Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fallen heroes honored

"As Carole Bryant tied patriotic balloons around Kiroli Park's bandstand Monday for the Blue Star Mothers' Memorial Day service, it was obvious her thoughts were thousands of miles away.

Her husband, Josh, is currently serving his first tour in Iraq. He arrived there May 1.

Bryant, who lives near Farmerville, said she joined the Blue Star Mothers organization in November because she was looking to meet others who knew what she was going through.

'They are always there for me to talk to … and with a husband in Iraq, I always need someone to talk to,' she said as she moved around the bandstand with dozens of balloons."

Palisade mother welcomes son home from Iraq

GRAND JUNCTION (KJCT)- A Palisade mother welcomed her son home from Iraq today after seven long months.
Twenty one-year-old Justin Aysse is a Field Lineman with the U.S. Marines.
He's from 29 Palms California... And his mom, Julie Dominguez, says it was the first time they've been separated for this long.
She says they communicated by e-mail, but sometimes she wouldn't hear from Justin for weeks.
Julie says not a day went by when she didn't cry... worrying about her son.
Julie and her daughter are new to the area and say they're thankful for the heartfelt welcome home Justin received from the community.
Julie is a member of the Grand Valley Blue Star mothers and the National
Blue Star Mothers Yearbook Editor.

Justin will be in Palisade for three days, and then heads back to the base in California.
"I'm so proud of him, words just cannot express. I'm proud and I ache when I'm away from him, and the fear is tremendous. But all I can say is we're all so proud of him," said Julie.
"Just the fact that there's actually people out there that care about what's going on over there, it's a real blessing," said Justin.
Justin will head back to Iraq next March.

Palisade mother welcomes son home from Iraq

Enid Item Drive

The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK - Bulletin Board for 5-29-08: "Blue Star Mother’s chapter fundraiser slated Saturday

Enid’s Blue Star Mothers chapter will host a membership and donation drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Wal-Mart Supercenter, 5505 W. Garriott.

Blue Star Mothers, made up of women who have or have had children in the military, is seeking donations for its Freedom Boxes, which are sent each month to local troops stationed overseas."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Green Chile, Chapstick and Neck Coolers

Santa Fe Blue Star Mothers -- Video

Neighbor Newspapers - Cookies headed for troops overseas

Neighbor Newspapers - Cookies headed for troops overseas: "Beth Conley and Dan Kachel, of the Sand Springs Station restaurant, show some of the cookies being sent to troops overseas.

SAND SPRINGS -- Sometimes, it's the little things you miss the most. Like a fresh, handmade cookie just like mom used to make. For the troops overseas in the scorching deserts of Iraq, those little things seem worlds away.

With the help of the Sand Springs Station restaurant, Beth Conley is making sure the soldiers of the 45th Infantry Division can have a little taste of home. Conley is shipping out dozens of cookies, donated by Chef Dan Kachel's restaurant and cooked by Rosa Cousins, to Iraq.

'I'd like to try to get people to do something extra special for troops around Father's Day and the Fourth of July,' Conley, whose son Sgt. Beau Conley is with the unit, said. 'They like the homemade things.'

Conley said she wanted to provide encouragement and let the soldiers, who are nearly six months into their deployment, know they are remembered back home.

For Kachel, it was an easy call to donate his restaurant's goodies to the troops.

'Anything we can do to help,' he said. 'Happy to.'

Conley said that anyone wanting to make a donation can contact the Sand Springs Blue Star Mothers, an organization of family members of troops, for suggested donations. The Blue Star Mothers can be reached at"

Crafty Blue Star Mothers hope to help soldiers keep cool |

Crafty Blue Star Mothers hope to help soldiers keep cool The Greenville News: "GREER -- Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan might be able to stay a little cooler, thanks to the efforts of the Greenville Blue Star Mothers.

The group is holding a workshop Saturday in Greer at which members, and anyone from the community interested in helping, will make “cool ties,” or bandana-like wraps that contain tiny crystals which, when moistened, stay cool for eight hours.
The cool ties will be sent to troops serving in the Middle East, who often wrap them around their necks or put them in their helmets to provide some measure of relief from summer temperatures which can reach 140 degrees, said Toni Gilstrap, president of Greenville Blue Star Mothers.
“Anything you can do to get a little cool in there helps,” Gilstrap said.
The cool ties are made by sewing together strips of fabric, and filling them with the tiny crystals using a funnel, then sewing together the ends of the tie. “Anyone that can sew, cut, even fill or iron (is welcome),” Gilstrap said. She said family members of group members have expressed frustration that similar store-bought items are only good for one day before the crystals begin to leak out, or stop retaining their coolness. Gilstrap said searches for store-bought wraps that were well-constructed and reusable didn’t pan out, so group members decided to make their own. “And plus, there’s a little bit of love sewn in there,” Gilstrap said. The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 31 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 300 O’Neal Road. For more information, call 877-4090 or 313-9632."


"One of the joys in living in a small town is the way the community gets behind events. Last Saturday was just such a day here in Coweta.
Blue Star Mothers had a campaign of selling yellow T-shirts to the community that had the blue ribbon that said 'Coweta Support our troops' and below the ribbon 'until they all come home' Blue Star Mothers is a nation wide organization of mothers who have son's serving in the Armed Forces. They fix up care boxes to send to the troops. Coweta has the only current Blue Star Mothers Club in Oklahoma."

More...Penless Writer: MAY 17th NATIONAL ARMED FORCES DAY:

“Happy Birthday, America”

Blue Star Mothers, Special to The Observer
As the 4th of July draws near, the Rio Rancho Blue Star Mothers begin preparations for their “Happy Birthday, America” care packages for the military.
If past experiences hold true, more than 300 boxes will be mailed on June 23.
According to Blue Star Mother Marla Griffith, “These boxes symbolize home and assure the troops that friends and family haven’t forgotten them.”"

Rio Rancho Observer Online:

Somber, celebratory events mark holiday in Grandview

"As the nation pauses for a weekend to remember those who have lost their lives while defending it, many cities around the country will hold poignant events in honor of fallen servicemen.

Grandview Heights will be among them with its annual slate of events.

The city will hold its annual memorial service, sponsored by the Tri-Village unit of the Blue Star Mothers, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at Memorial Park between Oxley Road, Northwest Boulevard and West Second Avenue."

Columbus Local News: > Archives > Region > News > Somber, celebratory events mark holiday in Grandview:

Defending Earmark Reform and Our Nation's Veterans

Bosse 2008: "Grant was honored to address the Gold and Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire, speaking to the importance of honoring our nation's veterans each and every day of the year."

More...Bosse 2008: Defending Earmark Reform and Our Nation's Veterans:

Organizations come together to honor fallen soldier

"FLETCHER - The bikes rumbled into the parking lot of the small restaurant in Fletcher. Members of the Western North Carolina Blue Star Mothers, including fathers and grandmothers, stood with American flags in their hands.

Four years ago, in November 2003, a Henderson County native was killed in Baghdad, Iraq, in a Jeep accident while serving in the Army. On Saturday, Robert Roberts was honored at his parents' restaurant, the Fletcher House, by the Mothers and the Patriot Guard Riders for his service to the county.

'It's amazing four years after the fact,' said Charles Norman, Roberts' father. 'The story in the story is even four years after you have this kind of support.'"

