Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blue Star Mothers of America, Arizona Chapter: January Meeting

Blue Star Mothers of America, Arizona Chapter: January Meeting: "January 29, 2008
Debbie Miller welcomed all members and guests. The meeting was called to order at 6:38pm. Vincent, Debbie Miller’s son led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Minutes of the November 27th meeting were posted on the website for review and approval. The Treasurer’s Report was given as follows: November balance of $558.10. There were deposits of $234.00 for dues, donations and bracelets resulting in a balance of $792.10 on January 29th."

Melodymoments: January Mixer

Melodymoments: January Mixer: "On the 24th, I have the honor of receiving the Freedom Award from the Blue Star Mothers of America, Chapter #2-NY. They are hosting their first Blue Jean Ball at the Rensselaer Elks Club."

Familiar Faces: Blue Star Mothers Valentine collection event

Grand Junction Free Press - Community News:
Tracy DvorakFree Press Staff Writer
January 30, 2008
"The Grand Valley Blue Star Mothers, Colorado Chapter 4, was chartered Nov. 27, 2007, and they are wasting no time in getting projects going.
With 14 members, mostly moms, the group rallied to send 54 care packages to troops deployed in Iraq at Christmas. Now it’s on to Valentine’s Day. Hoping to get the com­munity to show their love with homemade Valentine’s cards, the Blue Star Mothers set up a table at Mesa Mall Saturday and Sunday for folks to make cards and offer donations. Keep up the good work, ladies!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Balad Hospital Blanketed by Blankets

"Balad Hospital Blanketed by Blankets
Richmond Times - Dispatch January 29, 2008
Chesterfield County, Virginia's blizzard of blankets has packed closets in Iraq.
'I have had such a huge response.... I am becoming a bit overwhelmed with blankets,' said Air Force Capt. Taylor Adams in an e-mail home.
Unless they have already bought blankets, Adams is asking stateside donors to hold off sending more 'until I find a home for the 1,200+ blankets I have on the way!!'"

More...Balad Hospital Blanketed by Blankets:

Moms, local business show troops they care

"Kay Rust, co-owner of The Rust Game Place, fills a gift basket with turkey jerky. The local business donated their homemade turkey jerky to the Canyon Lake area Blue Star Mothers to include in care packages to be sent to troops for Valentine's day." Photo by Miranda Laine

Moms, local business show troops they care

By Mark Koopmans

The Herald-Zeitung
Published January 30, 2008

Following the generosity of an area business, about 30 local service men and women will be receiving messages of love and at least two healthy treats when their next care package arrives. The troops, all of whom currently are deployed overseas, are supported directly by the members of the Canyon Lake Area Blue Star Mothers, one of only seven active chapters in Texas according to founding member Sharon Bryce. “I started this chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America last year, after both my sons were deployed,” Bryce said Thursday. “At the beginning, there was only a few of us. Right now, members are re-signing for another year, and it looks like we’ve grown quite a bit. “We’ve about 70 members and associate members who are always looking for new ways to support our 30 kids who live in this area, as well as in Bastrop, San Marcos and even a few who are from San Antonio.”The organization, which is preparing to send care packages out for Valentine’s Day, recently contacted numerous businesses including The Rust Game Place in Clear Springs, to ask if they could help with a donation. “They immediately said they could, and would help,” said Bryce, who added her two sons now are back stateside. “All the money we have comes from donations, and most of that goes toward postage for care packages, so this was great news.”The Rust Game Place, located at 1778 Texas 46 South, originally was known as the Game Place when it first opened about 10 years ago. However, when the store was purchased in August 2005 by current owners Randy and Kay Rust, the couple decided to personalize the name of the store that provides deer processing services and also manufactures a variety of specialty meats, jerkies and cheeses that are mesquite smoked, said Kay Rust. “The (Blue Star) Moms called and we thought it was a wonderful idea,” she said. “We just want to give something back to the young men and women who are over there working so hard to keep us all safe.”The Rusts are donating more than $500 of turkey jerky, which is every calorie counters’ dream, Kay Rust said, adding that the half-pound packs of jerky are made with turkey breasts and white meat, which are marinated and cooked on the pit “for a flavorful mesquite smoked reward.”“Each of the troops will be getting two packs or a pound of turkey jerky each,” she said. “Randy and I have no one in our family fighting overseas, so this is the very least we can do.”The care packages are expected to be filled, sealed and posted by the first few days in February, Bryce said, adding that her organization is open to the community. “We know there are many more people who are on a deployment, but we can’t help them — yet — because we don’t know who they are,” she said. “As we are a support group for the families, anyone can join, and our meetings are the first Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Canyon Lake.”

For information about the Canyon Lake Area Blue Star Mothers, call (830) 899-4868, or visit

The Herald-Zeitung:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kudos Blue Star Moms

"Thanks for Operation Post Card support


We, the Blue Star Mothers, extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in our 2007 Operation Post Card Drive. In 2005, we collected 2,250 cards, in 2006, 4,240 cards; and this past season (2007) - we double again - to 7,570 cards collected and distributed to our country's sons and daughters in service.

