Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mary Duty- Making sure Christmas isn't blue for our troops overseas

"Friday, December 25, 2009
The other night I got an e-mail that contained photographs of boxes loaded into Apache helicopters headed for bases somewhere overseas.
Bullets? Grenades? Nope!
The photos showed that more than 125 boxes of treats and “time-passers” from Central Texas made it all the way to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
VFW Post 6008 provided shipping for all the donations. The Heart of Texas Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America collected, packaged and processed the goodies."
This year was particularly difficult. Many people gave us a grim prognosis for our annual holiday package program. Most of the naysayers’ arguments were based on the economic pain that our community has been experiencing with the recession. I’ll admit some of us were worried a bit, but we couldn’t let Christmas go by without at least trying.
Thanks to the Tribune-Herald and our Clear Channel Radio stations, Blue Star Mothers got the word out about collecting items for our troops.
Donations poured in from all over the region, given from a place in the heart that cherishes service and sacrifice. Some donors have children overseas or had once served in faraway places themselves. Many spoke to us of knowing the loneliness of a holiday spent in a war zone. Some knew what it was like to gather around that Christmas dinner table that was missing a child or a father or a mother.
The list of churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals who helped us is far too long to publish here, but you know who you are. Thank you and God bless you all.
So with the holiday period at last here, as we immerse ourselves merrily in tinsel and twinkling lights, imagine what your donations have done.
You have brought the warmth and love of home to men and women who find themselves in harm’s way during this season of peace. You took time in October and November to remember those on the front lines. Because of your generosity, this week soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will receive packages that bring the good wishes and heartfelt prayers of our community.
I remember a photograph that we got from our son after his first Christmas in Iraq. Proudly displayed on his bunk was an array of treats in a Christmas stocking. There were cards, cookies, candy, cigars and games. It was a modest assortment by United States standards. But the faces of those men told it all. For just a few minutes, combat missions and IEDs were faraway thoughts. Those boxes brought the smells and tastes of home. I saw smiles all around.
May your holiday be blessed, and when your celebrations begin, please know that you have shown our troops that they are both loved and appreciated.
Mary Duty, co-owner of Poppa Rollo’s Pizza, is president of the Heart of Texas Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America.

Mary Duty, Christmas guest column: Making sure Christmas isn't blue for our troops overseas:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Homecomings, goings for local military personnel


DREW WILKINS DWILKINS@KJCT8.COM

GRAND JUNCTION, CO --Most of us take for granted getting to see friends and family during the holidays.
For members of the military, every minute spent with loved ones is looked at as a gift. For PFC. Jose Martz, Monday's trip home was an early present for his family.
Patriot Guard riders lined the entrance of the airport terminal with flags late Monday morning, an indication the guest of honor was about to walk in.
Family and friends waited anxiously, until finally PFC. Martz arrived. Tears and hugs told the story of a group of loved ones happy to have their Marine back for the holidays

more... Homecomings, goings for local military personnel - KJCT8.com - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports

Blue Star Mothers were also at the airport for the arrival early Monday.
Of course they frequently send care packages to troops overseas as well as support military families and veterans. If you'd like to help them out with a donation, visit their website:
http://gvbluestarmothers.org/default.aspx

Monday, December 21, 2009

Military service separates families at Christmas


"For most families, Christmas is a time of joy, of celebration, of gathering with loved ones to sing carols, share gifts and rejoice in the warm embrace of family."
For some Upstate families, though, there’s something missing this holiday season, one hole in the scene around the tree – a family member deployed.
“When he’s deployed, he’s constantly on our minds,” said Joyce Stanford, whose son Scott is currently in Afghanistan. “But I think during the holiday season when you have more family around, that’s that one person that’s missing.
“You’ve got gifts for them under the tree, but they just stay there until they get home,” she said.
Lillian Flemming feels that absence three times over. The mother of 10 has three sons currently serving overseas in South Korea, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
“This will be the first Christmas that none of them have been near home in all of their lives,” she said of Emanuel, J.M. II and adopted son Davit Gooseby.
For Flemming and her husband, J.M., it’ll be an altogether different holiday without a table full of people.