Organizations come together to honor fallen soldier Serving Henderson, Transylvania and Polk Counties North Carolina

Blue Star Mothers starts a Wayne County chapter

"Wayne County now has a Blue Star Mothers organization.

Gloria Shuttleworth of Centerville started the organization after a meeting in Richmond on May 17. The group includes five Blue Star mothers and totals about 18 people.

Blue Star mothers have sons or daughters serving in the U.S. armed forces. The organization is designed to support troops serving overseas and their families at home.

The group is planning another meeting in June but members have not yet set a date.

For more information or to join, call (765) 966-6527."

Blue Star Mothers starts a Wayne County chapter Palladium-Item:

Crooked X rock band autographs fundraising memorabilia

"COWETA - Members of teen rock band Crooked X stopped by the Blue Star Mothers building recently to autograph a host of items that will be auctioned off during the Coweta Patriotic Festival in June and at Fall Festival in September.
Money raised for the Blue Star Mothers will be used to mail freedom boxes to soldiers. Funds raised for the Downtown Advisory Board will go toward the development of a skateboard park."
Everything from bags, t-shirts and visors to a skateboard, tennis shoes and backpacks will make their way to the auction block for both organizations. Plans for a silent auction are still being developed. Band members Boomer Simpson, Jesse Cooper, Josh McDowell and Forrest French, from left, clown around for the camera during a photo shoot for an upcoming television program featuring the band. Coweta's highly popular rock band will be appearing live on stage this Friday, May 30 at Olympic Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden as the opening act for Kiss.

Rock on, Crooked X!
Neighbor Newspapers - Crooked X rock band autographs fundraising memorabilia:

More From "THE UNION" Newspaper

"(Sue Horne shown left)
Such is the case in the race for the state's 3rd District Assembly seat, currently held by Rick Keene. Nevada County Supervisor Sue Horne and Yuba County Supervisor Dan Logue - both Republicans - have been in the midst of a spirited, often nasty battle that should be settled on June 3. When the dust does settle, we hope Horne will be headed to Sacramento, where we believe she will serve Nevada County in the same outstanding manner she has served us as a member of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors the past several years."
She is also a patriot, whose boundless energy helped give us our own Blue Star Moms chapter, recognizing the many mothers whose sons are serving our country today. Her own son served in Iraq. She also helped found the Nevada County Pregnancy Center.POST SCRIPTS: More From "THE UNION" Newspaper:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blue Star Mothers, teachers team for the troops

"Blue Star Mothers of America and Choctaw-Nicoma Park school teachers teamed up Monday to raise funds to send packages to troops overseas.

Teachers and staff at Choctaw High School, Nicoma Park Junior High, Indian Meridian Elementary, L.W. Westfall Elementary and Nicoma Park Elementary made donations to the Blue Star Mothers in order to wear jeans to school Monday.

“A lot of the teachers also wore patriotic shirts,” said Joanie Rice, second vice president for Blue Star Mothers, South Oklahoma City - Chapter 6 and nurse for the Choctaw-Nicoma Park school district.

The group raised more than $500 from the five schools and Nicoma Park Intermediate, which held its fundraiser May 14.

“It was a fantastic fundraiser,” Rice said. “Choctaw-Nicoma Park is a wonderful group that has really supported our fundraising.”"

The Sun - Blue Star Mothers, teachers team for the troops:

Blue Stars plant tree for troops

Neighbor Newspapers - Blue Stars plant tree for troops: "he tree was planted in front Shoemaker's Photography, 208 N. Main, where the photographic portraits of many area servicemen and women are on display.

The tree was donated by Riddle's Plant Farm, 3510 Summit Blvd. Katheryn Earle, with Riddle's, was on hand to supervise the planting.

Micki Hallock, with Blue Star Mothers, said the group wanted to plant the tree 'to give back to the community.'

Hallock thanked area residents who donate items and help pack the care packages the group ships to troop overseas each month.

She noted the downtown area had lost many of its trees to the December ice storm; another reason for planting the tree.

'Next spring, when the redbud blooms, we hope the heart-shaped flowers will remind people of our young men and women serving this country,' Hallock said.

The Blue Star Mothers, each month, ship packages containing personal care products, snacks, games, and greeting cards and letters to military personnel overseas.

The group meets the last Monday of the month at the American Legion Post, 500 N. Main, at 7 p.m. to pack and ship the boxes.

Volunteers are always welcomed to help pack the boxes for shipment, Hallock said."

Operation Cozy Comfort

"The Hughes Sullivan Show, which I co-host from time to time, is committed to the Troops through the Blue and Gold Star Mothers. For Memorial Day we have been working on a Project named Operation Cozy Comfort. I am asking my readers and the show's listeners to drop off twin size blankets for our troops in two Baghdad hospitals TODAY Thursday, May 22 between 4-7 p.m. at the following three drop off stations.

Macomb County: in Warren at St. Marks Church on Bart off Ryan and North of 9 mile.

Clinton Twp: the Wolverine Harley Davidson on Gratiot South of M-59.

St. Clair County: the Neimans Market on Carney Drive in the City of St. Clair.

Please help us meet our goal of sending out at least 500 blankets this Memorial Day Weekend. If you have any questions, please contact the show at"
MI MORNING UPDATE: "Special Guest" for Fisher Dinner-stay tuned...Dems continue to snub MI | Redstate:

Our thanks - Scituate, MA - Scituate Mariner

Editorial -- Our thanks - Scituate, MA - Scituate Mariner: "Starting at 10:30 a.m., the parade will take off from town hall, marching down First Parish Road to Lawson Park. Participants will include police and fire departments, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Amercian Legion, Gold Star Mothers, Blue Star Mothers and local officials. All of them, and the spectators along the route, will give our fallen heroes the thanks they deserve."

RadioMilwaukee’s Soundboard

Blue Star Mothers: Sue Gourdoux
"Blue Star Mothers is an support organization for moms with sons and daughters currently serving in all branches of the US Armed Forces. Sue Gourdoux recorded a message for her son, Sgt. Joe Gourdoux, who has served two tours in Iraq.
(Listen to recorded message for Sues son)
Memorial Day. « RadioMilwaukee’s Soundboard:

Late Blue Star backer lauded

Tulsa World: Local, area briefs: Late Blue Star backer lauded: "The Blue Star Mothers chapter in Tulsa will present an award at 11 a.m. Friday in remembrance of one of its biggest supporters.

Tulsa chapter member Denise Patterson said the award will be presented to Stephanie Johnson in honor of her father, the late Larry Johnson, a longtime Blue Star Mothers supporter.

The award will be presented at the Chickory and Chives Cafe, 3121 Charles Page Blvd., where Stephanie Johnson works. Larry Johnson died last year and was buried on Memorial Day.

The cafe has a wall dedicated to veterans."

Monthly Radnor Prayer Service Honors U.S. Military Overseas

"Radnor - Amid Iraq war protests and large-scale criticisms, parishioners of St. David's Episcopal Church in Radnor have taken a unique approach to the war.

One of the more moving parts of the ceremony, according to Marian Moran, mother of a naval aviator, is Dr. Guelzo's reading of about 125 soldiers names, including the names of Revolutionary War veterans buried in St. David's cemetery.

