Friday, November 30, 2007

Founded in Flint

: "Founded in Flint in World War II, national group's local chapters fade

Blue Star Mothers*"

"The organization has grown to include about 3,500 members nationwide, but now its founding chapter is in danger of dying out because of dwindling membership.
Just a handful of members remain in the organization's Flint Chapter No. 1.
Flint's Chapter No. 7 isn't any better off. It has only four members, three of whom live out of state.
Members of both chapters say they haven't held a meeting in years.
"We've got too much in the fire," said Doris Wamsley, 80, who runs the Flint chapter. "We need to get Chapter No. 1 going again."

Family Thanked for Sacrifice

West Michigan News from the Grand Haven Tribune a Michigan Newspaper: "Jason Lee honored; family thanked for their sacrifice Thu, Nov 29, 2007 BY PETER DAINING FRUITPORT — U.S. Army Cpl. Jason Lee was a husband, a brother, a son, a musician, a poet and a hero to many. "

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sending Christmas Packages - news: "Blue Star Moms Sending Christmas Packages By Mia Smitt Contributing Writer Six-hundred boxes! The Sacramento Blue Star Moms (BSM) plan to pack and send 600 care packages to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan this week alone. They held fundraising events throughout the year and collected donations from individuals and small and large companies. They’re still shopping for the best deals on snacks and toiletries. And the packages are coming together! The first 249 boxes went to the post office on Saturday, November 10. Another 256 packages went on Saturday, November 17. What is a Blue Star Mom? The Blue Star Mothers of America started as a group of women who had children serving in the military. The first group was formed in Flint, Michigan in 1942 during World War II. These mothers worked in train stations, USO offices, meeting halls and hospitals. They nurtured young soldiers who were away from home. They packed care packages of treats from home for soldiers heading overseas. "

Loved ones send holiday joy overseas


Barbara Juszkiewicz aches to see her son during the holidays. The visit won't happen this year, because Army 1st Sgt. Scott Juszkiewicz is thousands of miles away, ducking bullets and dodging improvised explosive devices in Iraq.
'I haven't seen my son since January 2007, and it's really sad to know it's not just going to be my holiday, but he has a wife and two children who also will miss him,' said the Port Orange mom. 'He took part of my heart with him, and it won't be whole again until he comes back safe and sound.'

Another effort is from Blue Star Mothers. While member moms ship packages to their own children, they also include the entire units and children of other locals serving over there. "Our nine members send things to their own children, but we are collecting for their units," said Judy Crews, president. Write her at with names and addresses.
"We want to benefit those from our own backyard." Blue Star Mothers drop boxes are at various locations. One Blue Star mom, Kelly Lowe of Ormond Beach, said her son, Army Spec. Daniel Lowe, 22, a Mainland High School graduate, is on his second Iraq tour. "He was also gone for the 2005 holidays," she said. "I have a huge family -- 60 members -- in this area, but it's definitely noticeable when my son is not there when we get together, so we say a prayer for him.""

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fairfield Parade Awards

"A parade of awards Here is the list of winners from the Nov. 10 Veteran's Day Parade in downtown Fairfield: Sweepstakes - Grand Sweepstakes, traditional entry, Native Sons of the Golden West. Best use of red, white and blue, Peggy Narducci. Best use of theme, Vintage Valley Blue Star Moms. Grand Sweepstakes, mounted entry, Petaluma Junior Riders Club. "

The Reporter - Fairfield author brings St. Nicholas to life:

What is it like to Have a Child in the Armed Forces?

"As our prayers and hopes go out to our men and women in the armed forces, let's take a look into the daily life of a mother with children in active duty. I have been fortunate to meet a wonderful woman that has been very willing to share her experiences with me. She has two children in the armed forces and still has room to help others. Please meet military mom, Carla Branton."

more...What is it like to Have a Child in the Armed Forces? - Associated Content:

Help..anyone from NJ that can help these wounded soldiers????

"The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. is authorized by the U.S. Code: Title 36; Section 943, as of January 26, 1998. I am from The Blue Star Mothers of America. I am hoping you might be able to help with this situation or know of someone else who could. I just found out about these mothers late last night. If you know of some one who could help, please tell them to email me. Thank you so very much for your time & assistance. Emily Afuola Blue to Gold Liaison - NJ PTSD - Chairwoman - Blue Star Mothers of America This is the email I sent out today: I just got off the phone with one of our blue star sisters from New Mexico. She and another blue star mom from Arizona, are both have sons at a place called Kessler Institute for Rehab in West Orange New Jersey. This is about 15 minutes from where I live. Their sons have severe Traumatic Brain Injuries. One son is in a coma and the other has a very long, long difficult road to go down. I have to tell you all these two kids are very bad, just about as bad as bad can be. The chances for them are not good."

"More..." - Help..anyone from NJ that can help these wounded soldiers????:

Giving thanks for gratitude

"Your readers are probably aware of the Virtues program being taught in the Willmar Public Schools, but they may not realize how that program has helped the Blue Star Mothers support our troops.
The virtue for November is gratitude so students are learning to be thankful for the people in their lives who had given so much. To show their gratitude, the students of Kennedy, Jefferson and Lincoln Elementary Schools have been collecting items for the Blue Star Mothers to send to our deployed troops. The response has been amazing!
We have 117 boxes packed to the brim with batteries, puzzle books, snacks, candy, and most importantly, notes, cards, and artwork from the students. One student gave his toy horse with a note wrapped around it. Another student gave his leather NFL football because he wanted the soldiers to have something to toss around during the time they aren’t on duty. These are just a few of the treasures we found. Clearly, these students have given more than mere possessions."

More...West Central Tribune Letter: Giving thanks for gratitude:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Newspaper exec had life of service

McCOMB, Ohio - Marion J. 'Mitzi' Kern, 76, of McComb, a former newspaper executive in North Baltimore, Ohio, who was active in a number of Masonic and church groups, died Thursday in The Heritage, Findlay. Mrs. Kern had fought several infections over the last several weeks, and had been hospitalized a week ago before going to The Heritage, her daughter Kelly Spieth said. A native of Youngstown, Mrs. Kern was a reporter and later the advertising manager for the North Baltimore News for more than a decade. She wrote a regular column for the weekly newspaper called 'Out My Kitchen Window,' Mrs. Spieth said...

...She was a member of the McComb Query Club; Blue Star Mothers - Marion Haley Chapter, and Findlay Chapter No. 23 of the Order of the Eastern Star, where she served in leadership positions." -- Newspaper exec had life of service:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Blue Star Mothers Fundraiser

Blue Star Mothers Fundraiser - FOX23 News - Coverage & Convenience: "While buying gifts at Crossgates Mall Friday some shoppers also took time out to help our troops overseas. The Blue Star Mothers of the Capital Region held a fundraising drive collecting items and money to send care packages to our troops overseas. For $25 dollars people could sponsor a 'Freedom Box' which is filled with stuff our soliders need, like razors, toothbrushes and tissues. They also accepted donations of money and supplies. It all helps make things a little brighter for a solider serving overseas this holiday. "

Pro-Troop Tour to Hit 40 Cities During Holidays

"“Honoring Heroes for the Holidays” 40-City Tour Pledges to Raise Morale and 100,000 Holiday Cards for Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan “After spending 15 holidays away from family while serving, I know firsthand that that it can be lonely. When the holidays come, the distance between our soldiers and the nation becomes much more profound and difficult.” -Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson National Pro-Troop Holiday Tour to Begin November 25
To schedule an interview with MAF Vice-Chairman Buzz Patterson, MAF Chairman Melanie Morgan, Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee, Blue Star Mom Deborah Johns or Singer/songwriter Diana Nagy, please contact Kristen Schremp at,, or 703.928.5527"

» NEWS: Pro-Troop Tour to Hit 40 Cities During Holidays Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace. Amelia Earhart:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Braving The Cold To Support Our Troops » Blog Archive » Braving The Cold To Support Our Troops (KOTV 6 Tulsa):

"The violence in Baghdad, Iraq is just another reminder that some families are separated by war this Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend. Tulsa’s Blue Star Mothers spent most of Thursday raising money to send troops overseas a little holiday cheer. News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims reports these Blue Star Moms sent more than 1,800 Freedom Boxes to our troops abroad last year."

Blue Star Mothers collecting items to send to troops

Blue Star Mothers collecting items to send to troops : Iraq War : Albuquerque Tribune: "Blue Star Mothers collecting items to send to troops By Stephanie Garcia Krenrich (Contact) Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kevin Valdez, a Marine stationed in Iraq as recently as a few months ago, said a highlight of his tour was receiving a care package and finding a Transformer toy inside.
He always looked forward to the days when he'd receive a care package, Valdez said.
"It boosts your morale a whole bunch," he said. "You're happy to get something."
On Monday afternoon, Valdez was helping his mother, Pauline Valdez, put holiday packages together for Blue Star Mothers of America, a nonprofit organization that offers support to troops and their mothers.
Candy left over from Halloween, toiletries, canned food, towels, jerky, clothes, underwear, videos and other items were piled on shelves and tables at the Rio Grande chapter of Blue Mothers of America's warehouse, 2919 Second St. N.W.
Pauline Valdez, the chapter's package chairwoman, said the organization is preparing packages for about 300 troops. Each recipient will get two packages, one with toiletries and one with food.
"We learned that when we send them toiletries with food, they complained their food tasted like soap," she said.
Valdez's purse has pins with pictures of her two sons, both of whom are Marines. She said delivering care packages is close to her heart because of her family."