Military service separates families at Christmas greenvilleonline.com The Greenville News:

Soldier's mom gets homecoming holiday surprise in San Jose

"SAN JOSE, CA (KGO) -- One Blue Star mom received a wonderful Christmas surprise Saturday.
She went to Mineta-San Jose International Airport to welcome home troops returning from Afghanistan and what she did not know was that her daughter was one of the soldiers coming home.
The surprise arrival of Army Sgt. Aimee Magnus was a secret operation complete with a codename. San Jose Blue Star moms help set up the reunion that was greeted with yells, smiles and tears."

more... Soldier's mom gets homecoming holiday surprise in San Jose - 12/19/09 - San Francisco News - abc7news.com:

Community Calendar - Tribune Chronicle - Warren, OH

"- Warren Township Blue Star Mothers, 1 p.m., Johnson Community Center. Ida 330-872-3566."
10,000th coat to be given away - TribToday.com - News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Tribune Chronicle - Warren, OH:

Help DPNM & Blue Star Mothers Send Holiday Care Packages to NM Troops

Find the Good inside you this Holiday Season—


Give to the Heroes inside NM

Donate Goods for our New Mexico Troops

Blue Star Mothers’ Holiday Goods Drive for our New Mexico Troops overseas!



The Democratic Party of New Mexico is hosting a Goods Drive with Blue Star Mothers of New Mexico. We’ll be working together to get personalized care packages to our New Mexico Troops currently serving overseas.



Come out to donate between now and December 19th or come and help us pack on December 19th between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM at DPNM HQ! It’s time to find the good inside us all!



Come to DPNM headquarters located at 1301 San Pedro NE in Albuquerque and bring dry foods, necessities (click for list) and donations for postage. Contact DPNM at 505-830-3650 or info@nmdemocrats.org for more information or to donate.

American Legion Auxiliary, Billy Peterson Unit 165 and Nancy Hansen « Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers Blog

"On behalf of the Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers-CT3 and the Scholarship Committee, we would like to thank the American Legion Auxiliary, Billy Peterson Unit 165 and Nancy Hansen from Wolcott, CT for their very generous donation of $500.00 to our Scholarship fund. It is very much appreciated."American Legion Auxiliary, Billy Peterson Unit 165 and Nancy Hansen « Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers Blog:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Support Our Troops by Sending Care Packages Topped Off with Handwritten Notes and Cards

"Recently the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of Blue Star Mothers shipped 780 of Christmas Care Packages to the Troops stationed around the world. Most packages were addressed to men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Along with hygiene items, snacks, and special goodies, each box was filled with messages of appreciation and encouragement.
The scene at the Troops Support Center resembled organized elves packing up presents in Santa’s workshop and loading his sleigh."

more... Linda Jewell Blog Spot: Support Our Troops by Sending Care Packages Topped Off with Handwritten Notes and Cards:

Blue Star Mothers did it again


"By Melody Reader
Published:
Friday, December 11, 2009 2:09 PM CST
Henryetta Free Lance

Mounds Post Office had a full schedule the first weekend of December as they labeled the 500 boxes that the Chapter 10 Blue Star Mothers provided for troops overseas during the holidays.

Blue Star Moms have been assembling and packing the boxes since mid-November with around 400 boxes packed at Green Country Vo-Tech in Okmulgee and around 100 boxes packed at TCC in Jenks."

more... Sapulpa Herald Online > Archives > News > Blue Star Mothers did it again:

Congressman Sestak Speaks at Blue Star Mothers Luncheon

"Congressman Sestak Speaks at Blue Star Mothers Luncheon
March 21, 2009
ESSINGTON, PA—On March 21, 2009, Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-07) spoke at the Blue Star Mothers Luncheon in Essington, Pa., about the dedication of military families and his efforts to care for active service members, veterans, and their families. The Congressman was introduced by Philadelphia Chapter President Marian Moran."

more... Congressman Sestak Speaks at Blue Star Mothers Luncheon >> Representative Joe Sestak:

Londonderry Wreaths Across America Ceremony “Wreaths of Remembrance” – Londonderry NH net


"Londonderry Wreaths Across America Ceremony “Wreaths of Remembrance”At 9:30am on Sunday December 6, 2009 five Blue Star Mothers held the first Londonderry Wreaths Across America Ceremony on the historic Londonderry Town Common.
Opening with a minute of silence to remember the fallen, the prisoners of war, the missing in action and honor those who have served and are serving this great nation’s armed services, the common was still with monuments draped with fresh snow. Following an opening prayer Joanne Paradis spoke on behalf of the Mothers."