"He makes you feel like your child is the backbone of our country," Mrs. Moran said. "It's a very hard thing for a mom to put a uniform on a soldier...because you know at that time that they have become now an enemy - that someone might seek them out to kill them."
As Dr. Guelzo had hoped the services quickly gained attention from those outside of the St. David's community. Since it's onset other churches and schools have joined in addition to Blue Stars Mothers Philadelphia Chapter. The Blue Stars Mothers was established back in World War I and it is essentially a support group for the mothers of military personnel.

Currently, in addition to the Blue Star Mothers, St. David's parishioners are joined by members of the American Academy of Bryn Mawr, St. Mary Magdelene Church of Newtown Square, Proclamation Presbyterian Church of Bryn Mawr, and the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan of Paoli.
The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper - Monthly Radnor Prayer Service Honors U.S. Military Overseas:

‘Respect and honor

"As Memorial Day approaches, Rockland’s Maureen O’Haire is doing her part to make the day memorable, and worthy for her son Walter, and the men and women who proudly marched beside him.

Maureen’s 20-year-old son Marine Lance Corporal Walter O’Haire was killed by enemy fire in Iraq on May 9, 2007."
Blue Star Mothers whose children are currently serving in the military will be marching in the parade, and as a Gold Star Mother — a mother who’s lost a son or daughter in service to the country — Maureen was asked to participate.

Respect and honor:’ Rockland Gold Star mother has special plans for Memorial Day - Rockland, MA - Rockland Standard:

Soldiers Benefit From Carnival

"The Blue Star Mothers of America, Northern Kentucky Chapter 5, are hosting a Benefit Carnival this weekend.

The carnival will have rides, games and food all going towards those serving in the armed services.

The Blue Star Mothers are a non-profit organization who support their sons and daughters in the military or who have served.

The benefit will be held at the Richwood Flea Market May 24 and 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kentucky Post"

Soldiers Benefit From Carnival -

Mom eases her pain by helping others

"Aceves has been active in groups for military families, including the Blue Star Parents, Gold Star Parents and a mentor in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Blue Star Mothers have children serving on active duty, while Gold Star Mothers have a child who died while on active duty.

“You don't want to graduate from the Blue Star Parents – who have a child serving in the military – to the Gold Star,” Aceves said. “It's a day that will stay with you forever.”" > News > Military -- Mom eases her pain by helping others:

Darts & Laurels |

"Laurel - To the Western North Carolina Blue Star Mothers and the Patriot Guard Riders, for recognizing one of the county's fallen soldiers. Robert Roberts is a Henderson County native who was killed in 2003 in Baghdad in a Jeep accident. But because his hometown was listed as Orlando, Fla., his name was left off when North Carolina remembered its war dead. The Blue Star Mothers and the Riders decided to correct the oversight. Last Saturday, they presented Roberts' mother, Joanne Norman, with a gold star, symbolic of a fallen soldier. They also recognized Norman's other son, Christopher, who also served in Iraq in 2003 as a Marine. Norman's husband Charles helped coordinate the event."
Darts & Laurels | Serving Henderson, Transylvania and Polk Counties | North Carolina |

Blue Star Parents Unveil Monument

"In Plattsburgh, an unveiling Saturday of a special monument to those who gave their lives in far away countries.

The city revived its Memorial Day parade this year after a several year absence. There were troops marching, politicians greeting the public and the machines of war rolling along. But most of all it was a time to honor the men and women of the armed services. The Blue Star mothers and fathers of Clinton County commissioned a monument to honor the troops."

Blue Star Parents Unveil Monument:

Gold Star families gather to remember their loved ones

"Janet Broussard cherishes her association with Gold Star Mothers of Louisiana, yet prays she never joins their ranks.

Broussard is the president of Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana, a group with sons or daughters currently serving in the U.S. military, while Gold Star families have lost an offspring in the service of their country.

"You Gold Star mothers have shared your stories with me of your sons and daughters, and I've gotten to know them and love them through your stories," Broussard said on Saturday, addressing the Memorial Day Tribute to Gold Star Families held at American Legion Post 69.

"I know one who loves music, one who loved to laugh, one who would light up a room when he entered, one who loved all things LSU, one whose favorite meal was beef tips with angel hair pasta and one whose boy was his heart and soul.

"You've taught me so much about courage, grace and unconditional love.""

Gold Star families gather to remember their loved ones | | The Advertiser:

Items needed for overseas care packages

"A community effort is underway to send care packages to troops serving overseas. The list of items needed includes:

Baby wipes, shampoo, soaps, lotion, foot care products, sun block (SPF-15 or higher), Visine, Q-tips, baby powder, chapstick, hand sanitizer, deodorants, toilet paper, all dental products, stationery & envelopes and sanitary products for women."
Items needed for overseas care packages:

Armed forces personnel focus of campaign

"DAYTON — A campaign to honor those currently serving and those who have served in the United States armed forces is underway at One Dayton Centre.

The program is three pronged.

There's a wall of honor and table of honor, a collection of items and monetary donations to support the troops, along with a packing party for the boxes on June 6.

It is sponsored by Porter Wright Morris & Arthur and The Blue Star Mothers of America Miami Valley #3.

The wall of Honor and Table of Honor is in the lobby of the One Dayton Centre, One South Main Street. It will be there until June 6. You're asked to bring in a photo of any family member or friend who is serving or has ever served in the military. You can include a brief biography and any special memories."

Armed forces personnel focus of campaign:

Ceremony honors those who gave their lives

"The low murmur of the crowd gradually became silent as a host of men and women began reading the more than 600 names of those from Spartanburg who have died serving this country.

It began at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. People slowly, but steadily, continued to filter in until the actual ceremony began at 3.

A contingent of guests of honor sat in chairs - Gold Star Mothers, who have lost a son or daughter in combat, and Blue Star Mothers, who have (or had) a child serving in the armed forces - while many others brought folding chairs and tried to grab a spot of shade."

More...Ceremony honors those who gave their lives | | Spartanburg, S.C.:

Church banner honors veterans | | The News Leader

"STAUNTON — Of the 63 men and women from Bethel Presbyterian Church who left during World War II to assist overseas, two sat on either side of the church on Sunday.

Charles Beard and David Turner were surrounded by their friends and family during the morning service, but they were also surrounded in a different way, by the 61 others who had gone to war with them.

At the front of the church, a faded silk banner trimmed in red had 63 blue stars stitched to it in neat rows against a white background. Two of those stars were for Beard and Turner; the others for the rest of the members of Bethel who had all managed to return home safely from World War II.

The banner, a Blue Star Flag stitched together at the start of the war and hung in the church from 1941 to 1945 to remember those who had left, was discovered in the Church's storage room with no clue as to who carefully stitched each star."

Church banner honors veterans | | The News Leader:

Blue Star Moms Support Soldiers With Action

"(Canandaigua, N.Y.) - The Blue Star Mothers of America Chapter in Canandaigua spent the early hours Monday preparing care packages.

Everybody worked fast and furiously as they prepared hundreds of care packages for overseas."

The boxes are filled with non perishable foods, hygiene products and other supplies to make life--and the heat--of Iraq (and Afghanistan) bearable.

"I don't think we've received one jar of vitamins. They need those juice drinks; they need those to replace electrolytes. The bottled water has no fluoride, it doesn't have what they need," said Blue Star Mom Ann Wido.