Hardship troopers -- MAF

Local group Move America Forward supports the troops—and the War on Terror
By Kari Westerman
"Clad in an American flag-print tank top, a red leather jacket and gem-studded jeans, patriotic singer Diana Nagy kicked off Move America Forward’s 40-city Honoring our Heroes at the Holidays Tour with an inspired rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The crowd of about 200 people waved their plastic replicas of that banner high in the air as young uniformed Marines stood in line stoically watching the performance at William Land Park on November 13.
“We thank our troops and we thank our veterans,” Nagy said, eliciting cheers and applause. The tour’s official musician, Nagy said she got a call from MAF after they heard her sing “Where Freedom Flies,” a song written by her mother, who couldn’t sleep one night after seeing a newscast of protesters burning the American flag.
“These words just came to her,” Nagy said. “We knew that the world needed to hear this.”
Sacramento-based MAF is committed to supporting U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and is touring to collect 100,000 holiday greeting cards that will be delivered to the troops overseas at the end of this year.
“We’re doing cards and packages to send over to the troops for Christmas,” said MAF organizer Deborah Johns, a Blue Star Mom whose son has served three tours of duty in Iraq.
Yellow ribbons were plastered on the cars in the parking lot outside of Fairy Tale Town in William Land Park, where volunteer Bill McNab directed traffic with a “Pro-Troop Rally” sign and large American flag by his side. McNab, a Korean War veteran who said he was lucky to survive the conflict, said he is proud of the troops’ efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan."

More...SN&R > Local Stories > Hardship troopers > 11.22.07:

Blue Star Moms Hope To Make Thanksgiving Overseas More Special|

Blue Star Moms Hope To Make Thanksgiving Overseas More SpecialNewsChannel 8: "The war on terrorism has been going on for years now. But, support for troops pours out, especially during the holidays.

Right now, Oklahoma has thousands of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. NewsChannel 8's Kim Jackson found out how moms fight the pain of war. Blue Star moms are packing up boxes and those boxes are headed off to soldiers in Iraq. Today, we met one mom reflecting on her sons and their service this holiday.

"I try not to watch news too much," says Monica McCann. "It's very depressing and I don't want to keep that in front of me. People see my pin and we talk and they find out I have three sons in the service." Isaac and Michael are both in Iraq. Brother John is a brand new Marine. "And I have seven boys and I've had a couple of people tell me, that if I lose one child at least I have six more," Monica says. Her pin draws that kind of attention, and more. "

Serving on Thanksgiving

The Cincinnati Post - Serving on Thanksgiving:
"By Kevin Eigelbach Post staff reporter

For the first time, Pfc. Nicholas Bolmer will miss Thanksgiving dinner at home this year.
Bolmer will eat Turkey in Iraq, where he's serving, with the rest of his Army unit. If she's lucky, his mother may get a phone call from him today at her Southgate home. If not, he'll call on Sunday, the usual day the Army gives him to do laundry and take care of personal business.
"It's tough. The holidays are tough," said his mother, Sharon Bolmer, as she started to cry.
Many tri-state homes will have empty spaces at the Thanksgiving table today, with loved ones away in Iraq or Afghanistan.
As the war in Iraq enters its fifth year, the toll in lives lost and lives disrupted continues to grow. Many of those serving overseas are in the National Guard or the Reserves, and enjoyed civilian lives before their call-up, serving only part-time in the military as so-called weekend warriors...

...She shares her concerns with fellow members of the Blue Star Mothers of Northern Kentucky, a support group for mothers with children in the military. They will soon get together to put together and send Christmas care packages to their children."

40 Years Ago

"40 Years Ago Week of Nov. 23, 1967

* Pedro Raul, 7 pounds, 8 ounces, son born Nov. 16, 1967, to Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Aguayo of Coolidge.

* Kenny Satterfield, 7-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. David Satterfield, was honored on Saturday at a birthday party in San Carlos Park. The honoree's mother directed arty games for the seven guests.

* Coolidge Chapter, Blue Star Mothers of America, have been given the coveted national award for the National Department of Blue Star Mothers of America. "

Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc.:

Bouchard recognized as outstanding volunteer

"The Capt. John Joslin, Jr. Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution recently recognized Sharon A. Bouchard of Leominster, and presented her with the DAR Community Service Award and pin. The award recognizes an outstanding volunteer who contributes to the community in a heroic, civic or benevolent manner. Sharon is the organizer of Chapter No. 1 Blue Star Mothers in Massachusetts. The Blue Star Mothers organization was created in 1942, to give support to families that have children serving in the military. While Bouchard's older son Barry was with the Marines in Iraq, she realized from going online that there were no chapters of Blue Star Mothers in Massachusetts. Bouchard found other mothers with children in military service that also recognized the need to provide support, particularly by sending comfort items to those serving and those wounded in hospitals. A second chapter was formed earlier this fall in eastern Massachusetts. Bouchard's younger son, Scott, is a Marine stationed in Florida. Barry is now a Leominster police officer. For information on the DAR, contact Regent Marilyn Abbott at (978) 874- 0058. For more information on the Blue Star Mothers, contact Veterans' Services at (978) 534-7538. "

Bouchard recognized as outstanding volunteer:

November a Time to Remember Vets

Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc.: "November a time to remember vets David Snider, Pinal County Supervisor, District 2November 21, 2007 Email to a friend Voice your opinion November is an interesting month. Most of us vacillate between eager anticipation (Yaaay - Christmas is right round the corner!) and tight-lipped tension (there are only 34, 33, 32, 31... shopping days 'til Christmas!) as we turn the calendar page over. Some of us also start fasting in anticipation of Thanksgiving bounty while others do all of the above. Although I'm mostly in the latter category, I'd like to spend this month's column talking about another November holiday that doesn't generate nearly enough attention even though the special day I'm thinking of honors all those Americans who have provided us with the freedom to enjoy all of these other holidays. ..

... But the military does its best to take care of its own. Today there are several family focused organizations working to offer help to the veterans' families. Blue Star Mothers are mothers who have now or have had children honorably serving in the military - it's an organization that originated in the heat of WWII. Members support each other and their children, especially if a loved one is serving in harm's way. And Gold Star families are recognized as having had a family member make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Blue Star Mothers chapters meeting regularly are located in Phoenix and Tucson. The Marine Corps League Casa Grande, VFW Post 1677, and American League Post 8 are interested in assisting families of deployed troops by forming family support groups. For more information, contact or"

Blue Star Mothers helping troops for the holidays

Blue Star Mothers helping troops for the holidays -
"The Blue Star Mothers work all year helping the troops overseas by sending 'Freedom Boxes' packed with goodies. Now they are getting ready to send gifts for the holidays. Wednesday the Blue Star Mothers unveiled their new 'Freedom Truck' decorated to show thier support for the troops, as their drive begins to collect gifts. Thursday the '5th Annual Give Thanks To The Troops' event is being held. Folks can donate gifts for the troops, and money to help send off the packages by stopping by the Fox Cleaners on 61st & Sheridan. If you'd like to help out, but don't know what to donate you can head over to the website for the Blue Star Mothers where you'll find a list of supplies the troops could use. "

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Welcome Home - SSgt Jeffrey & HM1 Joe Clairmonte, Jacksonville, FL, 24 NOV 07 > Patriot Guard Forums - Americans Doing the Right Thing > Patriot Guard Riders

Welcome Home - SSgt Jeffrey & HM1 Joe Clairmonte, Jacksonville, FL, 24 NOV 07 > Patriot Guard Forums - Americans Doing the Right Thing > Patriot Guard Riders: "Yes, you read the header correctly we have a Welcome Home for Brothers and to make it even more unique they are TWINS. This will be the first time they have been home for Thanksgiving together in more years then their Mom cares to think about. These Brothers have spent maybe a total of two days together in five years. Once was in an airport for an hour. USAF SSgt Jeffrey Clairmonte has completed one tour in Afghanistan, then was transferred to Germany. USN HM1 Joe Clairmonte has completed one tour in Iraq and is stationed with the USMC at Camp LeJeune. Their Mom Diane, is a member of the Florida Chapter of the Blue Star Moms and has requested the Patriot Guard Riders to Welcome her sons Home. Both of these Heroes are married with small children and they have all traveled home to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday together. This will be a great time to THANK them for their service to our Country and protecting our Freedoms. "

Blue Star mothers remember the troops

"Nearly 300 stockings stuffed with everything from ramen noodles to Q-tips - one even had a toy harmonica inside it - were stacked in boxes at the beginning of a makeshift assembly line Sunday, where more than 30 volunteers began putting together care packages to send to troops overseas. Not all of them are from Spartanburg, though all of them have ties here - either through a grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend."
More... Blue Star mothers remember the troops Spartanburg, S.C.:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blue Star Mothers Send Freedom Boxes to Iraq

Blue Star Mothers Send Freedom Boxes to Iraq - FOX23 News - Coverage & Convenience: "Volunteers packed up boxes to send to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan this holiday season in Colonie on Sunday.
The Capital Region chapter of the Blue Star Mothers organized a holiday freedom box packing event at the Joseph Zaloga American Legion Post in Colonie.
Volunteers packing up items from needed toiletries to some of those special items from home the troops often can't get while they are away.
Joanne Brunner/Blue Star Mothers: “They have to know being so far away that we appreciate everything they're doing over there and we want their safe return home, and everything we can do to make it a little bit easier or a little more comfortable for them, we try to do.” "

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Don't be dissin' our soldiers... A mom sets 'em straight!