Our thank-you list includes individuals, schools, churches, and community organizations, private and corporate businesses though out Northern Nevada. Regretfully, this year, the list is too lengthy to mention each person or group by name, but we would be remiss if we didn't extend a special thanks to our friends at The Record-Courier who continue to help us with ongoing coverage and community awareness. The following is a reprint of a card written by Mr. and Mrs. Dombey. I believe this one says it all:Dear Soldier and Patriot,Yesterday we drove from Northern Nevada to San Francisco. We got in our car when we wanted and drove where we wanted. We stopped to eat lunch when and where we wanted. We passed literally hundreds of people doing the same thing. We didn't worry about snipers, or bombs or how we were dressed or if we had permission papers to cross state lines. Our air was clean, our water was clean, and our restaurants were clean. We passed churches of all faiths. The day was beautiful and when we finished our trip we returned to find our neighborhood in its usual peaceful state. All of this is because you and your commitment to keeping the liberties we enjoy in tact. We honor you. We appreciate you so very much. We pray for you and your families. We support you. We respect you and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your country counts you among its most choice. God bless you.Barbara Clark President Sierra Nevada Blue Star Mothers"

More...Record-Courier - Your Town:

Days Of Lore » sobering truth

"A “Blue Star Mother” (an organization of mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military wrote to me:
“In listening to the recent press hysteria surrounding Heath Ledger’s death, I can’t help but contrast that with the ultimate sacrifice our troops make every day with no fanfare.
My son, a Specialist with the Army 25th ID, is stationed in Taji, Iraq. Last Friday he witnessed the death of his very good friend, Specialist Jon Schoolcraft, age 26, to an IED, not to mention the grievous wounds sustained by others in the same attack."

More...Days Of Lore » sobering truth:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Blue Star moms collecting blankets for soldiers

Courier Leader - Blue Star moms collecting blankets for soldiers: "PAW PAW - The local Blue Star Mothers group is seeking help from the community in collecting twin-sized blankets to send overseas to wounded American soldiers.
Laura De Roo, president of Southwest Michigan 179 Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., said Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., had been contacted by an airman, seeking blankets to be used for wounded soldiers serving in Iraq."

A heart for the troops

By Paul Shockley
Grand Junction CO
January 28, 2008

“I hope your Valentines is radical” read one card.

Others, like the card crafted by 3-year-old Ximena Navarro, didn’t need any words. The girl went straight for stickers and liberally applied the hole puncher."

“Just a bunch a scribbling,” said mom, Patrisia Navarro of Fruita. “We have a friend in Iraq, so I told her to come make a card.” Most of Saturday’s card makers knew someone deployed. Within one hour after setting up shop Saturday at Mesa Mall, organizers with the Blue Star Mothers had about 50 handmade Valentine’s Day cards signed and ready to be mailed to U.S. troops abroad.

“If we can keep positive morale, there’s a better chance they come home safe,” said Wendy Hoffman, president of Grand Valley Blue Star Mothers. The local chapter of Blue Star Mothers was started last November — they meet [monthly] and are up to 14 members.

Over the weekend, they invited Mesa Mall shoppers to make Valentine’s Day cards or donate items for care packages to troops. Hoffman said they desperately need cash in order to mail the cards — hundreds are expected to be mailed, including cards crafted by youngsters at Lincoln Orchard Mesa, Dos Rios and Mesa View elementary schools.

Hoffman’s son, Army Pfc. Dallas Hanson, has been serving in Baghdad the past year. While Hanson’s received regular correspondence, Hoffman said others haven’t been as lucky. “He told me a friend of his stopped going to the mail room because his name never gets called,” Hoffman said.

While Hoffman’s Valentine card table saw an early rush, fewer and fewer Saturday shoppers stopped to work on a card. Three people walked past her tables and said they couldn’t take the time, which frustrated Hoffman. “It’s out of their consciousness,” she said. “But we have our freedom because of our troops.”

Reach Paul Shockley at

Grand Junction Free Press - Community News:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Serving moms of those who serve

Serving moms of those who serve -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY: "Serving moms of those who serve
Teen treats 7 mothers with sons deployed to combat zones to meal

By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Sunday, January 27, 2008
DELMAR -- Luke Peleggi is a firm believer in the value of community service. So when a recent family dinner conversation turned to sympathy for women who have sons at war, the thought was immediate:

What can I do?
For Peleggi, a 15-year-old sophomore at Bethlehem High School, the answer came at Cafe Mangia in Delmar, when he treated seven Blue Star Mothers -- those with children at war -- to an Italian meal in honor of their sons' military service.
"This was a joint idea between my dad and myself," said Peleggi, who split the $150 bill with restaurant management. "I've been doing community service for a while. I just like helping people, I guess."
Peleggi met each of the mothers at the door, took their coats, and led them to a long table, where a carnation had been placed on each woman's plate.
When everyone was seated, Peleggi's father, Nunzio, gave a brief statement about being proud of his son, who used money earned doing odd jobs to pay his half of the Jan. 19 lunch.
The women applauded and traded war stories as they ate. In attendance were Karen McGuire and Mary Jane Hughes of Delmar, Bonnie Perry of Albany, Peggy Snyder of Athens, Grace Kivelin of Loudonville, Kay Moody of Glenmont and Cathy Giebitz of Berne, who all have sons in either Iraq of Afghanistan.
It's not the first time Peleggi honored those with military ties. Last year, he bought a flag for veterans at Cedars Rest Home in Selkirk. He also does community service projects as part of the Lab School at Bethlehem High.
"You have to do 15 hours," Peleggi said. "I usually go over."
Before the dinner, Peleggi sent a gift package to Kay Moody's son, Army Pfc. Jeffrey Moody.
Jeffrey Moody, who is in Iraq, also went to Bethlehem High School, and plans to visit Peleggi when he returns to the United States.
"My son was so impressed," Kay Moody said.
Blue Star Mother Cathy Giebitz talked about the difficulties of having a child at war. Her son, Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam Giebitz, a police officer at a detention camp in Iraq, has been overseas for two months. She gets a phone call from him every 10 days and a short e-mail a few times per week. She spends the rest of the time worrying and wondering.
"I pick up the paper every day at 8 a.m. to see if any solders have been killed and what's going on," Giebitz said. "It's impossible to ever completely relax. I sent Adam a coat and homemade chocolate chip cookies and Goldfish crackers. That's all I can really do."
She said the luncheon, thanks to Peleggi, provided a temporary relief from the constant worry.
"Oh, he's an awesome kid," Giebitz said. "I'm glad I get to know him."
David Filkins can be reached at 454-5456 or by e-mail at
Helping troops
Capital Region Chapter 2 of Blue Star Mothers accepts packages and donations at Tea and Tattered Pages in the Squire Plaza, Glenmont. Contact either Darlene Ward at 872-0618 or Kay Moody at 439-8457 or check "

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hockey to support Tulsa heroes

Tulsa Today - Hockey to support Tulsa heroes: "Supporting Blue Star Mothers, the Tulsa Rampage is pleased to honor the late Corporal Eric P. Wozencraft and the late Sergeant Joel Lewis by hosting a benefit hockey game in which all admission proceeds will be donated directly to the Blue Star Mothers. Fans are welcome to select their own admission fee and to bring items for placement in care packages that will be sent to American Troops overseas."

Care packages sent to soldiers overseas for Valentine's Day - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports Care packages sent to soldiers overseas for Valentine's Day: "This valentines day, many around the Grand Valley will be expressing love. But has anyone stopped to think about our troops? One local organization is making sure our men and women overseas are not alone on Valentine's Day.
The Blue Star Mothers sent hundreds of Valentine's Day cards to soldiers for the 'Hearts off to our Troops' campaign Saturday. The mothers also sent off care packages, cash and greeting cards. The mothers' care packages include socks, gloves, blankets and other winter essentials."

Putting care into packages for soldiers: Blue Star Moms chapter overflowing with goodies

Putting care into packages for soldiers: Blue Star Moms chapter overflowing with goodies: "Putting care into packages for soldiers: Blue Star Moms chapter overflowing with goodies
Friday, January 25, 2008; Posted: 02:25 AM
It was cramped quarters that was unexpected, Jan 24, 2008 (Appeal-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- -- and nobody minded.
Bagging up donated nonperishable food and hygiene items, cramming as much as possible into flat-rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service and sending them to troops serving overseas has become a regular ritual for Tri-Counties Blue Star Moms since the chapter formed last year.
But for the latest round of boxing and shipping Wednesday night, things were a little crowded, not only due to the extra packing help by students from two local high schools, but the dozens of boxes of supplies the students collected and brought in.
"To be honest, I expected three or four cases of stuff. ... I was overwhelmed," said Lori Danby, president of the Blue Star Moms, whose son is a Marine currently between tours to Iraq.
Combine the amount of items with a couple tables for sorting, and there wasn't much room for people to move around in the section of garage in Danby's Yuba City home. "

Friday, January 25, 2008

Have a Heart for the troops

Grand Junction Free Press - Community News: "Have a heart for the troops

Blue Star Mothers, a nonprofit group supporting families with loved ones overseas, will be meeting this weekend. They hope to send hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards to those serving. They’ll be at Mesa Mall Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. each day, between Claires and American Eagle. They will offer supplies for the public to make their own greeting cards, or write messages and/or sign premade cards. Info: 242-3845"

Hearts of to our Troops

"Support Our Troops: By sending them Valentines

by Tom Coomes

This February 14th many of us will receive cards, letters and gifts from our sweethearts and loved ones are things we often take for granted.

For our troops over seas its the small things like valentines that make the difference.
Blue star mothers of america is hosting hearts off to our troops at the mesa mall this weekend. This saturday and sunday at claire's court in the mall from noon until 4:00 pm .They will be holding a drive for valentines day greeting cards to send off to the troops and collecting supplies for care packages to be sent over seas." - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports Support Our Troops: By sending them Valentines:

Tragedy on the homefront:

"Tragedy on the homefront: Rockland woman who died after house fire worried about her daughter in Iraq"

The grief stretched all the way to Iraq, where Kelly-Nelson’s 22-year-old
daughter serves as a private first class in the Army. Deanna Kelly graduated
from Weymouth High School in 2004, and often seen at the Weymouth Police Station
visiting her mother while home on leave.‘‘She couldn’t have been a better
support system and friend,’’ Mayhew said.Kerrin and her mother were regulars at
the Weymouth post office, where Deanna’s picture hangs on a bulletin board
alongside other locals deployed overseas. They would mail supplies to Deanna
just about every day, and the whole family would help in CarePacks’ group
packing sessions.Even though Kelly-Nelson’s home was damaged by fire, a Blue
Star Mothers Banner, hung by mothers with sons and daughters in the military,
still hangs in the front window.‘‘There wasn’t a time that I’d talk to her that
she wouldn’t talk all about her daughter and how proud she is of her,’’ Mayhew
said. ‘‘Sometimes she’d be in the middle of conversation and say, ‘Got to go,
Deanna’s on the other line.’’’