The dedicated mothers of soldiers want to fill enough boxes to send to 600 men and women overseas. They've got until June 10 to collect everything and prepare it for shipping.

More... Blue Star Moms Support Soldiers With Action -

Wagoner's Memorial Day celebration draws group ready to praise veterans, war dead

"WAGONER - Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, was a day for America to remember those who gave their lives for freedom.
However, from listening to speakers at the Memorial Day celebration in Wagoner, it was a day to remember anyone who has served. Speeches of praise for veterans to a large crowd in the front lawn of the Wagoner County Courthouse near the Veterans Memorial, was accompanied by a gun salute.
Among the speakers were veterans Jim Marsh and Arlie Wilson, along with veterans Gerald Holland and Wagoner Police Chief Terry Hornbuckle. Blue Star Mothers representative Phillis Seaman also spoke."
Neighbor Newspapers - Wagoner's Memorial Day celebration draws group ready to praise veterans, war dead:

Monday, May 26, 2008

A soldier and his family come home

Blue Star Moms arrange a Celebration

"Cpl. John Hyland did not know that his family and friends had organized a celebration at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

Or that a crowd of strangers would join in cheering him home.

His mother, Judy Hyland of Denver, N.C., and other Blue Star Moms -- mothers and wives of soldiers in active duty during wartime -- had gotten permission to enter the terminal to greet Hyland, his wife, Erica, and their sons, Wyatt, 3, and Hunter, 8."

More...Charlotte News - Local News Charlotte | Charlotte Observer:

2008 Memorial Day calendar

2008 Memorial Day calendar: "Bicentennial Garden, Nicollet and 130th St., Burnsville. Program at 9:30 a.m., with the Civil Air Patrol Valley Cadets. Sponsored by Sweet Sioux Garden Club and Blue Star Moms."

Home of the Brave

"Sometimes unforgettable moments are left out of
compelling stories. Many powerful elements of the
story of Derek McGinnis’s journey from near death at
the hands of a suicide bomber to recovery were
sacrificed in the name of length and sensitivity.
The operation that kept Derek out of the 2005 Marine
Marathon was no trifle. An amputated leg sometimes
tries to grow back. But the bony tissue is webbed and
goes all over. Something like a coral reef was poking
through what was left of Derek’s leg. Medical
personnel gave him a model of the presurgery femur.
The coral mass that had shards like glass were poking
from the inside. And two pieces of shrapnel were still
imbedded in the bone."

More...Home of the Brave | The Hive:

Blue Star Moms host Memorial Day honors

"The SCV Blue Star Mothers Chapter 91 hosted their annual Memorial Day Ceremony Sunday morning in front of Santa Clarita City Hall, with California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) and Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean the main speakers.

They both addressed the small crowd of military veterans and family members from a temporary stage in the shadow of trees the Mothers have decorated with stars, each representing a Santa Clarita Valley-connected member of the armed forces, or a fallen hero who paid the ultimate price in combat."

UPDATED: Blue Star Moms host Memorial Day honors:

Many mark a day of private grief, public honor

"Terri Pickard and Jennifer Tyson shared a hug and a moment few could relate to. Pickard's son Joshua died in Iraq in December 2006 and Tyson lost her son, Michael Anderson Jr., more than three years ago. Both were Marines.
Jennifer Tyson and two other moms from the Central Valley Chapter of Blue Star Mothers came to place a wreath on the grave of another casualty of the Iraq war, Brian Frost.
'It never goes away,' said Pickard of losing her son. 'It's still every bit as heart-wrenching.'"

More...The Modesto Bee | Many mark a day of private grief, public honor:

'A piece of your heart that hurts'

Jim and Donna Rystad and son, Brian, visit the grave of their son and brother, Spec. Corey Rystad, who was killed in Iraq on Dec. 2, 2006. The Rystads visit the grave daily at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Red Lake Falls, Minn. Herald photo by Eric Hylden.

"RED LAKE FALLS, MINN. — They can laugh now as they remember how Corey conspired with his brother to get them to buy a big-screen TV.

Jim Rystad can smile as he recalls the 3 a.m. phone calls that told him his son was OK. He looked forward to those reassuring calls from Corey at war as much as he dreaded the always-bad 3 a.m. calls that came when he served as a sheriff’s deputy.

The blue star banner the Rystads had displayed, symbolizing a member of the family in service, hangs in Corey’s room alongside the gold star banner Donna received from Alice Longtin. Next to the banners is a case holding Corey’s decorations, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star."

More...Grand Forks Herald | 'A piece of your heart that hurts':

U.S. Open Course Conditions at Timber Creek to help charities

"Funds raised from the event at the Sun City Roseville course will go to support two worthy charitable, 501c (3) causes, the Sacramento Blues Star Moms, a support group for mothers of wounded military personnel, and Golf Klubz Fore Kidz, an organization that is currently raising funds in an effort to ship golf clubs and balls to troops located in Baquba, Iraq."
More...U.S. Open Course Conditions at Timber Creek to help charities -Roseville California News:

Flint's historic Blue Star chapter makes a comeback but looks to gain more military moms as members - The Flint Journal Online News - Michigan Newspap

"Monday May 19, 2008, 5:40 PM

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan -- As Memorial Day approaches, the Blue Star Mothers of America is making a comeback.

The Flint chapter -- the first in the nation in 1942 -- had been teetering on extinction six months ago, putting out a plea to expand beyond its then-current four members.
The appeal worked -- the group for military moms is now up to eight.

On Wednesday, the Flint chapter will host another membership drive and package boxes to send overseas, joining with the local My Heart Supports the Troops organization. The packaging will occur at 5 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 2260 S. Belsay Road, in Burton."

More...Flint's historic Blue Star chapter makes a comeback but looks to gain more military moms as members - The Flint Journal Online News - Michigan Newspaper -

Local mothers support troops with banners, care packages

"Second in a series about military personnel in the local area

LYNDHURST (May 20, 2008, 2 p.m.) —For almost a century, the Blue Star Service Banner has been the wartime symbol of families enduring the difficult period of time when a close relative of theirs is serving in the military."

More...Leader Newspapers- Local mothers support troops with banners, care packages:

KTIS Mornings »Blue Star Moms

KTIS Mornings » Blog Archive » Blue Star Moms: "May is Military Appreciation Month. We talked with Rene Wille with the MN Chapter of Blue Star Moms about her involvement with the group. Learn more about how moms are supporting their soldiers at : Blue Star Moms

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paintball fundraiser supports troops

"For the members of the Blue Star Mothers of the Canyons, and owner of Paintball USA, it doesn't matter whether a person is for or against the Iraq War; it's about showing support for the troops.

To offer their appreciation for the troops on Armed Forces Day, the Blue Star Mothers of the Canyons, the Santa Clarita Valley's chapter of the nonprofit organization bringing moms and family members of military servicemen together, teamed up with the Agua Dulce paintball park to host the fundraiser, 'Fight for our Troops' on Saturday.
For every admission or package purchased, $10 was donated to the Blue Star Mothers.
Debi Duke, president of Chapter 82 in Newhall, said every donation paid for the postage on one care package.
Duke said the event was a first for the local chapter and hopes that it will become an annual fundraiser in the coming years.
Nevertheless, Duke, whose 22-year-old son, Xander, is a medic in the 82nd Airbone Division, believes the troops need continued support from everyone.
Whether or not someone has a loved one serving, she believes that "all of our troops are all of our sons and daughters.""