"I was driving to work listening to the radio station I listen to all the time when they started talking about beefs of the world. One of the announcers stated that her beef was that the troops were getting all this money to fight a war when people were starving in the US and that the military could send 18 year olds to war but why couldn't they buy a 6 pack in the states. The other announcer then said....'Yeah, so basically we can send these kids to war but not let them pop a beer to celebrate if they kill someone in a foreign country.' Well lemme tell ya, that did NOT sit well with THIS MARINE MOM!"

More... GraniteGrok: Don't be dissin' our soldiers... A mom sets 'em straight!:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Veterans Day Parade

blah-di-family: Veterans Day Parade: "This is the Blue Star Moms float. Of the 4 men on the float, the 2 in dark shirts are veterans of Viet Nam and Blue Star Dads. The other 2 are currently in the military. The others (not on the float) are Blue Star Moms and Dads. We walked along side the float with out 'Soldiers on a Stick' passing our candy. Jordan came to watch. The parade lasted about an hour for the spectators. As marchers it was only 30 minutes or so."

Blue Star Mothers collect for troops

"NORTH COUNTY -- The local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America is collecting donations for holiday care packages to be sent to troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Items needed include candy canes, small Christmas ornaments, holiday greeting cards, New Year's hats and confetti, hot chocolate and apple cider packets, microwave popcorn, granola bars, lip balm, handheld games and small puzzle or wordbooks.
Donated items should be dropped off today at one of the following locations: Escondido Charter High School, Valley Center Roadrunner office, Valley Center High School or the American Legion post in Escondido. Pick-ups can also be arranged. Street addresses for the drop-off locations, as well as a list of additional items needed, can be found at the organization's Web site at contributions to help offset the cost of postage are also welcome. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 301456, Escondido, CA 92030.Blue Star Mothers of America is a nonprofit, nonpolitical support group of mothers whose children are serving in all branches of the military. In addition to providing moral and emotional support for one another, the organization sponsors many activities in support of military personnel, veterans groups and causes that directly benefit the armed forces. This includes participating in the Miramar Air Show and the San Diego Veterans Day parade, holding picnics and activities for the local wounded warriors, and acting as "huggers" at local deployment farewells and homecomings.Meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at the American Legion in Escondido and all are welcome. For information, go to the Web site or call Kathryn Hood at (760) 594-4853."

Fridley fundraiser to help homeless veterans

"The Blue Star Moms chapter hopes the benefit Saturday in Fridley will aid the 180 such vets in the St. Cloud area.
By Maria Elena Baca,
Star Tribune
Last update: November 16, 2007 – 5:48 PM
A group of women with sons in the military is working to help other people's sons, fathers and brothers who have become homeless after leaving the service.
The north metro chapter of Blue Star Moms of America is hosting a benefit today at the Fridley VFW, which will include three live bands (headlined by City Knights), a buffet supper, a raffle and more to raise money for the St. Cloud Veterans Administration Medical Center Homeless Veterans Fund, which helps vets to find and keep temporary housing with short-term grants and counseling. It also helps provide food, clothing and transportation.
The chapter, which includes families from Monticello to northeast Minneapolis, was responding to a call from the national organization, which noted that there are about 180 homeless veterans in the St. Cloud area alone.
"I guess I'm just one of those people in the United States of America who think that should never happen," said Dennie Meyer, who founded the north metro chapter when her son, Judson, was deployed to Iraq three years ago. "Our veterans should never be homeless. It's not right."
Organizers also will collect new and gently used mittens, hats, coats, boots and sleeping bags.
"Anything that will protect them from the outer elements is something we definitely can use," Meyer said. The group also will accept contributions for the potluck and bake sale.
To make in-kind contributions for the event, call Meyer at 763-464-1234.
Maria Elena Baca • 612-673-4409
Maria Elena Baca •

"Fridley fundraiser to help homeless veterans:

Friday, November 16, 2007

‘Army surplus’ takes on sweet meaning

"Army surplus’ takes on sweet meaning Minotte R. Cuenca Published 11/16/2007 - 1:00 a.m. PDT

What began as a molehill of leftover Halloween candy rose into a mountain, and the beneficiaries were our service men and women overseas.In partnership with Kids Helping Kids Leadership Academy Inc., where young leaders mount projects and raise funds to change the world, mom Laurie Restani led the candy drive in Discovery Bay Elementary, Timber Point Elementary, Excelsior Middle School and Marsh Creek School. Together, her confectionary corps collected 1,000 pounds of candy and packed them into 6,270 bags. The Blue Star Moms of Brentwood and Danville will ship them out to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

more... ‘Army surplus’ takes on sweet meaning:

Blue Star Mom Deborah Johns

A NEWT ONE- THE TRUTH SURGE!: "Move America Forward's Director of Military Relations, Deborah Johns will be SonlitKnight's very special guest on American Truth Warriors tonight! Don't let the pretty face fool ya folks, this marine mom is as tough as nails! The show can be heard at beginning at 7 PM Eastern/ 4 PM Pacific. The chat room will open 1/2 hour prior to the start of the show. To be on the show with Deborah call 646-652-2670"

Veterans honored by community

Veterans honored by community: "About 200 people showed up Sunday to pay tribute to some 30 local veterans at the Veterans Day Appreciation Barbecue hosted by the American Legion at the Harding-Noia Post 161 on West Sixth Street in Antioch. ...

... Mayor Donald Freitas acknowledged the presence of U.S. Army Spc. and Antioch resident Isaac Morton, who was wounded in Iraq and is home on convalescent leave. “I’m glad I made the decision,” Morton said of his decision to join the military. “The biggest lesson I have learned in the military is to believe in myself. I have done some things that I never thought I’d do out there. If you make it through, you’re OK.” Morton’s mother, Virginia, has 11 children, two of whom serve in the Navy, and is active with the Delta Blue Star Moms. “It’s important for parents to realize that they should support their children if they want to serve,” she said."

Organization To Collect Donations For Troops - Greenville News Story - WYFF Greenville

Organization To Collect Donations For Troops - Greenville News Story - WYFF Greenville: "GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The city of Greenville is joining with Blue Star Mothers to gather goods for overseas troops. On Dec. 1, the day Annual Poinsettia Christmas Parade, Blue Star Mothers, will set up several collection sites in downtown Greenville on Main Street between Broad and Elford streets beginning at 6 p.m. Blue Star Mothers is a nonprofit organization that supports troops serving in the military.
Requested items include writing paper and envelopes; dental products such as mouthwash, toothbrushes and toothpaste; powdered drink mixes; dry food and snacks; board games; music; toiletries; pre-paid phone cards; reading material and seasonal items."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Care Package Drive

Public Service event Nov 19, 2007 6:00pm 640 Belford Ave Grand Junction
Hygiene and entertainment items, cards and food collection for Blue Star Mothers holiday care packages for the troops.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Group organizing packages for troops

"Group organizing packages for troops
By Emilie H. Wheeler
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
1:52 AM CST

Blue Star Mothers in need of financial help to get holiday packages airborne A local organization trying to send holiday care packages to active-duty soldiers needs financial help to get the gifts airborne. The Bridgerland chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America has been gathering supplies for more than 100 care packages and would like to send them off by this weekend, president Rhonda Hunter said. “The community has been so absolutely wonderful to donate that we actually got more than we anticipated,” the Hyrum mother of Spc. Josh Hunter said."

More... The Herald Journal Serving Logan and Cache Valley > News > Group organizing packages for troops:

Tulsa World: Girl Scout honors veterans with banquet and gifts

Girl Scout honors veterans with banquet and gifts: "Veterans Day was extended Tuesday for at least 60 veterans. Nikki Duggal, a junior at Jenks High School, organized a banquet to honor veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and current wars. 'I love the stories of inspiration they (veterans) share,' said Duggal, who volunteered at a local veterans clinic for four summers. 'They gave in sight of their actions while they were overseas. I was touched by their stories of loyalty and perseverance. 'I felt compelled to contribute to the veterans,' she said. 'They deserve our utmost respect, honor and recognition for their service and sacrifice for our country.' The banquet is part of the community service portion of Duggal's Girl Scout Gold Award Project. The Gold Award is the organization's highest honor. The Blue Star Mothers helped Duggal find veterans to invite, and Duggal secured donations from Texas Roadhouse, Reasor's and India Palace for the meal. The Clarion Hotel donated the room for the banquet. 'We need to show our patriotism in our own ways,' Duggal said. 'This is my small way, but I hope it makes a difference in the community.' "

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Chapter Formed

"11/13/2007 - Lake Erie chapter of group formed
OBSERVER Staff Writer
Westfield Quality Manager Rita Jacobson (right) gives Patti White a gift certificate to purchase needed items that might not be
received during the collection drive.