By JACK ENCARNACAOThe Patriot Ledger
WEYMOUTH - Kerrin Kelly-Nelson was good at concealing her worry about her daughter Deanna, an Army private serving in Iraq.But if a few days passed without hearing from her, the unease would show, friends said. Deanna knew this, and did her best to keep her mother from worrying.‘‘Every time Deanna had a moment or an opportunity, she was letting her mom know that she was OK,’’ said Stephen Doyle, president of CarePacks, a Weymouth-based nonprofit that sends supplies to troops. ‘‘In these situations ... tragedy is usually on the other end. It’s usually the soldier over there that you’re hearing about, not the family. It’s just so sad.’’Friends expressed shock as word spread that Kelly-Nelson, a Weymouth police dispatcher and an Army veteran herself, died Wednesday after a fire in her Rockland home.Authorities are investigating how Kelly-Nelson died. Firefighters found her unconscious in an upstairs bedroom after a propane tank in the first-floor kitchen exploded. An autopsy has yet to be performed. The cause of the fire has also yet to be determined.The details of the fire puzzled many who were close to her, including friend Jeannie Mayhew.Firefighters said a tank of propane gas, the kind used with outdoor grills, was left near the gas stove in the house. The tank exploded after a fire started in the kitchen.‘‘It is so confusing because she’s a 911 operator, I can’t imagine her even putting something so flammable next to a stove,’’ Mayhew said. ‘‘Kerrin and I always joked that she didn’t cook, so maybe she thought leaving the tank near the stove was OK. I also know Kerrin didn’t smoke in the house because it bothered (her husband). She would often call me from outside while smoking a cigarette.’’

More...Tragedy on the homefront: Rockland woman who died after house fire worried about her daughter in Iraq:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blue Star Mothers schedule meetings

Lancaster Eagle-Gazette - - Lancaster, OH: "BALTIMORE — The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. — Ohio Chapter 10 “For the Troops” Chapter — will meet at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at 9023 Lancaster Newark Road, Baltimore. Wear casual attire and come ready to pack boxes.
Anyone who is willing and interested in helping send needed items to soldiers is welcome to attend."


"Flags Real Estate and the Kingwood Blue Star Mom’s are once again teaming up to help our American Soldiers.
Wounded American Soldiers are in need of cotton blankets. The current blankets supplied to them are wool and not comforting on fresh wounds. The local chapter of Blue Star Mom’s will be collecting the donated blankets for the appropriate Military personal and immediately ship them to Iraq.
The local Blue Star Mom’s President Susan Lunson says “The people who will benefit from these blankets are the wounded soldiers at Balad Air Base. There is a field hospital that triages injured soldiers and makes them ready be sent to Germany for further care on C-17 cargo planes. They wait in huts or tents until they leave. Right now they only have wool blankets, soft cotton blankets could make them more comfortable”."


Putting care into packages for soldiers

"Putting care into packages for soldiers
Comments 1 Recommend 2
Blue Star Moms chapter overflowing with goodies
By Robert LaHue/Appeal-Democrat

January 24, 2008 - 12:12 AM
It was cramped quarters that was unexpected - and nobody minded. Bagging up donated nonperishable food and hygiene items, cramming as much as possible into flat-rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service and sending them to troops serving overseas has become a regular ritual for Tri-Counties Blue Star Moms since the chapter formed last year

But for the latest round of boxing and shipping Wednesday night, things were a little crowded, not only due to the extra packing help by students from two local high schools, but the dozens of boxes of supplies the students collected and brought in. “To be honest, I expected three or four cases of stuff. ... I was overwhelmed,” said Lori Danby, president of the Blue Star Moms, whose son is a Marine currently between tours to Iraq. "

More... Putting care into packages for soldiers items, boxes, star -

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Families feel stress of soldier deployments

Northwest Herald - Local News and Video for McHenry County, Illinois - Lyons: Families feel stress of soldier deployments:

..."I know that when I was deployed in Iraq, it was the hardest time in my mom’s life,” Brophy said. “My goal is to make it easier for others.”