More...Paintball fundraiser supports troops:

Hernando marks Armed Forces Day

"Some Hernando County residents marked Armed Forces Day by waving at motorists and waving flags in support of American troops on Saturday, 5/17/08. This group, at the intersection of State Road 50 and US Highway 19, was just one of many that gathered at several locations throughout the area. The grass roots event included members of the community and local organizations including Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers, Nature Coast Republican Women's Network, Treat the Troops,, and Lee's Prayers and Postage."Hernando marks Armed Forces Day:

Moms connect in support groups

"Waiting Moms
Kimberly Blair, a mathematics instructor at Hemet High School, is waiting for her son James Blair to come home from Iraq. He is one month into his second deployment, with six months remaining. She is an active member of both the North San Diego County chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, a support group for moms whose children are military personnel, and, a message-board service that connects parents of U.S. Marines.
'It is one of the best ways to get through one of the hardest things I have ever been through in my life,' Blair said.
She meets with the Blue Star Mothers group once a month at the American Legion hall in Escondido. Every other month the meeting is strictly for support.
Members take turns talking about their children's experiences and whereabouts, and also just about feelings, Blair said.
For the alternate monthly meetings, the group plans charity drives. Members sit in front of Wal-Marts with supply lists for care packages, plan events like last year's Blue Star Ball and prepare for send-offs and homecomings, she said. "

Moms connect in support groups Features Southern California News News for Inland Southern California:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Blue Star Mothers find strength in numbers

"GLENMONT, N.Y. -- 'It's different for each person,' said Barbara Dorsey, a Blue Star Mother. 'We don't know what's ahead for our children. So it's really hard.'

It was that sense of the unknown that brought five Capital Region moms together about a year ago.

Each one needing somewhere to turn as their children headed overseas and into harm’s way. Each one believing, at first, that they were alone in this. That they had to simply be strong, be brave, be patient. However, they soon discovered, strength is found in numbers.
"We're basically there to help each other, to support each other, to give each other courage," said Gerry Gill, a Blue Star Mother.
Just a year after its creation, the Capital Region chapter of Blue Star Mothers now has 100 members. Each one with her own story of how this band of women has made a difference."

More...Capital News 9 24 Hour Local News HEADLINES Blue Star Mothers find strength in numbers:


Mothers Create Group to Support Military

"Mothers Create Group to Support Military

By Dee Henry
Contact me
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Two women in Hickory are starting a group to give military mothers support, as well as their children serving in the military.
"As long as they're over there, we're going to do everything we can to make them feel like they're at home," said Margaret Gunsley.
Gunsley is working with Lynn Spencer to create the state's eighth chapter of Blue Star Mothers.
Spencer's son, Eric, is currently stationed in Afghanistan. Gunsley's son, Jeffrey Palmer, is back stateside since his return from Iraq in 2005."

Rally for Troops The CABINET PRESS INC Covering Milford, Wilton, Amherst, Lyndeborough, Greenville, Mont Vernon, Jaffrey, Mason, Hollis, Brookline, Merrimack and Bedford, NH.: "Rally for troops set for Saturday

MILFORD — Barry Norton and his daughter Sarah, both veterans, have organized a rally to support U.S. troops on Saturday, May 17, on the Oval.

The rally begins at 1 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and will feature guest speakers, including Gold Star and Blue Star mothers from across the state. Families are invited to bring pictures of their loved one serving in the Middle East.

Following the rally, the local VFW chapter will hold a pig roast at its home on One VFW Way, formerly Perkins Street. The VFW post is located across the street from Milford Lumber and the Boys and Girls Club.

Proceeds from the roast will be used to purchase phone cards and put together care packages for the troops, and rally participants are also being asked to donate items during the event."

Rio Rancho

Rio Rancho Observer Online: "Blue Star Mothers group
Blue Star Mothers, Rio Rancho Chapter, meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 7 p.m., at 3906 19th St. Membership is open to mothers who have sons or daughters serving in the military whether deployed or not, and to fathers, other family members, and friends. For additional information, please contact Pat, 771-1093, or at"

Regional calendar -

Regional calendar - Nashoba Publishing Online: "Wednesday, May 21
Blue Star Mothers: 7 p.m., Leominster Veteran's Center, 100 West St., Leominster; Monthly meeting of Mass. Chapter 1 of Blue Star Mothers (those with children in the military); Guest speaker will be Floyd Truitt, master woodcarver who started the 'Eagle Cane Project.' Visit to learn more."

Army Mom Times Three

Army Mom Times Three: "Sgt. Marcus C. Mathes, KIA Iraq (also served in Afghanistan), April 28, 2008, laid to rest Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida, May 7, 2008.

Yesterday I attended Sgt. Mathes' funeral in Dade City, Florida. In a private meeting with the family, the Brigadier General sent from Ft. Drum and the Lt. Col. serving as CAO for Julia Mathes, Sgt. Mathes' widow, presented the Purple Heart to Julia and flags in engraved boxes to his parents. I made the Blue Star presentation to Sgt. Mathes' mother, father and to Julia.

The Patriot Guard riders stood proud as they always do --- what a great group of people. I'm getting to know them better at each funeral though I wish I would never see them again. Billboy offered me the back seat of his motorcycle again but this time I didn't 'seize the day.' As soon as the procession started I wished that I had. Next time I will. I wish there would never be a next time."

Eagles Up! - The Road Ahead

Eagles Up! - The Road Ahead: "Also new to the board are former Midwest Coordinator and recently retired, LTC Thomas Helsel (Ret), former Indiana Coordinator and Blue Star Mom Patricia Williams and former Michigan Coordinator and Eagles UP videographer Dennis Evans. These thoughtful and seasoned individuals have distinguished themselves by living the Eagles UP mission while providing their unique gifts and talents, bound within a common framework of love for our troops and belief in our nation. Eagles UP, our troops and our country, are indeed fortunate to have such patriots working diligently on their behalf."

Blue Star Moms honored -

Blue Star Moms honored - San Jose Mercury News: "A son or daughter serving overseas is a fact of life for the Blue Star Moms, guests of honor at Saturday's fourth annual 'Adopt a Military Mom for Mother's Day' luncheon at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park.

Volunteer Grace Witt organized the event for members of the South Bay Blue Star Moms, whose soldier sons and daughters can't be home for Mother's Day. About one-third of the 55 moms on hand this year have a son or daughter deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan; almost all have had children stationed in war zones or overseas. "


The Big Macs: PPS

The Big Macs: PPS: "Back to the PPS's ~ The Blue Star Mothers will be doing a mailing in July and I've promised them as many as we can make, so ~ amongst all my other projects ~ I'll be making these for quite a while."

Military moms march for troops

"GLENS FALLS -- 'They also serve who only stand and wait.'

This final line of John Milton's poem 'On His Blindness' hit home for Dana Marcotte, who has two sons serving in the National Guard.

She is at home, but it is not in her nature to stand and wait, she said, so she joined the Glens Falls Family Readiness Group because the group provides support to the soldiers -- and support for the families as well."

