed. I received a dozen roses from Joe's buddies. So itâ??s special.â??
It's that sense of brotherhood Owens plans to honor in D.C.
â??I've lost a son, but they lost a brother deeper than what our siblings are to us. Their connection goes deeper.â??
Owens said the trip wouldn't be possible without the help of private donors, Rolling Thunder, the Grand Traverse Coalition, as well as Congressman Benishek.
â??They are my family I don't know how else to put it. I don't worry about things and if I do, they understand. Being a part of rolling thunder has been it's the way I get back, but it's also the way I honor my son.â??
Owens flies out from Cherry Capital Airport Sunday morning. The ceremony takes place Tuesday.
Members of the Grand Traverse Coalition plan to be there with flags both Sunday and when she returns on Wednesday.