So Brophy, with the assistance of local vet and veteran’s advocate Alan Belcher, wants to start up the Blue Star Group – a support organization for area family members whose loved ones have been deployed or are about to be deployed overseas. The name comes from blue-star banners that family members hang after soldiers are deployed.
Brophy said she often was approached by friends who had questions when a son, daughter or spouse was deployed.“Often they are quite nervous about what was going to happen to them and what they should expect,” Brophy said.People are confused about Army terms. They wonder what soldiers need and in some cases even how to talk to them.“One of the women said she read a letter from her son that said eight of the 10 men in his squad had died, and she didn’t know what to say to him any more,” Brophy said.Although the group is not limited to family members of reservists, Brophy said, they are more isolated than families who live near a military base and can lean on one another.“Their support network is very thin,” Brophy said. “They have no one to touch – to be able to look at in the eye to sympathize with them.”But they can find a place at the Blue Star Group.Brophy said she still was working on creating an e-mail address as a contact for the group. But in the meantime, the first meeting will be held Feb. 28 at the Woodstock VFW Post, 240 N. Throop St. • Kevin Lyons is the news editor for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at 815-459-4122 or via e-mail at kelyons@"

Blue Star Moms need a Few Good Blankets

The Signal: News for Santa Clarita Valley, California: "Blue Star Moms Need a Few Good Blankets
By The Signal
Wednesday January 23, 2008
Those who attended Tuesday night’s Santa Clarita City Council meeting — and anyone else who wants to help injured American service members — were invited to take soft, twin-size blankets to City Hall for distribution to war wounded."

Blue Star Group

Bulletin board - Plymouth, MA - Wicked Local Plymouth: "Blue Star Group
America’s Hometown Global War on Terror Blue Star Group gives family members of those serving abroad a chance to network and share experiences and information. Get information about communicating with your family member overseas, mailing packages, where to get Blue Star flags and other supplies, or getting a loved one signed up for monthly packages. Businesses that want to help support the troops with much-needed supplies are especially welcome. For information, call Dot Soucie at 508-224-6608 or 508-224-7701, Bernice Wipfler at 508-833-2324 or Michelle Shea at 508-888-9727."

Businesses that support our troops

War On Terror's Site - Wheels: Permament & Rentals - Businesses that support our troops: "Large Employer Category Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 Company headquartered in Tulsa, Okla. and includes company brands Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental, serving travelers in approximately 70 countries. CEO and Seven Seals Award recipient, Gary Paxton, and senior Dollar Thrifty leadership personally support Guard and Reserve employees and their families during military service and emphasize support for the ESGR mission. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group provides differential pay between military and base salary and also provides the option to continue health benefits for the employee and their families covered by some of the company’s benefits plans for up to 355 days. The company also has been a financial supporter of the Blue Star Mothers and continually searches for ways to honor employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. For their outstanding support, the company was awarded the 2006 ESGR Pro Patria Award."

War through a Marine's eyes: Local soldier tells story of life in Iraq

Photo:Capt. Brian G. Cillessen is awarded... (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Andrew J. Carlson)

"War through a Marine's eyes: Local soldier tells story of life in Iraq
By Debra Mayeux The Daily Times
Article Launched: 01/22/2008 12:00:00 AM MST

The Christmas season is long over, but for a Marine in Iraq the thoughts of that day are something to remember.
Capt. Brian Cillessen, formerly of Farmington, celebrated the Christian holiday by playing in a ping-pong tournament with the Iraqi Police Force, a group of men he is tasked with training.
"Some of the Iraqis whooped my Marines," Cillessen wrote in an e-mail correspondence from Ramadi, Iraq, where he is stationed. ...

,,,"We took the post over from an Army unit, but once they left we had to start a battle with the rodents. There are many feral cats around but I think they were losing terribly in their fight with the rats so we jumped in to assist," he wrote. "The flies were nearly unbearable but the winter weather has kept them at bay."
Doesn't quite sound like home, but there are support groups in the states that attempt to offer comfort to the Marines. The Blue Star Mothers did this during Christmas with multiple boxes of treats and other items.
"We were nearly overwhelmed with the support and care from home. It was a good feeling for all of us and I want to express my sincere gratitude to them," Cillessen said."

More...Farmington Daily Times - War through a Marine's eyes: Local soldier tells story of life in Iraq:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Girl Scout cookie sale is underway

Girl Scout cookie sale is underway: "Girl Scout cookie sale is underway

Girl Scouts of South Carolina, from the mountains to the midlands, began taking orders for their available-only-oncea year cookies on Jan. 11. The cookie sale features old favorites as well as a new project this year, Cinna-Spins. The crispy cinnamon snack swirls are packaged in five 100-calorie packs per box. Each box of Girl Scout cookies sells for $3.50."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Four Game Week for Oilers

Four Game Week for Oilers - OurSports Central - Independent and Minor League Sports News: "Camo Time: In salute to America's Armed forces, the Oilers will wear special camouflage jerseys on Friday and Saturday night. The jerseys will be auctioned following the game Saturday night. In addition, Blue Star Mothers will be on hand both nights, accepting donations for care packages to be sent overseas to troops."

New Mexico Veterans Call for State Funding of Early Lung Cancer Screening Using Biomoda Technology at 'Veterans' Day'

"Hundreds of veterans and their families representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Am-Vets, Disabled American Veterans, Black Veterans Association of New Mexico, Jewish War Veterans, Gold Star Mothers, and the Blue Star Mothers will board buses in Taos, Espanola and Albuquerque as the sun rises to take part in the day's ceremonies, including meetings to push their legislative agenda at the Round House."
More...New Mexico Veterans Call for State Funding of Early Lung Cancer Screening Using Biomoda Technology at 'Veterans' Day':

Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Receives National “Point of Light” Award

UNM Today: Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Receives National “Point of Light” Award: "“If Kit only volunteered with the MRC, she would be constantly busy. But she’s also a national disaster nurse with the American Red Cross, and involved with the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Blue Star Mothers and the Community Emergency Response Team,” offers Katharine Juul, program manager for UNM Center for Disaster Medicine, who nominated Elliott."