Military moms march for troops ::

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Welcome Home - Cpl John Hyland, Charlotte, NC,

"The Blue Star Mothers, South Piedmont Chapter #4, has invited the PGR to join them in welcoming home CPL John Hyland who was injured in Iraq on Sept. 10th and who has since been at Brooke Army Medical Center. His wife and boys live at Ft. Hood. He was given a handicapped equipped van from Rick Hendricks. This will be CPL Hyland's first trip home in 3 years. His mother is a member of the BSM's Chapter #4."

Welcome Home - Cpl John Hyland, Charlotte, NC, 22 MAY 08 > Patriot Guard Forums - Americans Doing the Right Thing > Patriot Guard Riders:

Local Blue Star Mothers attend state meet

"Four members of Muskogee’s Chapter 3 of Blue Star Mothers recently attended the group’s state convention in Tulsa.

Among the speakers was Marine Corps Sgt. LaDilvia Gregg , 24, who is preparing for her third tour of duty in Iraq.", Muskogee, OK - Local Blue Star Mothers attend state meet:

Teen again sends Girl Scout Cookies to troops | | Spartanburg, S.C.

"By Dudley Brown
Published: Friday, May 9, 2008 Updated: 3:35 pm"
Katlyn McCullough prepares to mail 492 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to soldiers overseas on Thursday. Spartanburg’s Blue Star Mothers gave her the names of local troops who would share the cookies with comrades.

Katlyn McCullough decided to mail Girl Scout Cookies to soldiers serving overseas again this year, but she didn’t have to do as many presentations. People already knew to contact her.
Katlyn, 14, mailed 492 boxes of cookies Thursday afternoon to soldiers. The local Blue Star Mothers chapter gave her the names of local soldiers to whom she could mail the cookies. Those troops will, in turn, share the cookies with others in their units.Last year, Katlyn mailed 477 boxes.“It makes them excited,” Katlyn said. “It’s just a token of appreciation.”

More...Teen again sends Girl Scout Cookies to troops Spartanburg, S.C.:

Blue Star Moms at odds: Lima chapter battles internal suspension

"Blue Star Mothers of America Inc. and its Ohio chapter informed the Lima Blue Star Mothers in an April 10 letter its chapter was suspended for holding an illegal election and ongoing financial problems. Local members dispute the allegations and have sought help from the court to keep the benefits of membership while the dispute is worked out."
More...Blue Star Moms at odds: Lima chapter battles internal suspension:

Memorial should honor war moms

Memorial should honor war moms - St. Petersburg Times: "Memorial should honor war moms
Mother's Day is significant to families in an American tradition we honor and respect. Mothers sacrifice much of their time, considerations and principles in helping guide not only their children, but the entire family.

Now it is time to honor those mothers who sacrifice their children to the war in the Middle East, the thousands of Blue Star Mothers of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gold Star Mothers, whose sons or daughters gave their lives in the war, surely will support this notion.

Rest stops could further embellish the concept with monuments specific to Blue
Star Mothers everywhere.

This idea is not new. Other states have done it. We all need to get together and support this effort. Launch the Blue Star Mothers Memorial Highway Mother's Day 2008."

'He's a wonderful son and I miss him' - Mother of a U.S. soldier

By Darci Jordan
Staff Writer
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Springfield, Ohio — Kathy Cole's Mother's Day wish is for her son to come home safely from Iraq and be with his wife and daughter.
Cory Cole, 26, is serving a second tour of duty in Baghdad, with the United States Army 57th military police company."

"My daughter-in-law also has been a great support. We are friends and I
love her as if she were my own. I also belong to the BSM," she said, referring
to Blue Star Mothers of America, an organization of mothers with children who
have served or are still serving in the military. "We cry with one another,
laugh, hug and are always there for one another."
More...'He's a wonderful son and I miss him' - Mother of a U.S. soldier:

Blue Star Mothers offer support to soldiers' families - Farmington Daily Times

Blue Star Mothers Carla Stimac, left, and Rita Gibson share stories of how members of the veterans service group support each other through the difficulties of having children in the military. (Lucas Ian Coshenet/The Daily Times)

"Blue Star Mothers offer support to soldiers' families
— By Debra Mayeux — The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Mothers don't like to be separated from their children. Even when they are adults, making their own choices, it is difficult to think about them being far away and possibly in danger.
The Blue Star Mothers face this reality every day. Their sons and daughters are in the military stationed on bases far from home, serving in the war in Iraq, or battling terrorists in Afghanistan. This veterans service organization provides support for the parents of U.S soldiers.

"Once you have a child that joins the service, you are automatically a Blue Star Mother, and you remain one forever," said Rita Gibson, president of the local chapter.

Gibson's son, Sgt. Kenneth Gibson, is at Fort Leonardwood, Mo. Injured in Iraq, he is recovering and will not be deployed again for three years.

There are several Blue Star Mothers in San Juan County, and Gibson said she considers all of the young men and women to be her sons and daughters. She teared up when talking about the five servicemen from our area that were killed in active duty, saying that her goal as a Blue Star Mother is to be there offering support for all military families in need.

"One phone call to one person and we're there," Carla Stimac said.

The latest local casualty was Staff Sgt. Kevin Roberts, who was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Stimac's son, Sgt. Gary Groomer, served 15 months in Afghanistan and is in Fort Polk, La. It was not easy for Stimac, when Groomer decided to enlist. He had been a Marine for four years and came home, but after Sept. 11, 2001, he decided to re-enlist in the Army.

"People are supportive, but it's hard," she said. "Every minute of every day, you think about them."
Blue Star Mothers are there to help families through those difficult times and to provide a shoulder when the tears start to fall.

"The ones who are deployed they (the parents) have a hard time. We're there to rub their backs and hold their hands," Gibson said.
She is doing just that for Kim Clemensen. Her son, Spc. Tyler Clemensen is in Iraq. His one-year anniversary of being there on a second deployment was May 5.

"You have your fears and your worries, but you back your children's decision," Clemensen said. "There's ups and downs and worries and fears. It's great to have a group to share that with."

The Blue Star Mothers meet twice a month, once for a business meeting and once to share. They also conduct fundraising activities to supply the troops with different necessities.
When a serviceman is injured and taken to a hospital, he has nothing, not even clothes. The Blue Star Mothers provide them with telephone cards to call their families and with clothing to wear while in the hospital.

A recent fundraiser sponsored by Phone Cards for Freedom and facilitated by Tres Rios Abate, raised $20,000 for the mothers. Of that money, $10,000 will be used for telephone cards. The rest will go toward other types of military support programs.

Blue Star Mothers also helps the families of fallen soldiers.
"When a soldier falls the blue star' turns to gold," Gibson said.
Those families receive a Gold Star banner from the chapter, whenever they are ready to receive it.
"We go by what their (families of fallen soldiers) needs and wishes are — from financial assistance to comfort," Clemensen said.

Official membership in the Blue Star Mothers comes with an annual $10 registration fee. One-half of that money stays with the local organization.
For more information on the Blue Star Mothers visit or call Gibson at, (505) 325-3834. "

More...Blue Star Mothers offer support to soldiers' families - Farmington Daily Times:

Pride and love

"Military moms share stories, tears and words of comfort

By Laura Brown ,
» More from Laura Brown
12:01 a.m. PT May 10, 2008
A string of dog tags and a Marine ring hang from Lou Ann Harkins neck every day.

