Local Gold Star mother reflects on Memorial Day

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 9:50 PM PDT
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Gardnerville, Nev. (KOLO) - On Memorial Day, we take extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sally Wiley from Gardnerville is a mother of three boys.

“That was the last time any of us saw sean. so this is very precious to me,” Wiley, a Gold Star Mother said.

Her oldest son, Sean Diamond, joined the United States Army when he was about 20 years old.

“Of my three sons, he was my lovebug. He was the cuddler, if something wasn’t right, he’d come in and ask ‘mom are you okay?’”

Soon after, he transitioned to the U.S. Army Reserve in Dublin, California, became a Staff Sergeant, served as part of the Engineer Battalion, and was deployed three times to Iraq.

“I got all this confidence that he was going to be okay, which I think every mother does.”

Sally Wiley, Gold Star Mother

It was February 15, 2009, roughly ten months into SSG Diamond’s third tour when his troop stumbled upon an IED.

“A bomb went off in front of the first Humvee, another went off in front of the second Humvee, and by that time, the third Humvee had stopped,” Wiley explained, “But everybody got out and nobody saw Sean. Nobody had even a scratch. They finally found him in the second Humvee, and he was dead.”

In an instant, the husband and father of four was gone. But he wasn’t forgotten.

“I think he was an amazing person and soldier.”

Sally Wiley, Gold Star Mother

Unfortunately, Sally is not the only one who’s experienced this type of pain and loss.

Wiley added, “I want them to know they can get through it.”

12 years later, she continues to celebrate Sean’s life by encouraging those who are walking in her footsteps.

“Being with people is very important, having people around you that support you,” Wiley said, “Do counseling, and basically, just be strong.”

Being a Gold Star Family is an honor no one wants. May we always remember that the freedom we have costs many others their lives.

SSG Diamond was given a number of awards, including The Purple Heart. A park in Dublin and a base in Iraq were also named after him to honor his sacrifice.

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