Lillie B. Vossberg

"Lillie B. Vossberg
Services for Lillie B. (Atkins) Vossberg, 85, of Eastlake, a homemaker, will be 3 p.m. Monday at Country Baptist Church, 9054 Lake Shore Blvd., Mentor.
Mrs. Vossberg died Jan. 17, 2008, at her home in Eastlake.
Born April 19, 1922, in Johnson City, Ill., she had lived in Eastlake since 1961.

She was a faithful member of Country Baptist Church in Mentor, the Get Together Club, Blue Star Mothers, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Surfside Word and Deed Club."

More...The News-Herald - Lillie B. Vossberg:


Times Herald - - Port Huron, MI: "Grandmother from Kimball Township: 'I have two grandsons, Kenneth and Ronnie, who are deploying to Kuwait. One is leaving the end of this month and the other will be leaving the middle of June. They will both be stationed for a year and I would like to know how I would obtain the stars I would proudly show in my front living room window.'

Try Blue Star Mothers of America. The organization supports men and women
in the armed services. You also can join if you're not the mother of military
personnel. There is a chapter in St. Clair - (810) 326-0692."

Hearts for Heroes

"Blue Star moms collect 'Hearts for Heroes'

ESCONDIDO -- The San Diego North County chapter of Blue Star Mothers is holding a 'Hearts for Heroes' Valentine's Day Card Campaign. Cards can be mailed to SDNC Blue Star Mothers, P.O. Box 301456, Escondido, CA 92030; or call (760) 594-4853 for pick up. Deadline is Feb. 4."

Focus on the Military: Operation Homefront to hold wine-tasting event - North County Times - North San Diego and Southwest Riverside County News:

Blue Star Mothers to honor 3 at ball

"Three Capital Region residents will be honored for their service to the Capital Region #2 Chapter of Blue Star Mothers.
Melody Burns of Delmar, Danielle Powell of Glenmont and Richard Van Etten of Coxsackie will receive 2008 Freedom Awards during a ceremony at the group's Blue Jean Ball at 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Rensselaer Elks Lodge in East Greenbush."

More...Blue Star Mothers to honor 3 at ball -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY:

Hundreds gather to honor fallen soldier News Hundreds gather to honor fallen soldier: ..."Patty Smith of the Blue Star Mothers, whose members have sons and daughters serving in the military, presented Robyn Pannier with a gold star banner to hang in the window of her home. It will replace the blue star banner she was given when he joined the military.

“This banner is to honor him for the sacrifice he made for the cause of liberty and freedom,” Smith said. “His blue star has turned to gold.”"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Guardsman returns home bearing flags

Guardsman returns home bearing flags: "YUCCA VALLEY — Everyone needs motivation. Teachers are motivated by their students, performers by their audiences, medical professionals by their patients. For deployed service members, the motivation behind their self-sacrifice is often patriotism. A shining red, white and blue example is Army Sgt. Eric Adamsen of Yucca Valley, assistant convoy commander with the California National Guard, who has taken it upon himself to thank some of the folks back on the home front for their support.

While on leave from his deployment in Southwest Asia this month, Adamsen was guest of honor at a celebration at Yucca Valley’s Burrtec facility, where his wife, Tes Adamsen, is employed as a customer service representative."

Capt. Calvey homecoming

"Capt. Calvey homecoming
By Jaylynn Richardson, correspondent
The Sun

One year ago, Kevin Calvey had every reason to stay in Oklahoma. He’d been married only three weeks ago, had an established law practice, deep roots in his community and eight years of service in the House of Representatives. But, a calling took him overseas.
“The reason I wanted to join the military was because as a legislator, I worked with veterans and I’d always admired these men and women who served in uniform. Once we started going into Iraq I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I joined,” said Kevin. “And after being deployed, my admiration has only increased for our veterans.”
...According to Kevin, prayer, being able call his wife often, and staying connected sustained him while serving. He also took time to thank the Blue Star Mothers, the Hugs Project, and Operation Pioneer Spirit for the care packages and items they sent to the troops. "

More...The Sun - Capt. Calvey homecoming:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thoughts of family before return to Iraq

"Packed gear was stacked all around the reserve center during the unit's final day home. In the early afternoon, some of the soldiers played football or basketball in the center gymnasium. Later, they would all receive 120-minute telephone cards donated by the Blue Star Mothers of the Lehigh Valley, who have family members in the military."

more..Thoughts of family before return to Iraq --

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Valentine Factory for Troops

"Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will know they’re loved this Valentine’s Day, thanks to Mesa Mall and the Blue Star Moms in Grand Junction.

The mall and moms will make Valentine’s Day cards for troops at a “valentine factory” during the afternoons of Jan. 26-27 at the mall."

“The mall is totally supporting us,” said Wendy Hoffman, organizer with the Blue Star Moms. “They’re going to supply the paper and glue so people can make valentines.” People who may not want to make a card can sign one to show their support to troops serving overseas.

