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Gold Star mom honors son at Collier County service

Posted at 7:27 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 05:23:45-04

NAPLES, Fla. — For Gold Star families, Memorial Day is a time to honor their loved ones who died fighting for our country.

A special service will be held in Naples on Monday. One of those in attendance will be a Southwest Florida mother who lost her son.

Kim Hayes is a Gold Star mother who lost her son, Steven Taylor Hayes, who was serving in Afghanistan.

A "Gold Star" family is one whose immediate family member died, either during active duty or as a result of their service.

Kim said two accidents during her son's time in the service led him to suffer from memory loss and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He eventually experienced both homelessness and substance abuse.

In 2016, after the family tried to get him help, Taylor, unfortunately, passed away.

Monday's services feature a 21-gun salute, a reading of names, an appearance by the Collier County Sheriff's Color Guard, and several speakers.

The memorial begins at 10 a.m. and is free for the public to attend.