A mother’s love is one of the strongest forces in the world; and when it’s organized, things get done. The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. have come to Western New York. President Pam Torres started the Lake Erie NY Chapter #4 after attending a few meetings of the chapter in Rochester. “There are a few other groups in New York and the closest one is in Rochester,” Torres said. “I first heard about the group when my son graduated from boot camp and I went to a couple of meetings. I felt we should have something like that in this area so I got some of my friends who have children in the service together.” Torres is waiting to hear from the national organization for their official charter status.
“We have sent in all of our paperwork; we just have to wait now,” Torres said. “But we’ve met all the requirements that are needed. I’ve been in touch with the vice president of the organization and she said she would hurry us through as quick as they could.”The Blue Star Mothers, Lake Erie chapter currently has six members with a couple applications coming in, according to Torres. "

Light a candle to show your support

Light a candle to show your support: "The nonprofit organization Blue Star Mothers of Southern New Jersey is selling The Hero Candle to the public for $15, with proceeds earmarked for troop supplies. It's an attempt to raise awareness about overseas troops. South Jerseyans who buy one are asked to keep it in their window until the last troops return home, Jones said. 'The Hero Candle' has a star-shaped bulb and comes with a ribbon in red, blue and white. Anyone interested in buying the candle should call Nancy Chard Jones at (856) 853-9398. 'You don't have to know a soldier overseas in order to (buy the candle),' said Nancy Chard Jones, of the military support group Blue Star Mothers of Southern New Jersey, Chapter 2. Blue Star Mothers is for mothers whose children have served or are serving overseas in the military. The group meets monthly at Woodstown Armory. Meeting dates vary. For more information, call (856) 853-9398. Military Support Group of New Jersey and Pennsylvania meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month at Chews United Methodist Church, 319 Black Horse Pike, Glendora. This group is open to family and friends of the military, its veterans and anyone interested in supporting the troops. Contact Karen Jennings at (856) 783-1953. -- Wilford S. Shamlin "

Mothers carry Blue Stars in parade

KVOA News 4, Tucson, Arizona - Mothers carry Blue Stars in parade: "Mothers who have sons and daughters serving overseas were among those who marched in today's Tucson Veterans Day Parade. They call themselves Blue Star Mothers.
Their tradition dates back to World War I, when mothers with children in the war hung banners with blue stars, so everyone would know.
Chrissy Harlan, a Blue Star Mother, says, "I have one hanging in my home and at my office."
Today Harlan and other mothers carried their banners in the parade.
Helen Quigley, who belongs to the group, says, "Just like I supported them when they were young, being in P.T.A. and in sports, this is my way of supporting my son."
Elizabeth Guerra says her star represents her daughter. Guerra says, "She's been in the service for six years and she just reenlisted for six more years."
A national group, Blue Star Mothers regularly send care packages to military overseas.
U.S. Army Specialist Donald Topar, whose mother is a Blue Star, says, "It means a lot that we get something like that and that we do have people back home who do support us."
Members of the mothers group also support each other.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer Richard Rodriquez is glad his mother belongs. He says, "In all honesty, it's easier for us getting shot at because that's something we accepted. Our families didn't have that choice. They just have got to suffer through with our service. And now they have an organization to help them with that."
Barb League, of Blue Star Mothers, says, "If you're having a bad day, you can pick up the phone and call another parent."
Linda Cagle used to be a Blue Star. Now she has a silver star because her son was wounded in the war. Cagle says, "The Army, the Navy, Marines has very good support for the wives. But it doesn't have very good support for the mothers."
In today's parade Salette Latas rode in an antique black car with a gold star. Latas says, "It means we've lost a solider who was serving his country, and so it's definitely a club that nobody wants to join."
But it is a club these mothers want you to remember on Veterans Day.
Tucson's chapter of Blue Star Mothers is new and small. It welcomes new members. For more information, you can email"

Blue Star Mother speaks at School

"Sometimes it seems children can ask the toughest questions. They also can present some of the most off-the-wall queries imaginable. Such was the case Monday morning at Pinecrest Elementary as the school had a Veterans Day program in its cafeteria. The event featured a performance from the Pinecrest chorus, an appearance from the Greenwood High School color guard and a speech and question-and-answer session with Army National Guard Sgt. Jacob Porter. Near the end of his speech, Porter opened the floor for questions from the students, who ranged from K-4 to fifth grade. One of the first questions asked, by a youngster near the front row, was: “Have you ever killed a monster?...”

... Pinecrest special education teacher Sandee Fifer also spoke to the students, telling them about her roles with the Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers.“A Gold Star Mother is a mother that has lost a child to a war,” Fifer said, to the children. “My son (Sgt. Eric Fifer) was killed in October 2005 in Iraq. I am also a Blue Star Mother, which is a group of mothers who have children currently serving in the military. However, I am lucky to say that my (currently serving) son (2nd Lt. Shawn Futch) is not deployed at this time.”Mona Johnson, who is an active leader among local Blue Star Mothers, said her group is collecting items for Christmas stockings to send to deployed soldiers. Johnson said items needed for these stocking include coffee, hot chocolate, hard candy, hand and foot warmers and hot chocolate.Johnson said anyone wanting to donate those items should bring them to the American Red Cross Operations Center on Epting Avenue, Emerald Baptist Church or Pinecrest Elementary by Dec. 1."

More... Index Journal Greenwood, SC News:

Tears fall in war tribute

Gold Star & Blue Star Mothers gather for ceremony at site of monument
By Betty Lin-Fisher Beacon Journal staff writer
Published on Monday, Nov 12, 2007
Gabriela Simon, of North Canton, reads off names of Ohio Iraq
Coalition causalities during the veterans Day memorial service at the Ohio
Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Park, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007, in Clinton, Ohio. Simon
is a member of the Blue Star Mothers organization and her son Michael is a
Captain in the Marines. (Gavin Jackson/Akron Beacon Journal)
CLINTON: As the names of 181 Ohioans killed in Iraq were read Sunday afternoon during a Veterans Day service, Donna Kuglics stood among a crowd of umbrellas and wept.
The pain of losing her son, Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Joseph Kuglics, was still evident. Kuglics died June 5 of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.
Kuglics, 25, was a 2000 graduate of Green High School.
Donna Kuglics was among the Gold Star Mothers — women who have lost a son or daughter in service to the country — who gathered for a remembrance at the spot that will be the Ohio Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Park in Clinton.
About 80 people stood in the grassy cemetery in the sometimes heavy rain to paytribute to the veterans.
Joining the Gold Star Mothers were the Blue Star Mothers, whose children are serving or have served in the military.
Kuglics had planned to participate with the other mothers in the reading of the 181 soldiers killed in action. But she was suffering from laryngitis, so her husband, Les, read the names of some of the war dead in her place.
''It's a hard day, but also a good day because people haven't forgotten,'' Donna Kuglics said.
Kuglics said the camaraderie of the Gold Star Mothers has helped her through the difficult time following her son's death.
''You don't have to explain to them,'' she said.
Les Kuglics said military families who have lost sons or daughters have a common bond. ''We can relate to each other,'' he said. ''The general public thinks we mourn for a month and go on.''
Some of the mothers in the group are coming up on the second and third anniversaries of their child's death, and are able to give advice on coping, Donna Kuglics said.
During the service, the names of each of the 181 Ohioans killed in Iraq were read, followed by the toll of a small bell.
Several politicians were in attendance, including Summit County Executive Russ Pry, U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley, and state Rep. Stephen Dyer, D-Green.
The service was to have included an excavation of the foundation for the permanent, 125-foot-long granite monument that will bear the names of the 3,095 Ohioans who died in the Vietnam War, but organizers dug the hole before the ceremony because of the inclement weather.
Though the name of the park, which will be created on land owned by the Clinton Cemetery Association, is the Ohio Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Park, it will be for all veterans, said Julie Kline, secretary of the Ohio Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Park Committee. The park is to be completed by 2009.
Honoring all veterans is important, said Kris Dervin, a member of the Canton-Akron Blue Star Mothers.
''We can't forget. We have to honor the veterans here and in the past,'' said Dervin, whose daughter, Stacy is a member of the Ohio National Guard. ''They give up a part of their life.''
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at330-996-3724 or

Blue Star Mothers stuffing stockings

: "Blue Star Mothers stuffing stockings By Susan Brittingham Features Editor From the tiny stocking that proclaimed “Baby’s First Christmas” to the mounds of clean socks that magically showed up in your drawer, Mom’s had you covered for years. So why would she stop just because her child is not going to be home for Christmas this year? Exactly, and that is why the Blue Star Mothers will ship Christmas stockings to any member of the military, anywhere in the world. Last year the Pittsburg County Chapter 14 Blue Star Mothers of America Chapter mailed nearly 600 goody-filled stockings around the world. Most of them went to troops serving in Iraq, and during this upcoming year there will be even more Oklahomans in the desert country."
More...McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK - Blue Star Mothers stuffing stockings

Blue Star Moms list unforgotten veterans

The News and Tribune - Blue Star Moms list unforgotten veterans: "Southern IN Blue Star Mothers recently offered Southern Indiana families an opportunity to recognize or honor friends and families that serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The group can still be reached about their holiday plans to honor veterans by contacting Vanessa Coulter, P.O. Box 2943, Clarksville IN 47131-2943 or via e-mail at inbluestarmom@insightbb"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day Parade In Downtown Milwaukee

"Veteran's Day Parade In Downtown Milwaukee Charles Benson Katie DeLong MILWAUKEE – Thousands paused to honor Wisconsin veterans Saturday. They lined the streets of downtown Milwaukee to say thanks. From marching bands to Milwaukee politicians, the veteran’s parade moved through the streets of Milwaukee for the 44th straight year. Diane Rettig was there for her son. “My son is serving. I am a Blue Star mom. I’m very proud. There is a lot going on in our nation right now and people are seeing what’s happening and supporting our troops, so we’re out here to encourage that and let the troops know that we care,” Diane Rettig said."
More... Veteran's Day Parade In Downtown Milwaukee Today's TMJ4 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Weather, Sports, WTMJ Local News:

Veterans of all stripes mark the day with S.F. parade

"Veterans of many faraway wars, high school JROTC cadets facing the closure of their program, a singing band of Blue Star Moms, peace activists and historical re-enactors in 16th century battle garb streamed through downtown San Francisco Sunday in the city's annual and eclectic Veterans Day parade. The sun came out, but few spectators did. Those waving star-spangled banners from the sidewalks and transit islands of Market Street and from the steps of City Hall, where the parade ended, were easily outnumbered by those in the parade, which marked the 89th anniversary of the end of World War I."