Blue Star Moms, a support group of parents and family members of soldiers serving, will also collect items to send to the troops. What soldiers have been asking for indicates it’s cooled down in Baghdad, Hoffman said. Plus, much has been made about the snow that fell in the Iraqi capitol city.

Hoffman’s son, Pfc. Dallas Hanson, is serving in Baghdad in the Army with the 82nd Airborne. Monday morning, Hanson “was complaining about the 10 degrees Celsius,” Hoffman said laughing. “I said that’s not bad. That’s 50 degrees ... I can only hope.” Still, though, “they’re dressed exactly the same way they were dressed when it was 110 above,” she said. Soldiers have asked for socks, one-size-fits-all knit gloves, fleece blankets and the standard items like shampoo, toothpaste and soap. The Blue Star Moms will also collect money to help pay postage to send boxes overseas. Over Christmas, the organization sent 64 boxes. For $25, a person or business can sponsor shipping a box to the troops.

The moms haven’t limited themselves in the number of cards they’ll send. “In a lot of these boxes, we will have more than one card. As many as we come up with, we’ll make sure the troops get them,” Hoffman said.

Grand Junction Free Press - Community News:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Welcome Home -

Welcome Home - MP Jason Elsea, Army, Nashville TN, 15 JAN 08 > Patriot Guard Forums - Americans Doing the Right Thing > Patriot Guard Riders:
Annette Robeck
aka Dreamcatcher
TN State Captain

Proud Blue Star Mom of an Army National Guard Daughter




Metro Airport, Nashville, TN"

Deployment challenges

The Journal Review:

By Jamie Barrand
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2008 12:01 AM EST
"When members of the Crawfordsville-based 3-193 Unit of the Army National Guard were deployed on Jan. 3, many of them left behind wives and children — who are now facing a multitude of challenges.“I’m against the war,” said Melissa Smith, 27, of Rockville, whose husband, Rodger, is a member of 3-139 Unit. “I think what people don’t understand is that you can support your husband and not support the war. My husband made a choice, and he believes in it.”
...Shannon also keeps busy with Blue Star Mothers, a group of military wives and mothers that has support meetings and puts together care packages for soldiers.Shannon also keeps busy with Blue Star Mothers, a group of military wives and mothers that has support meetings and puts together care packages for soldiers."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Standing tall

The Medina County Gazette » Standing tall: "It was during this ceremony the Brunswick American Legion Post 234 presented a blue two-star banner to Barb Demczyk, in honor of her sons Joe and Andy, who will be deployed with Megan.
The Blue Star Banner program, for mothers in honor of their sons and daughters serving the country, has been around since World War I, said John Prior, Americanism chairman of Post 234.
When Prior found out his stepson, Staff Sgt. David Garrett, would be deployed with Megan’s unit — Company G of the 237th Brigade Support Battalion — he was inspired to honor all the mothers of the soldiers in the company.
With the go-ahead from company commander Capt. Timothy O’Connor, the American Legion presented 123 blue star banners, funded by the women’s auxiliary at Post 234, to the mothers of soldiers in Company G.
“On Dec. 9, we did a symbolic presentation to (Demczyk), as a representative of all the Company G mothers,” Prior said. “This is not a new program, it’s been around. It’s just being reinvigorated.”
Nancy recalled her own mother having blue star banners honoring her brothers in service, but the thought of being in those shoes one day never crossed her mind.
“I would never have expected to get one, to be in that position,” she said. “And now I have two — Megan’s and Katrina’s.”"

‘Fallen Heroes' memorial opened to public

Rockport Pilot, Newspaper of Aransas County, Rockport, TX:
By MIKE PROBST, Editor & Publisher
The first public showing of a new “Fallen Heroes” memorial was held Tuesday in the commons of Rockport-Fulton High School. Included among the 20 area servicemen honored in the memorial, those who have died in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, are three servicemen from Rockport-Fulton.
"The hour-long ceremony, which was emceed by Aransas County Sheriff Mark Gilliam, included the reading of a letter from Gov. Rick Perry (see inset), recognition of Gold Star mothers and fathers, recognition of Blue Star mothers and fathers, and the introduction of the local veterans organizations and the Patriot Guard."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Creating Connections -- Arkansas

Creating Connections And Building Business Relationships Among Professional Women: Blue Star Mothers: "Blue Star Mothers
Blue Star Mothers of America is a group for mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military. We are a non-profit (501[c]3) service organization supporting each other and our children while promoting patriotism. The website for Blue Star Mothers is

Lisa Daniels, the Publisher of Metro Woman of Northwest Arkansas is interested in putting together a chapter locally. Currently, she is collecting names and contact information of interested parties so that she can plan a meeting later, probably after the first of the year.

If you are interested in helping contact Lisa at or 479.220.8860."