A mother of seven, she wears the jingling tags as a reminder of her son Eric, 20 a Marine stationed in Afghanistan and Thomas, 22, a Marine who served one tour in Iraq."

More...Nevada County Local News: Pride and love -

Mothers give more in fight for freedom

We don't usually think of Mother's Day as a patriotic holiday, but maybe we should. No other single group in our history has given so much for the freedom and security of this country. "Last May, I was at a Post 4093, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ladies Auxiliary dedication of a Blue Star Mothers memorial. As I listened, I learned what it was like to be the mother of a serviceperson serving in a war. The fear that her son or daughter might not come back. Or the other fear, that he or she might come back broken either in body or spirit." - The Monroe Evening News, Monroe, MI:

Military family is home for Mother's Day

"This Mother's Day will be an extra special one for an Albuquerque military mom when not one, but two of her sons serving over seas returns home.
Linda Adams' son, Daniel, returned home to a warm welcome at the Sunport by his mom and other Blue Star Mothers. But this won't be Linda's only welcoming back ceremony.
Her other son, Specialist Andrew Adams, will fly in Sunday. He has been serving in Iraq." - Military family is home for Mother's Day:

Lawyers for Warriors: Blue Star Mothers - Wounded Warrior Committee

"The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. is a non-partisan, non-political organization of mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military, supporting each other and their children.

Among its projects is a Wounded Warrior Committee that seeks to provide families with practical proactive approaches to pre-deployment family planning, preparing families for an unexpected emergency."

More...Lawyers for Warriors: Blue Star Mothers - Wounded Warrior Committee:

Rally for troops set in Milford for May 17

"MILFORD – A father and daughter, both veterans and members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, are behind a 'Support the Troops' rally sponsored by the Harley-Sanford Post 4368 and scheduled for Saturday, May 17, on the Oval.

'It's pure support for the troops, no political agenda,' said Barry Norton, a Vietnam War veteran."

The rally is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer and guest speakers, including Gold Star and Blue Star mothers from across the state. Families are invited to bring pictures of their loved ones serving in the Middle East. Rally for troops set in Milford for May 17:

Letter lost 5 years may find its writer serving in Iraq

"When Ted Wagner was a Downey High School junior, he wrote a letter to a soldier serving in Iraq. It was March 2003 and the war had just begun. Wagner wanted to show his support. He thanked the unknown soldier for his service and bravery. The letter also expressed confidence in a U.S. victory.

Somewhere between good intentions and delivery, the letter got lost. The local Red Cross just found it and turned it over to Debbie Katsounakis, president of the Central Valley chapter of Blue Star Mothers and Families. The organization is a support group for the loved ones of serving GIs.
Katsounakis has forwarded Wagner's letter to Iraq. It may even arrive in time to reach Wagner himself, who is serving his second tour of duty with the Marines.
Wagner's mom, Kathy Wagner- Habina, didn't know about the letter, but said that's the kind of young man her son is. She said he joined the Marines because "he just felt like he wanted to help and do something for his country. I took him and (his younger brother) Brett to the recruiters when they were 14 and 15 years old."
Wagner comes home May 23."

More...The Modesto Bee Letter lost 5 years may find its writer serving in Iraq:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wright-Patterson's 'Freedom's Call' Tattoo set for June 27

"While Wright-Patterson's annual 'Freedom's Call' Tattoo includes music, aircraft flyovers, presentations and fireworks, this year's show is the first to include a major musical entertainer: The Charlie Daniels Band. It will also present a chance to honor local organizations for their support of the troops, as well as feature unique aerial demonstrations.

He said the show is designed this year to 'thank' the families and those organizations that help support the troops serving our country and their families. In doing so, five local organizations will be recognized for the services they provide to troops and their families: Blue Star Mothers (Miami Valley Chapter #3), Sew Much Comfort, The Hugs Project, The Thank You Foundation and Heroes Welcoming Heroes. These organizations all support deployed troops and their families in different ways, such as sending care packages, altering clothing to allow for wear with prosthetics and honoring the deployed member and their families upon their return. "

More...Wright-Patterson's 'Freedom's Call' Tattoo set for June 27:

Gift collection salutes moms of guardsmen

"YUKON — A Yukon mother wants to be sure mothers of Oklahoma guardsmen across the state know how appreciated they are this Mother's Day.
Pam Hilliard is collecting donations to buy a gift for the guardsmen's mothers throughout the state.

About 2,600 Oklahoma guardsmen are deployed overseas, Hilliard said, so she expects she'll need about that many gifts. She's collected enough money for about 90 gifts.
The American Legion is collecting the money, so donations are tax-deductible, Hilliard said.
The gifts are distributed by family readiness groups and the Blue Star Mothers."

Gift collection salutes moms of guardsmen

A Southern Missive » Songs for Memorial Day

"On Memorial Day, I’ll be performing songs at Kiroli Park for the Blue Star Mothers, their friends and family. I’m working on my song list now and I hope the ones I choose will inspire and comfort the families who attend. The Blue Star Mothers are mothers of military service men and women. You can read more of this organization here:"

A Southern Missive » Songs for Memorial Day:

Pavers serve as reminders

"FLORENCE - At the Boone County Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the Florence Government Center, 44 active duty military personnel are being thought of by their mothers, members of the Blue Star Mothers of America, through brick pavers, which carry the etching of their name, rank, and branch.
The brick pavers were planted into the surrounding memorial on May 2 with the help of Florence Rotary Club members and students from Boone County Schools Alternative Center for Education.
Lorene Friedman, secretary for Blue Star Mothers local chapter, has two grandsons serving in the military. She said the design of the memorial, located in front of the Florence Government Center, makes it the perfect place to visit, reflect, and pray."

Community Press - Pavers serve as reminders:

Continue The Ride...

"Saturday May 24th Memorial Day Weekend Poker Run.
Marshall High ROTC & BLue Star Mothers Hosting a poker run.
Registration begins at 10:00 at Gene Lummus Harley Davidson, Coffee &
Pastries provided by the Buckhorn, Prayer for our Veterans, Blessing of the
Bikes, last bike out at 11:00. Proceeds to Blue Star Mothers (for The Vet's
place; homeless shelter), VFW, PGR Fallen Warrior Scholarship Fund & The

Blogs » The Premier Online Motorcycle Community Continue The Ride...:

Hotels Drafted Into Military Service

"The 134-room Hallmark Inn located in downtown Davis is known for being located in the “heart of the biotech region and only four blocks from UC Davis, 16 restaurants and 14 movie screens.” But the California property also has a connection with the highly popular “Band of Brothers” book and television series.
A periodical guest is Ed Pepping, who was the “Doc” in both the TV series and the book.
“The Hallmark hosts his stay each time out of respect for what he did in serving our country,” says the facility’s public relations representative, Patty Young Claus of Edelman."

"The hotel also supplies shampoo, mouthwash and other essentials to the Blue Star Moms, a local organization that sends 300 care packages a month to current service men and women.
Hotels serving the military are a long-standing tradition that remains in effect today -- as illustrated not only by the Hallmark."