More...Veterans of all stripes mark the day with S.F. parade:

Service banners return in popularity, paying tribute to those serving, or who have given their lives for, the country - Service banners, once prevalent during WWI and WWII, return in popularity, paying tribute to those serving, or who have given their lives for, the country:
"It's been almost a century since Service Flags were prominently flown by families with a son fighting in World War I. Displayed in the front windows of homes, the flags quickly became known as 'Son in Service Flags.' The flags retained their popularity in World War II, but by the time the country was involved in Korea and later Vietnam, the flags' prevalence had diminished greatly.
n a move reminiscent of the volunteer armed forces itself, Service Flags are making a comeback. Flag distributions are on the uptick even in Midland, where last month, the Erby and Rosario Zarate family became the latest family to be given a flag, in honor of their son, Andrew.
"Everytime we look at the banner it reminds us of our son and where he is and what he's doing," said Erby Zarate, father of his Army Specialist son.
Zarate, in the military himself in the early 1990s, had never heard of the Service Flags until Midland oilman Donny McClure brought one to his place of business last month.
McClure, who also has an active duty son overseas, was given a flag in honor of his son by Terry Johnson, whose son is also in harm's way in the combat zone.
"To the best of my knowledge, Service Flag distribution is a totally volunteer effort wherever it occurs," McClure said.
McClure first discovered the Service Flags when he was a young boy and, he said, "was snooping around in my grandmother's attic one day." McClure saw the flag, but did not know its meaning.
"It was tattered and worn and in my grandmother's trunk," McClure said. "Aged and yellowed. I had no idea what it was, looking at it as a kid. I knew it had some connection to the military and to her sons and that one came back and one didn't. I made an attempt to hang on to the banners through the years, not understanding what it all meant. Then Terry Johnson gave me one when my son deployed and it all came back to me."
McClure said the equity Midland has in the current war is high and some families have incurred the highest price.
The flags, or banners, come in either Blue Star or Gold Star, with a Blue Star signifying a family member that is currently deployed; a Gold Star banner is for those families that have lost loved ones in the war; there are currently 12 Gold Star families in Midland-Odessa and surrounding area. It is because of the high number of active-duty servicemen and because of the families that have lost loved ones that motivates McClure to distribute as many Service Flags as he can.
"If anybody knows of a family who has a son or a daughter, a mother or a father, an aunt or uncle deployed, just let us know and we'll do the homework and get them delivered," McClure said. If you know of a family that would like to receive a Service Flag, email or call 683-2787, ext. 17.
Both McClure and Johnson are easily moved when the conversation drifts to their Service Flags.
"When I look at it, it's ... 'Whoa!' " Johnson said. "It just brings it all home. It's a reminder to me and to others that we have a conflict going on, and men and women who are over there are facing many dangers on a daily basis."
So many dangers, in fact, that just last week, 2007 became the deadliest year yet for American servicemen in Iraq.
An example of a Service Flag can be seen in the movies "Saving Private Ryan" and "Majestic." Each star on the flag indicates the number of family members either in the war effort, or who have died in the war.
"The Service Flags let you know what's important and it prioritizes your life," Johnson said. "And when other people see it, it gives me an opportunity to talk to them about my son."
McClure said the flags "become a tie to the son or the daughter, or to the mom or dad or husband. It helps keep that spirit and presence right there with you." "

Group helps moms cope with despair when soldiers die

"Group helps moms cope with despair when soldiers die
By Paul Wood Sunday,
November 11, 2007 11:01 AM CDT
A few holidays back, on the Fourth of July, Connie Bickers helped out on the Gold Star Mothers float. Afterward, a few people walked up to her to ask, 'What are the Gold Star Mothers?'"
A good question for Veterans Day. Bickers, who lives in St. Joseph, lost her son, Spc. Cory Hubbell, on June 26, 2003, in Kuwait, after he had respiratory problems. He was 20.
She isn't bitter about being asked about the organization for families of fallen soldiers, but she does think people ought to know why there's a flag with a gold star in her window.
"I didn't know what a Gold Star Mother was until I became one," she admits.
The question has been awkward for Ava Tomson of Tolono as well.
"We've had people ask 'What club does that stand for?' Then you have to explain. It makes them feel embarrassed, they feel bad for bringing it up. But it's OK," Tomson says.
Adds Bickers:"We're not a bunch of ladies who sit around and cry."
Tomson was a Blue Star Mother in the beginning, when her son, Pfc. Lucas Starcevich, first went to Iraq. The Department of Defense gives Blue Star Flags to the families of soldiers serving overseas, one star for each who serves.
The supportive mom had to do something, so she crafted comfort quilts for families of fallen soldiers.
Then her own son died April 16, 2007, victim of a roadside bomb. Pfc. Starcevich was 25.
Tomson said she was invited into Gold Star Mothers by a group of Vietnam-era mothers, and found that talking with them, and volunteering with them, made a difference.
"With grief, some people pull together; some pull apart with the pain," she says.
Ruth Stonesifer, a Pennsylvania woman who runs Gold Star Mother publications, said the organization has helped families since the time of World War I, "the war to end all wars."
A Washington, D.C. mother, Grace Darling Seibold, lost her son, Lt. George Vaughn Seibold, when he was declared missing in action flying a combat mission over France in August 1918. He was serving in England's Royal Air Force, Stonesifer said.
"Mrs. Seibold was working in veterans hospitals. In the years after World War I, she went to hospitals hoping to find her son, hoping he was suffering from amnesia," she said.
She never found her son, but did make friends with about 25 other mothers, who went on to form the core of the new Gold Star Mothers, she says.
During World War II, the Department of Defense gave Blue Star Flags to families of soldiers and sailors. A Gold Star could then be placed over the blue star.
With the heavy losses of World War II, Gold Star Mothers were at their greatest number in the 1950s, Stonesifer says.
But the Vietnam era was different.
"To the mother, it doesn't make much difference when you lose a child in any kind of conflict," she says. "It's devastating no matter what.
"But the attitude that the country has towards that conflict was very different. Vietnam mothers probably endured the weirdest reception, but they lived their lives with grace and dignity."
Now, Bickers says, people are supportive, once they've been clued in to what makes a Gold Star Mother.
On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother's Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor. Bickers said she'd like to see that marked on more calendars.
More... The helps moms cope with despair when soldiers die:

Celebrating service, sacrifice

"Celebrating service, sacrifice Palestine pays tribute to veterans
The Palestine Herald
PALESTINE — The mood was somber Saturday afternoon as the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Wall attracted numerous veterans and civilians from Palestine and surrounding areas. The wall features the names of U.S. soldiers who died in the Vietnam War and travels around the country to honor those soldiers. The wall will remain at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Palestine until Monday. Palestine resident Karen Armstrong was moved to tears on Saturday when she found her brother John E. Manning’s name on the wall. Someone had placed a computer-printed page — including a photo of Manning in uniform — honoring her brother at the base of the section of wall where Manning’s name appears...

...At the park, Blue Star Mothers — those mothers who have sons and daughters on active duty — were called out and given the honor of placing a wreath of red, white and blue carnations at the base of the park’s flag pole.The Palestine chapter of the Disabled American Veterans also awarded plaques of recognition to those individuals and entities who participated in the organization’s van drive earlier this year.“We truly thank all of you,” DAV representative Gordon Brett said. “We appreciate all your contributions and help.”The drive raised money for the purchase of a new van, which the DAV uses to ferry vets to and from doctor’s appointments at the VA hospitals in Temple and Waco."

The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas - Celebrating service, sacrifice:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Marching for those who serve

"Veterans Day parade draws about 2,000 spectators
The Daily Sentinel
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Since 1967, World War II veteran Vern Hubbard has watched Grand Junction’s Veterans Day parade grow from a small, rural town’s celebration to a gathering of hundreds of past and present soldiers. “It’s getting bigger every year,” the 82-year-old Navy veteran said. Hubbard, who rode out Saturday’s event with half-a-dozen colleagues perched atop a red, white and blue torpedo on a truck bed, said he was humbled by the number of more than 2,000 supporters lining Main Street, waving flags and cheering for the parade."

Marching for those who serve:

Your town

Your town: "Grand Valley Blue Star Mothers will have its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19. The group is a chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, a group of mothers who have or have had children honorably serving in the military. Members offer support to each other and their children while promoting patriotism. Associate members and Blue Star Dads are welcome to join and there is no membership fee. Call 242-3845 for the meeting location information."

A special note 11-11-07

Only after war, was peace the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month. Here are the words I want to say to those people. Here are the words I'd like them to hear loud and clear; Sayonara, See ya later, Go home, Get out of my country. If you don't want to support my troops then go live somewhere else. and the politicians...get this message.... If you cannot support our troops, if you cannot stand behind them, then stand in front of the parents because we do not have to follow the rules of engagement.

~Blue Star Mom Deborah Johns.
September 15th, 2007 Washington, DC "


Public Gets Gold Star for Helping Blue Star Moms

On this Veterans Day weekend, as we honor the men and women who have served in the military, one group is also remembering those serving right now. Saturday Blue Star Mothers in southwest Michigan held their fifth annual Support the Troops Christmas Open House at Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor. They had guest speakers, military items and photos on display and sold patriotic items, too.
The group also collected donations to make christmas packages to send overseas. They were hoping to send more than 100 boxes -- but donations far exceeded expectations. 'Just the participation and the excitement of the community down here was well beyond our expectations,' said Blue Star Mom Margo Schebel.
Blue Star Moms send care packages to soldiers overseas every three months, but this was their biggest donation drive of the year."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

For the troops

McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK - For the troops: "For the troops Editor: Christmas is coming. People everywhere are making lists of Christmas gifts to send to family and friends and are checking them twice. While making those lists, don’t forget to add small gifts and cards to send to America’s servicemen and women around the world. That part, of course, is easy; the hard part is getting the addresses. Never fear, Blue Star Mothers, is here. So what is Blue Star Mothers?
Blue Star Mothers provides support for active duty personnel, promotes patriotism, assists veterans’ organizations and is available to assist homeland volunteers in keeping this country strong. It is a nonpartisan, nondiscriminatory, non-profit organization. Its membership includes mothers, dads, family members and friends of servicemen and women in all branches of the Armed Forces – the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserve and Merchant Marine.Oklahoma has both a state organization and 15 chapters, including Chapter 14 of Pittsburg County, scattered across the state.Last year, Pittsburg County’s chapter sent more than 300 Christmas stockings, along with greeting cards signed by county residents, to servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, with your help, we can send even more this year.
Here’s what you can do:
• Visit Quilting by Vonnie at 122 E. Choctaw (Tele: 918-420-5041 or 918-423-8327) and pick up a wish list. The list includes things ranging from personal hygiene items to popcorn and Ramen noodles to crossword puzzle books and playing cards. Go purchase a few of the items and return them to Vonnie’s for packing and mailing. Sign the Christmas cards while you’re there.
• Make a donation. The Post Office, unfortunately, must charge postage to mail the packages and that can get expensive. Donations are also used to purchase items from the wish list.Also, if you have a family member and/or friends serving overseas in the Armed Forces or on ships at sea, please give us their addresses, and we’ll make sure that they not only receive Christmas stockings but “Care” packages throughout the year.
So, let’s all join together and make Christmas 2007 one of the merriest ever for our servicemen and women around the world. Thanking you in advance.Just for the record, I have two sons, one in the Air Force at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and one in the 45th Brigade, Oklahoma National Guard. He is getting desert training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and will deploy to Iraq in January.

Clare Thomas
Blue Star Mother"

Making a difference: Meet Lt. Jake McKinney « Letters from Iraq

Making a difference: Meet Lt. Jake McKinney « Letters from Iraq: "Let me start this blog by saying thank you to Cindy Mead, wife of Master Sergeant Brian Mead, and the members of St. John’s Lutheran Church who sent every person in the unit a box full of Halloween candy and decorations! As did the Kentucky Blue Star Moms (Chapter 2). Thank you, Moms — that’s why we love our moms, right"

Clubs collect blankets for soldiers

"Clubs collect blankets for soldiers Contra Costa Times Article Launched: 11/10/2007 03:02:48 AM PST VETERANS DAY IS Monday, and I wanted to let the community know about the efforts of some Alamo folks who are helping to make a difference in the lives of our soldiers so far away from home. I contacted Alamo resident Lori Primasing after hearing about 'A Touch of Warmth from Home' blanket drive. Primasing is Round Hill Country Club's Juniors' Committee chairwoman, and she said the effort is being made along with the Blue Star Moms to fulfill a request for blankets for injured troops. As with many people I interview for my column, Primasing wanted me to make sure the focus was on our troops. I assured her it would be, although I need to let the readers know how things come to be. In 2006, Primasing encountered a family friend whose daughter had decided on a career in the military. Primasing wanted to know how friends of the family could help the young woman feel 'loved during the holidays, such as care packages.' It turned out that the woman's start in Iraq wouldn't come for another year, but as Primasing told me, 'the seed was planted.'
Primasing was given the name and Web site of the Blue Star Moms and got in touch with Judy Ewings, who was in charge of care packages and so it was begun, folks helping folks.
This year, Round Hill Country Club and St. Isadore School have joined with the Round Hill Juniors' Committee -- Janine Stailey, Caryl Peterson, Glenda Sonu, Lori Waidelich, Julie Lowe, Heather Ridgeway, Stacy McKelvy and Primasing along with a "team" of Barbie Ross, Lori Waidelich, Alysse Rueckert and Kathy Oertli, and again Primasing from St. Isadore.
"We collected change at the school, collected leftover Halloween candy for the care packages and our newest endeavor, selling and sponsoring blankets for our troops overseas," said Primasing. "We were told that they are often cold in the field, and worse yet, cold when they are airlifted out when injured."
To help keep the troops warm, folks can sponsor as many blankets as they wish or purchase blankets for their own use or to give as gifts, which is perfect since the holidays are not far off.
The "Special Edition Blankets" cost $15 each and all proceeds will go to Blue Star Moms and any costs associated with mailing the blankets overseas.
Primasing told me that they worked with Bob Michel at Proforma to come up with a fleece blanket that would appeal to those wanting one for home or those wanting to "sponsor" one to go overseas.
"The result was beautiful! Our special edition, navy fleece blankets are embroidered with an American flag and the words, 'Our American Hero' in the corner," said Primasing. She was happy to tell me that they currently have contributions for more than 650 blankets, and I'm confident that will change after folks read my column.
For more information, contact Primasing at 925-820-4231. The Blue Star Moms Web site is" - Clubs collect blankets for soldiers:

Carson High students recognize veterans, their families

"Veterans and their families were honored Friday by Carson High School's Naval Junior ROTC students with a moving tribute to those who served, those who died, and those who supported and mourned. 'I cried all the way through,' said Dayton VFW Cmdr. Stan de Stwolinski. More than 75 veterans and their families joined a host of students gathered in Senator Square for the annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony, something the school has been doing since Sept. 11."

...Also honored were the Blue Star Moms and the Gold Star Moms, the first for their support of the troops from the homefront and the second for the sacrifice of their loved ones."We started inviting Blue Star and Gold Star families last year," Cmdr Skip Cannady, instructor of the NJROTC, said. "They should be recognized."Sally Wiley said the Blue Star Moms goal was to take care of the veterans, and especially offer support to their families, and hoped more families of men and women serving now would join....

Carson High students recognize veterans, their families Nevada Appeal Serving Carson City, Nevada:

Operation Postcard

"Thousands of service men and women will have holiday greetings on Christmas thanks to the efforts of the Blue Star Moms' Operation Postcard. Carson Valley Blue Star Moms have about 10,000 recycled Christmas cards to distribute and send to U.S. troops this year.
The Blue Star Moms have recycled cards in packs of 100 ready to deliver to residents who would like to write holiday greetings to Americans serving in the Armed Forces. The Operation Postcard drive runs until the end of November which gives the Blue Star Moms time to get the cards to group commanders in time for Christmas.
Blue Star Moms President Barbara Clark encourages residents to disperse cards at their schools, businesses or service groups to help support overseas U.S. troops. The group pays to get the postcards sent."Write a message or draw a picture," said Clark. "This year we've already passed out almost 6,000 cards. We're going to see a big leap in the number of cards sent.
A number of us have our own sons and daughters deployed and this is another means of contact."Clark's son Patrick Clark, who graduated from Douglas High School in 2005, signed up for six years as a sonar technician in the Navy. Patrick is stationed in San Diego and, on Monday, he and his family were waiting to learn if he had advanced from Petty Officer 3rd Class to Petty Officer 2nd Class.Barbara Clark said she didn't know who to talk to when Patrick was first deployed. "I didn't know who to talk to," she said. "Your friends have a different slant on the situation. You have a lot of emotions and it's good to be supported by people with similar situations."The group is all for doing the postcard drive but it's primarily for the support of moms who have children in the military, especially when they're first deployed."The community is encouraged to support overseas U.S. troops by writing a message on the back of Christmas cards to be dispersed by Blue Star Moms by Christmas. To find out how to get packs of Christmas cards delivered to your school, home or business, contact Blue Star Moms President Barbara Clark at or Vice President Leslie Evans at 782-3168 for postcard deliveries and pickup. "