More... Londonderry Wreaths Across America Ceremony “Wreaths of Remembrance” – Londonderry NH net:

Zerorez® of Albuquerque and Blue Star Mothers team up to Support Troops

"Give the gift of clean carpet and help support our troops this holiday season.

Flyline Search Marketing client Zerorez® of Albuquerque has teamed up with the Rio Grande Valley chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. to create care packages for deployed soldiers.

Schedule a regular cleaning during the month of December and Zerorez® of Albuquerque will provide one of the following additional services FREE of charge in exchange for a cash or in-kind donation to the Blue Star Mothers."

Atlanta Search Engine Marketing: Zerorez® of Albuquerque and Blue Star Mothers team up to Support Troops:

Care packages sent to Rogers County soldiers by Chelsea student groups

"Staff
Claremore Daily Progress

December 12, 2009 —
Thirty-five care packages left the Chelsea Post Office on Dec. 7 headed to troops from the Rogers County area that are serving all over the world.

These care packages were part of a group effort that involved many organizations and classes at Chelsea Public Schools.
“I am so impressed by the way the many different classes and organizations in our school came together to make this happen,” said Liberty Shere, business and information technology instructor at Chelsea High School.
Classes from McIntosh Elementary, Art Goad Elementary and the high school raised money to cover postage on the care packages. "

more... Claremore Daily Progress - Care packages sent to Rogers County soldiers by Chelsea student groups:

South Bend Tribune: In Support

"SOUTH BEND — Blue Star Mothers, whose children serve or have served in the Armed Forces, 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month, Room 106 at Grace United Methodist Church, 3012 S. Twyckenham Drive, South Bend. Call Deb Meyer at (574) 233-6326."

South Bend Tribune: In Support:

First Oklahoma City IMAX theater celebrating grand opening Friday with “Avatar” | BAM's Blog

"AMC Entertainment Inc. and IMAX Corp. are marking the opening of Oklahoma City’s first IMAX Theater, the AMC Quail Springs Mall 24 IMAX, with a grand opening celebration Friday to benefit the Blue Star Mothers of America.
Oklahoma City residents are invited to attend the IMAX Grand Opening Celebration from 6 o 8 p.m. Friday at Quail Springs Mall, directly in front of the theater box office. Attendees are asked to bring an item to donate to care packages for U.S. service men and women stationed overseas.
Suggested items for donation include individually wrapped food items, prepaid phone cards, socks, travel-size hygiene productions, gum, candy, small toys and DVDs."

more...First Oklahoma City IMAX theater celebrating grand opening Friday with “Avatar” BAM's Blog:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Star Gives Military Families Strength During Holiday Season

"Monday, the American Legion honored local military families by presenting them with a blue star banner -- a symbol that their son or daughter is currently serving in the military. Several of those families say as they get ready to spend the holiday season without their children, that banner means much more.
Reporter: Tim Ciesco
Email Address: tim.ciesco@nbc11news.com"

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) -- Monday, the American Legion honored local military families by presenting them with a blue star banner -- a symbol that their son or daughter is currently serving in the military. Several of those families say as they get ready to spend the holiday season without their children, that banner means much more.
The proud new owners of a blue star banner, Carl and Jan Schlueter say it was a special but emotional night. Their son Casey is currently serving in the Air Force and is getting ready for his second tour of duty in Iraq.
more... Star Gives Military Families Strength During Holiday Season:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vodka for Veterans