Branford Review - Young soldier sees lifetime of action

Branford Review - Young soldier sees lifetime of action: "His parents have had to stand his being in danger. The other women in Blue Star Mothers, the group for women whose children are serving, have sons who are cooks, not ones who are patrolling in Humvees, like Liz DeNardi's."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blue Star Salute

Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc.Established 15 Dec 2005
“Partners in Patriotism” Founding Organizations:
American Legion, Dept of AL
AL Society, Sons of American Revolution
The American Village Citizenship Trust
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

"Blue Star Salute of Alabama is a concerted effort by local, state and national military, political, veteran and caring citizen groups and organizations and sets aside a day for particularly significant appreciation and honors for America’s military… (active, reserves and national guard), of all branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force and the historic US Merchant Marines. This includes a somber “Gold Star Salute” to those service members who have paid the ultimate price for America’s freedoms. Blue Star Salute also honors all those who are veterans of such military service and actively supports Alabama’s Veterans Homes."
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Blue Star Moms of Northern Nevada: November Meeting Notes

"November Meeting Notes

•MEMBERS Present (at Mi Casa Too Restaurant, Carson City, NV): Mary A., Ana A., Jeanne BP., Yvonne C., Barbara C., Leslie E., Deborah E., Paula F., Marge G., Jennifer H., Joy H., Shelley I., Amy FJ., Gwen J., Lori M., Jo S., Suzzie W., Linda W., Debra Y., Guests: P.J., Uncle Mike and Susan

MINUTES: NOTES from previous meeting circulated and accepted as written."
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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Vision and Mission Statement Part Two Vision and Mission Statement Part Two: "Loving the world: Creating opportunities for Children’s Ministry to directly impact the community around them through projects such as Blue Star Moms, projects that impact inner city ministries such as City Impact and City Team Oakland."

Your turn: Join the effort to help vets

By Stephen J. Eisenreich, Sartell
Published: January 04. 2008 12:30AM

"There are not words to express the humility I feel during this holiday season for the unbelievable effort that Dennie Meyer and the Blue Star Mothers of Minnesota have put forth to ensure that 'No Homeless Veteran is Left Behind.'
Blue Star Mothers is an organization that dedicates its time to meeting the needs of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans by sending packages overseas, conducting fundraisers and getting out the word that veterans of our most recent wars are not forgotten.
However, their generosity is not limited to those veterans only. Through their tireless efforts, and those of an uncounted number of generous individuals, churches, schools, families and companies, the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud has realized a greater outpouring of support this year, both in cash and clothing, than at any time since our homeless program has been in existence."

Universalists Donate to Blue Star Mothers

The Signal: News for Santa Clarita Valley, California: "
Blue Star Mothers of the Canyons has been chosen by the Unitarian Universalists as the recipient of their Third Sunday Special Collection on Jan. 20. The Blue Stars Mothers will use the gift to assist with postage for their Hearts and Hugs from Home boxes, to be mailed to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in time for Valentine’s Day. The Unitarian Universalists hold services each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the SCV Senior Center at 22900 Market Street in Newhall. For more information, call (661) 254-7866. For information on the Blue Star Mothers of the Canyons, e-mail If you want to send a donation directly to Blue Star Mothers of the Canyons, send it to P.O. Box 220685 Newhall, 91322-0685."

Friday, January 4, 2008

Welcome Home - Conrad Begaye, Army


Black Canyon City, Arizona

Conrads coming home! He will be back from the sandbox after some heavy dutytrials and tribulations!! His mom Patti is sooooooo excited!! I am excited, and I KNOW you are all excited too! Blue Star Moms are gonna bethere when he gets off the plane!"
More...Welcome Home - Conrad Begaye, Army, Black Canyon City, AZ, 06 JAN 08 > Patriot Guard Forums - Americans Doing the Right Thing > Patriot Guard Riders:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Farmington Blue Star Mothers Meet - San Juan County

Cindy's List: Farmington Blue Star Mothers Meet - San Juan County: "Monday, January 7th
(San Juan County)
Farmington Blue Star Mothers Meet
7 pm @ Civic Center, Farmington
On the first Monday of every month, the Blue Star Mothers gather. Consider joining with them to get boxes out to our troops. The meeting is held at the Civic Center at 200 West Arrington Street in the city of Farmington. Contact:"

South choirs send holiday spirit to troops

"South choirs send holiday spirit to troops
By Amy Salvagno
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Their voices add a special sparkle to the holiday season in Grosse Pointe, from fireside carols to a large-scale concert from a festive stage.
Yet on Christmas Day, their songs rang out around the world, giving a gift of home and hope to American troops serving overseas.
Thanks to the involvement of freshman mom Laurie McCarron, the choirs of Grosse Pointe South High School were able to provide a special present to the military men and women away from home for the holidays — over the airways of the American Forces Network, which broadcasts at American bases across the globe."

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Americans Standing Up in Philadelphia | Gathering of Eagles

Americans Standing Up in Philadelphia Gathering of Eagles: "Although we were out-numbered 5 or 6 to one, we made our voices heard and were able to rain on their little America hate-fest. Perry even threw the microphone to the ground when I read his “Winter Soldier” testimony aloud, and the chants of “Soldiers died when Perry lied!” rang out. Several people from the weekly West Chester , PA action joined us, as did a Marine who was just walking by. A number of passers by, including a Blue Star mom, stopped to thank us for not letting these miscreants go unopposed. Never underestimate the power of a few, hearty, extremely loud patriots when we assemble under the flag. It is simply time to take these people on whenever and wherever they gather; no matter the numbers you can muster."