Record-Courier - Your Town:

Support is Main Focus

"Debra York's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Nathan York, drives one of the five brand-new mine-resistant Cougar vehicles with bullet-proof glass in Fallujah, Iraq. 'People need to know that equipment like this is getting out to the military,' said Debra York. 'They will be much more protected.'
Even with this special equipment, the Carson Valley resident still worries about her son. "You're disconnected. I was expressing my distress at having my son going to Iraq and one of my co-workers suggested contacting Blue Star Moms," she said. "Just listening to the other moms and having people put their arms around me felt good.
To be with others who recognize what it's like to have a child deployed - that caliber of woman - I knew I wanted to be a part of it."The Blue Stars Moms started during World War II as a result of the need for parents to support their children in the armed forces. There are about 50 Blue Star Moms from Carson Valley, Carson City, Reno and Sparks who meet once a month.
Members of Blue Star Moms focus on the mothers first and make sure everyone who attends the meetings has a chance to speak about their child.
Lori Murray recently went to her first Blue Star Moms meeting. Her son Ryan Murray is a private in the Marines."Last summer I saw an article in the paper and my mom said to check into it," Lori Murray said. "I thought I'd go as a volunteer but kept putting it off. I was in denial about everything."I talked with my son and realized I have to deal with denial.
I went to a meeting and found all the great stuff they do but it's also a great support group."York said it makes her feel special when people acknowledge the Blue Star Moms pin."People recognize the blue star pins in restaurants," she said. "People ask what branch of the military he's in and where he is. They tell me, 'Thank your son for serving our country.'"
For more information, call Leslie Evans at 782-3168 or go to"

Record-Courier - Your Town:

Conroe soldier laid to rest as hundreds praise his life

"Brandon Smitherman's life was marked by his compassionate nature and endearing smile. Advertisement Now, the 21-year-old will be remembered for making the ultimate sacrifice, friends said before the fallen soldier was laid to rest at Garden Park Cemetery Friday. Smitherman, of Conroe, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart for his bravery on the battlefield. Smitherman, who was often referred to as 'Smitty' by his fellow soldiers, earned the nickname 'Little Tim' because he drove a Humvee for Capt. Timothy McGovern, the unit's commander who became Smitherman's mentor, Army Brigadier General Francis C. Mahon said at the funeral, held at The Ark Family Church....

...At the internment, Mahon presented the flag draped over his coffin to Smitherman's mother, Teresa, and the flag that accompanied his body on the plane to Montgomery County to his father, Harvey. The family also received presentations from members of the Houston chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, a support group for mothers of servicemen and women.The Houston chapter has attended 25 funerals this year.Perhaps the words scrawled on homemade signs held by the hundreds of strangers lining Conroe streets thanking Smitherman for his sacrifice were most telling about the message he left behind."Home of the free because of the brave.""

Houston Community Newspapers Online - Conroe soldier laid to rest as hundreds praise his life:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Veterans plan events at Orem cemetery, SCERA

... "The hourlong Celebration of Veterans begins at 11:30 a.m. at the SCERA and is free. Cheri Vickery will speak on behalf of the Blue Star Mothers and the Gold Star Families of Utah. (Blue Star Mothers are mothers with sons or daughters currently serving in the military.) Musical performances include the Mountain View High School Men's Choir. Miss Orem, Khristen Millicam, will sing the national anthem, SCERA's 2007 Celebrity vocal competition winner, Emily Noxon, will perform a patriotic number and a selection from the swing era"

more... Deseret Morning News Veterans plan events at Orem cemetery, SCERA:

Vets get big helping of respect

..."The active duty women escorted the older veterans to the front of the crowd of 700. In addition, Gold Star wives and mothers - those whose husbands or children were killed in action - were honored along with Blue Star wives and moms, those whose husbands or children are currently serving. The Gold Star women included Patti Sampers, Lakewood, whose husband, James, was killed in Vietnam; and Terry Cooper, Thornton, whose son, Terry Slocum, was the first Coloradan killed in the war in Iraq. The Blue Star women included Ashley Saxton, Aurora, whose husband, Matt, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, has served half their four-year marriage deployed; Gail Dontenville, whose son, Sean Dyer, is in the Navy; and Barb VanHorn, mother of Army Sgt. Jeff VanHorn. There was a tribute to veterans killed or missing in action. A table with empty chairs represented them. "
More... Rocky Mountain News - Denver and Colorado's reliable source for breaking news, sports and entertainment: Columnists:

Legion Post Honors Women, Muskogee, OK - Legion Post honors women: "Those who have lost loved ones in military conflicts say groups such as the Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers are essential. Blue Star Mothers help women who have children serving in the military, and Gold Star Mothers help women whose child or spouse was killed in military service. Petty said Veterans Day and other memorials are very important, but they mean something different for people who have lost a loved one. “It’s very mixed emotions,” she said. “It’s something that’s very heavy on my heart. When you go through the loss of a husband, father, son or daughter, you’ll never forget it.”"

97-year-old woman honored for WWII service

"DENVER - At the 13th Annual Aurora Veterans Salute, 97-year-old Marie Cosby sat quietly at table 9 with her navy blue Navy uniform on. Along with 13 other women who served or who are currently serving in the military, (A veteran woman and active duty woman representing each service branch, and five Gold Star and Blue Star wives and mothers of those who have died) Cosby was honored for her service with the Navy's WWII era WAVES, an acronym for 'Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.' 'I think the men sort of resented women being in the Navy. They thought they should do the job, but we helped,' said Cosby. In a matter of days, Cosby will turn 98. Since her years with the Navy, many restrictions on women's service in the U.S. military have been lifted, although some limitations still exist. Cosby didn't serve overseas, she was a secretary at a military base in the states. Cosby says every role was important during World War II. 'You were doing your job, and that's what you had to do,' said Cosby. When asked what she remembers most about her experience Cosby said 'the parades,' with a chuckle."
9NEWS - Article - 97-year-old woman honored for WWII service:

Blue to Gold

The Mountain Press: "Gold Star Mother helps others with same loss By: STAN VOIT EditorNovember 06, 2007 Email to a friend Voice your opinion Parents aren't supposed to outlive their children. When Gayle Thomas lost her only son and oldest child to the war in Iraq in 2005, it shattered her world. It would have done the same to any loving parent. Advertisement In the two and a half years since Paul Thomason III died in a vehicle explosion, Thomas has had a hard time getting over it. But she has found new purpose in her life as a Gold Star Mother. Before her son was killed, she didn't even know what a Gold Star Mother was. 'I knew about Blue Star Mothers,' she said. 'I was a Blue Star Mother, which means a mother with a child serving in war.'"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blue Star Moms Plan Care Packages for Troops

KCBS - Blue Star Moms Plan Care Packages for Troops: "Blue Star Moms Plan Care Packages for Troops SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) -- An organization of women with children in the military has kicked off a massive holiday care package campaign for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Postal Service is expecting to deliver 20 million pounds of mail to military facilities around the world this holiday season. Some of that mail will be from Blue Star Moms in the Bay Area, working on an operation they call “Holiday Hugs from Home.” 'Our goal is to send out 4000 packages for our December first mailing for the troops,' said Becky Williams, who has a son in the Air Force. 'It's very thrilling when they get packages. It keeps them connected to home.” Donations can be made over the next two weeks. Drop off locations are in Martinez, Concord, Pleasanton and Danville. "

Blue Star Mothers to present GC freeholders with Hero Candle

South Jersey - Breaking news from Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem counties - " by South Jersey News Online Thursday November 01, 2007, 11:48 AM The Blue Star Mothers of Southern New Jersey, Chapter 2, will present a Hero Candle to the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Blue Star Mothers have or have had children serving in the military. The group is a non-profit (501[c]3 service organization whose members support each other and their children while promoting patriotism.
The Hero Candle symbolizes the light of hope that is lit until all our deployed troops return home safely. 'We want to raise awareness that our community has many volunteer military who are fighting for our freedom,' said Nancy Chard Jones, whose son, Brian Kotsch, is serving in Iraq. Hero Candles are available from the Blue Star Mothers for a $15 donation, which helps the group work in the community and to provide for those overseas. The group is also available as a resource for military parents who need support and community during the stressful time of their childrens' deployments.
'By working together to prepare and send packages and items to our troops, we support them and each other,' Jones said. Anyone interested in learning more about the Blue Star Mothers chapter can contact its president, Kory Joyce, by e-mail at or call Jones at (856) 853-9398."

Branson Veterans Homecoming Local News: "Schedule for Branson's veterans celebration
Branson's 14th annual Veterans Homecoming Week kicked off Monday with an opening ceremony at the Mansion Entertainment and Media Center and a ribbon cutting at the new Veterans Welcome Center. The week-long event, billed as the largest Veterans Day celebration in the nation, features a host of activities for veterans and their families through Sunday. New this year is the Veterans Welcome Center, located at Missouri 165 and Green Mountain Drive. Sponsored by the Department of Missouri Veterans of Foreign Wars, the center will serve free lunch to veterans ($1 for family members) throughout the week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by two hours of free entertainment.


Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives Luncheon at the All American Cafe, 10:30 a.m. Complimentary brunch for Gold and Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives. Call 337-8387 for more information.

Dinner fund-raiser to honor veterans, Muskogee, OK - A.M. UPDATE: Dinner fund-raiser to honor veterans: "Dinner fund-raiser to honor veterans Blue Star Mothers will hold a fund-raiser to honor veterans and raise money for postage to send boxes to soldiers in Iraq. The dinner will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the VFW, 4815 W. Okmulgee. Chili, brown beans, enchiladas, corn chips, cornbread, cobbler, cake and cookies, Iced tea and coffee will be served. Admission is $4 for family and friends of veterans. Veterans eat free. Information: Call Jim and Patsy O'Neal at 683-2731."

Be a Blue Star Mother

Grand Junction Free Press:
"Be a Blue Star Mother
Wendy Hoffman Grand Junction October 8, 2007
I am in the process of moving with my husband to Grand Junction. I am also a Blue Star Mother and a member of Blue Star Mothers of America ( My son is currently serving in Iraq as ‘the first of the surge’ and will be redeploying in April. I am working at organizing a new chapter of BSM in the area and need to locate moms of troops and veterans. I was contacted already by a mother in Fruita, so we will be having an organizational meeting in the near future. I would like your help in promoting our efforts, and Blue Star Mothers. We have had tremendous growth in the past few years and have expanded from a few hundred to over 3,000 members. New chapters are forming monthly across the country. Currently there are three chapters in Colorado – Hesperus, Durango and Denver. I look forward to getting a chapter going in Mesa County. I can be reached at my cell 970-424-2312 or my house phone (effective today) 242-3845. "

Volunteers sought to pack holiday boxes for troops

Courier Leader - Volunteers sought to pack holiday boxes for troops:
"By: Paul Garrod 11/05/2007
Paw Paw - The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. Southwest Chapter 179 will hold a Christmas Open House, Saturday, Nov. 10. from 1 to 4 p.m. at Paw Paw High School. The group will be packing donations to send to troops. 'The items will be boxed in an assembly line fashion,' said De Roo. Donation collection boxes have been set up throughout the area, according to De Roo. Some of the items being collected include: stationary and hand-held games, microwave meals, Kool-Aid drinks in stick packs, microwave popcorn, M & M's (peanut), Slim Jims Beef Jerky, Velveeta cheese and Ritz crackers, Oreo cookies, Chapstick, sunscreen, white and black socks, double and triple A batteries, and phone cards. Anyone needing items picked up may contact De Roo at 657-5054. Also during that time, service members and their families will be on hand to share their experiences, according to Laura De Roo, president of the local chapter, which was formed in memory of her son, Sgt. Gabriel G. De Roo, who was killed in Iraq in 2006. Financial donations will be accepted to help offset shipping expenses. Donations may be made payable to: Blue Star Mothers 179, and may be mailed to Blue Star Mothers 179, P.O. Box 406, Paw Paw, Mich., 49079. "

Ex-Marine, 99, in Veterans Day parade |

Ex-Marine, 99, in Veterans Day parade ®: "Ex-Marine, 99, in Veterans Day parade SHERYL KORNMAN Tucson Citizen
Tucson's oldest woman Marines veteran - 99-year-old Miriam Cohen - will take part in the city's Veterans Day parade Nov. 12 along with a 105 mm howitzer and several other pieces of artillery on loan from the Army National Guard. Cohen is one of about 180,000 veterans who live in the Tucson area, said Robert Moody, chairman of the parade, which is sponsored by Morgan McDermott VFW Post No. 7. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at 13th Street and South Sixth Avenue and ends at 2:30 p.m. west of the Tucson Convention Center. He said the parade will include veterans marching in protest of war. They are members of Veterans for Peace. 'We honor their right to be in the parade,' said Moody, senior vice commander and adjutant of the post.
...Also, Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers, who represent mothers of active-duty troops, will be in the parade. "

Latest pastime keeps man, 80, in stitches

Tulsa World: Latest pastime keeps man, 80, in stitches:
"MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
Gene Chandler uses a 1925 Singer sewing machine that belonged to his mother to make quilts, which he has donated to several local nonprofit groups.
Chandler says he started the hobby as a way to keep his mind sharp.
By GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer 10/31/2007
Gene Chandler hopes the thousands of stitches made with his 1925 Singer sewing machine will help a needy person stay warm. For more than two years, the Berryhill man has used material scraps to make about 100 quilts.
...Last year, Chandler gave about 50 quilts to the Tulsa Boys Home, John 3:16 Mission, the Blue Star Mothers and his church. "

Blue Star Mother to present banner

Saipan Tribune: " By Marconi Calindas Reporter
A civic group in Florida will be extending its condolences to the grieving family of the late U.S. Navy sailor Anamarie San Nicolas Camacho, with the presentation of a banner honoring the deceased sailor. Blue Star Mother's of America Florida chapter will be sending the Gold Star Banner to the CNMI through the assistance of the Military Veterans Affairs Office. Janice Zabel, the Blue to Gold Liaison for the State of Florida, told Saipan Tribune that the group first communicated with Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio's office for the presentation. It was through Tenorio's office that she was able to get hold of MVAO executive director Ruth Coleman. Coleman confirmed being in touch with Zabel's group. However, the banner wouldn't be able to make it in time for the internment. Coleman said she would be arranging a separate date to present the banner on behalf of the Blue Star Mother’s of America. “The Gold Star Banner has to be made, these are done by Service Flags,” said Zabel, adding that the flag has been ready since yesterday. "

Sending Sons to War - The News On 6: "Sending Sons To War KOTV - 10/28/2007 8:54 PM - Updated 10/29/2007 6:12 AM A Jenks family is sending a son off to Iraq on Monday. It’s something they’ve done before and something they’ll do again. The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports Michael McCann leaves for Iraq on Monday. And, he’ll join a brother who is already there. At the Village Florist shop in Jenks, Monica McCann holds on to her grandchild whose father is on his way to Iraq. For McCann, it's a familiar job sending off a soldier. This time, it's her second oldest, Michael, who will be deployed to the war zone. 'I'm very proud of my children, but I'm also afraid,” said Monica McCann. McCann’s oldest son went to Baghdad with the Army last May. Another son expects to be deployed as soon as he's done with infantry training in the Marines. 'I know everybody is tired of the war and everybody wants the boys to come home. And, I understand that and I do, too. I wish my boys didn't have to go, but they do. And, they're over there and a lot of other people's children are over there. And, they need our support, whether we agree with the war or not, to me that's irrelevant. They're over there and they need our support,” said Monica McCann, military mom."

Blue Star Mothers reach goal

The Edmond Sun, Edmond, OK - Blue Star Mothers reach goal: "Blue Star Mothers reach goal Patty Miller The Edmond Sun EDMOND — People of all ages and walks of life showed up Saturday at the National Guard Armory to make a difference in the lives of troops deployed overseas. With a goal of packing 500 boxes, more than 425 were packed by 11 a.m. with the final goal easily in sight. “We must have had more than 200 people coming in and out of the Armory this morning, either bringing items, packing items or making labels for each box that is being mailed,” said Blue Star Mother Jana Butcher, whose son, Jacob Land, is stationed in Baghdad. It all was for Make a Difference Day, set aside for Edmond residents by Mayor Dan O’Neil. O’Neil asked Edmond residents to make a difference by helping pack 500 boxes during the Christmas for Our Troops activities. “We thought we had plenty of items when we started,” O’Neil said, “but our packers are getting more experienced and are able to get more things in each box.” As the piles of items getting sent kept getting smaller, Blue Star Mothers’ President Vicki Behenna, whose son, 2nd Lt. Michael Behenna, is stationed in Iraq, would go gathering more items to be packed."

Blue Star Mothers Open Storefront Location

KETTERING, Ohio -- The local Blue Star Mothers of America Chapter has opened a storefront location in the Town and Country shopping center.
The 170 member chapter is asking the community to support the troops by donating items for care packages to send overseas.
The location was opened to help the public do that, thanks to an anonymous gift that paid the rent for the spot for one year.
Here is a list of some of the needed items: baby wipes, shampoo, soap, lotion, foot care products, sun block, eye drops, cotton swabs, baby powder, lip balm, hand sanitizer, deoderants, dental products, stationery, envelopes and toilet paper.
Some of the most popular requested items are: beef jerky, powerbars, peanuts, tuna fish, hard candy, small packages of cookies, lifesavers, gum, suckers, kool-aid drink mixes and tictacs.

Mothers to open Troop Support Center at Town & Country: "Recommended donations for care packages • What the troops need: Baby wipes, shampoo, soap, lotion, foot care products, sun block (SPF-15 or higher), Visine, Q-tips, baby powder, Chapstick, hand sanitizer, deodorants, dental products, stationery and envelopes, toilet paper and sanitary products for women. • Most requested items: Beef jerky, Slim Jims, power bars, peanuts, tuna fish (seal packed), small packages of cheese crackers, hard candy, small packages of cookies, life savers, gum, suckers, Crystal Light drink mixes, Kool-Aid drink mixes in pre-sweetened packages, powdered Gatorade in small packages, TicTacs and small cans of food with pop-tops on them."