More...Hotels Drafted Into Military Service:

Out & About calendar | Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter

Out & About calendar Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter: "Lakeshore Blue Star Families, 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at the Best Western Lakefront Hotel, Manitowoc."

Cheering from the Hart

Santa Clarita Magazine - Cheering from the Hart: "The cheerleaders were thrilled to have this opportunity. The team has also worked with the non-profit organization, Cell Phones For Soldiers. They collected over 140 used cell phones from their families and friends within the community. The phones were exchanged for prepaid calling cards that were then given to our U.S. troops. The cheerleaders also worked with the Blue Star Moms and assisted with making Valentine’s Day cards for our soldiers in Iraq. One of our brave soldiers returned a letter thanking the squad for all their support. Hart Cheer Publicity Coordinator, Emily Chiominto, stated, “Community service is important. We wanted them to give back to our community and be good examples and good role models. In return, our team became even more united.”"

Community calendar | | Reno Gazette-Journal

Community calendar Reno Gazette-Journal: "Blue Star Mothers: Support group for mother's of military children. Meet at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 13. Where: Silver Oak Golf Course, 1251 Country Club Dr., Carson City. Cost: Free. Details:"


The Herald-Zeitung: "Representatives were honored from other organizations at Friday’s ceremony, including the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, the New Braunfels Rotary Club, East Side Baptist Church, The Herald-Zeitung, KGNB, Bill Biggadike & Associates Landscape Lighting Designs, Inc., Comal Independent School District, ERA D. Lee Edwards Realty, Inc., Blue Star Moms of Canyon Lake, New Braunfels Downtown Association and New Braunfels Welding Supply."

Funds for goodie baskets

"Commander Post 5307 and Vice Chairman of the Mayes County Veterans Council Walter Kloster presents Pam Buffington, President of the Blue Star Mothers Chapter 18, with a $1,000 check. The Mayes County Veterans Council and Monday Forum donated the money to the Blue Star Moms to send goodie baskets to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for Memorial Weekend."

Pryor Daily Times - Funds for goodie baskets:

Show Your Patriotism With Kingwood Rotary Clubs 'Flags Across Kingwood' Program

"Give your family, street, and neighborhood a gift of patriotism with flags from the Rotary Club of Kingwood.

The Rotary Club of Kingwood, as a way to fund its many community service and educational projects, started a new fundraiser, Flags Across Kingwood. With a contribution of $50 annually, the Rotary Club of Kingwood places a 3’ x 5’ American flag, which is made in the U.S.A., on an 8 ft. pole in your front yard, or at your place of business, on the following holidays: Memorial Day (May 26th), 4th of July, September 11th, and Veterans Day. Check with your accountant…your $50 yearly subscription fee may be tax deductible. Each flag will be placed close to the curb in your yard a few days before, and removed a few days following, each of the four holidays. Installation, removal, storage, and maintenance are provided by the Rotary Club of Kingwood."

Locally, the proceeds of this program will be used to support our scholarship
program for local students, the Humble ISD Education Foundation, Lake Houston
YMCA, FamilyTime Foundation, Humble ISD Science Fair, Blue Star Moms, our area
Humble ISD High School Interact Clubs, sending local students to Rotary Youth
Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp, and many more.

More... Kingwood Now - Show Your Patriotism With Kingwood Rotary Clubs 'Flags Across Kingwood' Program:

Gov Jindel Reception in Louisiana

Governor and Mrs Bobby Jindel had a reception honoring the Blue and Gold Star Moms along with Mike, a young man who lost fingers and a leg in Iraq. He is going to ride a bike across country in honor and promotion of Veterans needs.

Shown are Gov Jindel with Betty Ault and other Blue Star Mothers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Health Insurance for Kids

Delaware County Chamber of Commerce coordinated the coalition that includes representatives from the business community, insurance companies, the Delaware County Medical Society, CrozerKeystone Health System, Mercy Health System, Riddle Memorial Hospital, Delaware County Intermediate Unit and the school districts it represents, United Way, Goodwill Industries, PathwaysPA, the PA Dept. of Health, the county Library System, ChesPENN Health Services, Coalition of Delaware County Governments, Head Start, other key social service agencies and concerned citizens.

"Council Vice-Chair John Whelan welcomed Philadelphia Chapter Blue Star Mothers President Marian Moran of Middletown, who had been instrumental in establishing the chapter in Delaware County. Moran's son is U.S. Navy Aviator Lt. Kevin Moran. Accompanying Moran was Upper Darby Township chapter member Jeanne Koroly whose son is U.S. Navy Aviator Lt. Robert Koroly."
The Blue Star Service Flag is an official banner authorized by the Dept. of Defense. Families and associations who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of U. S. war or hostilities may display the Blue Star Flag. A gold star replaces the blue star for any military member that dies or is killed while in service.

Military Moms Cope With Sons, Daughters Overseas

View Video

"(CBS News) For women with sons or daughters serving overseas, Mother's Day can be hard to celebrate. Still, a group of proud mothers is doing their best to get by.

"It's not an easy holiday, it's one that the whole nation celebrates. But we can celebrate it together in a special way," said Cindy McLean. McLean is part of a unique group of mothers that call themselves "Blue Star Mothers."

Each of the mothers in the group has a son or daughter serving overseas. They gather at the Lake Elmo Inn to show support for one another. Each mother knows exactly what the other is going through.

"We'll cry a lot. I mean that's a given with the moms, is cry. And there'll be lots of hugs and thery'll be lots of laughter," said McLean. "

The Blue Stars celebrate Mother's Day a day ahead of time. They do this because on Mother's Day, they will be waiting by their phones hoping to get a call from their son or daughter. "God forbid you should miss the phone call. That's happened before for me. Get home and get a voicemail. It just rips your heart that he got a chance to call and I wasn't there," said McLean. Until Sunday arrives, they will lean on each other. These ladies know their soldiers are here in spirit, and in cardboard cut-outs. The moms designed "heroes on a stick" which show a picture of their soldier. "We started doing that for parades a few years ago to support our group and let other mothers know we are here," said McLean. Josette Bradley does not have a cardboard cut-out. Instead, she has what other Blue Star moms are hoping for. Her son Clint recently returned home from Iraq. "I'm thrilled and I am so happy that he is here," said Bradley. For other moms the wait continues. Of course, waiting is a lot easier when you can do it together. "When these kids enlist, we don't realize it, but we're enlisting too. We go along for the ride," said McLean. This is the second year the St. Paul Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers has met in Lake Elmo. The mothers say that next to Christmas, Mother's Day is the hardest holiday to be away from their kids. - Military Moms Cope With Sons, Daughters Overseas:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chrysler Kicks Off Military Appreciation Month

"By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

DETROIT, May 5, 2008 – Patriotism was in full gear at the Chrysler headquarters today, as hundreds gathered inside the star-spangled atrium of the automaker’s main hub to honor America’s men and women in uniform."

With each name Smith read, a camo-clad servicemember on the second story of the
circular plaza draped a flag with a blue star over the railing. A tradition
since World War I, the blue flag is a symbol displayed by family members in
remembrance of their loved ones serving in harm’s way. In a somber postscript to
the presentation, the family of Army Master Sgt. William Balinski accepted a
flag embroidered with a gold star.

DefenseLink News Article: America Supports You: Chrysler Kicks Off Military Appreciation Month: