TDOC Honors Gold Star Father In Recognition Of Memorial Day

Monday, May 29, 2023 | 07:55am
Gold Star father and Correctional Officer Orlando Gonzalez presented flag during ceremony.

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. – Officers and staff gathered in the visitation gallery at Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX) earlier this weekend for a special Memorial Day ceremony to recognize and honor Gold Star father and Correctional Officer Orlando Gonzalez, whose son was killed while serving in the War on Terror.

Private First-Class Orlando Eric Gonzalez of New Freedom, PA, was killed on March 25, 2007, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  PFC Gonzalez was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Parachutist’s Badge.  He was 21 at the time of his death.

Private First-Class Orlando Eric Gonzalez

“Honoring those who gave their lives to serve our country is what Memorial Day is about. Officer Gonzalez is a Gold Star father and part of our NECX family.  We wanted to recognize that and show our profound respect for him and his son,” said Officer Lloydene Garland, who helped organize the ceremony.

As a tribute, the Tennessee state flag was flown at the facility for 12 hours in honor of PFC Gonzalez, then presented to Officer Gonzalez at the ceremony.

“I am so honored and thankful for this…. it’s awesome.  For them to think of Orlando and want to honor his memory, this means a lot and I am truly grateful for my NECX family,” said Officer Gonzalez.