"If you happen to enjoy a martini or two, there's a local brand that will help veterans, too."
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - If you happen to enjoy a martini or two, there's a local brand that will help veterans, too.
Last year, we met Joe Nedlin, a war veteran from Aspen who had a vision to make great beverages while helping veterans at the same time.When 11 News talked to him last year, his holiday spirit, Joka Vodka, was just taking off.
Not only is it a top-shelf liquor, Nedlin says all of its profits are sent directly to veterans.
Now, it's becoming a local phenomenon, especially at the VFW post on Ute Avenue where it's the only vodka they have.
Manager Jennifer Kemp says she is proud to serve it, 'Because 100% of the profit goes to support returning veterans, so that's why we sell it here."
Instead of the hundreds of vodkas they could be selling, they decided on the one with the dogtags.
One local organization has done great things because of the liquor's success, the Blue Star Mothers has gathered hundreds of dollars from the vodka's sales.
With that, help veterans at the Grand Junction V.A. Medical Center.
11 News is not condoning or encouraging anyone to consume any alcoholic beverages, but if you enjoy drinking this particular spirit around the holidays, try Joka, and help raise the spirits of local veterans at the same time.
Joka Vodka can be found for about $25 at most local liquor stores.

More...Vodka for Veterans:

GJ Participates in Wreaths Across America


Photo: Grand Valley Blue Star Mothers president Sherry Verdieck helps lay thosands of wreaths at the Veterans Cemetery.

"Saturday, Veterans' cemeteries across the country honored those who have served, and they did it by laying thousands of Christmas wreaths on graves."

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)- Saturday, Veterans' cemeteries across the country honored those who have served, and they did it by laying thousands of Christmas wreaths on graves.
Veterans and active military braved the cold to honor the brave men and woman who served our country here in Grand Junction.Servicemen say that the fallen vets fought through worse weather and the least they could do was tough it out for a few hours to honor them.



Video
More ...GJ Participates in Wreaths Across America####:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

‘You would be so proud of today'


"A small crowd at Jacksonville’s Coastal Veterans Cemetery joined thousands at 400 locations across the country to lay wreaths upon the graves of loved ones who served.
For the fourth consecutive year, a spectrum of community members came to observe the Wreaths Across America tradition, including war veterans and active-duty service members, gold star wives and blue star mothers, and teenage Civil Air Patrol Cadets."

You would be so proud of today' crowd, jacksonville, proud - News - ENCToday:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Overseas holiday mail is due today - The Elkhart Truth - Elkhart, IN

"ELKHART -- Today is the first deadline for holiday packages and letters being sent to military personnel overseas.
Anyone using the United States Postal Service to send first-class or priority mail to select Air/Army Post Offices or Fleet Post Offices in AE ZIP Code 093 must mail them today to ensure they reach their destination for the holidays. Most other packages and letters have a Dec. 11 deadline.
Mail being sent to military and civilian personnel deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom should:
* Use the service member's full name
* Include the unit and APO/FPO address with the nine-digit ZIP Code. Click-N-Ship customers should be advised the USPS and military will continue to add and update valid APO/FPO addresses for online labels.
* Include a return address."


Senders must mail items to specific service members. People without a specific service member in mind to send items to can contact Lisa Swann with the Blue Star Moms at lisaswann@verizon.net. A group from Blue Star will be putting together packages to be mailed to veterans on Dec. 14. People that contact Swann by Dec. 11 can make arrangements to have their items included in the packages.

Overseas holiday mail is due today - The Elkhart Truth - Elkhart, IN:

Swimming, ice skating, shopping, parade--all happening today in Pleasanton

"All day today at Thriving Ink's new store on Main Street, Brenda Dronkers and her family have put together $10-value care packages which they'll send to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Blue Star Moms organization for every $30 worth of purchases, and in the customer's name."
more... Pleasanton Weekly : Swimming, ice skating, shopping, parade--all happening today in Pleasanton:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blue Star Mothers Night at Chili's

"A local group wants to give back to the families of our brave men and women who do so much for us all, and they're asking for your help to do it."
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A local group wants to give back to the families of our brave men and women who do so much for us all, and they're asking for your help to do it.
Monday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Chili's in Grand Junction will donate 10 percent of each bill paired with a flyer to the Blue Star Mothers.
The organization says all proceeds will go to a special fund that helps local military families in crisis.
A Blue Star Mothers Night flyer must be presented at the restaurant for the donation to be made.
To download a flyer, click the link below.

Blue Star Mothers Night at Chili's:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Danbury military museum gets its blue star

"During World War II, families who had a son or a daughter serving in the armed forces hung a read and white banner in their window with a blue star in the center.
If the soldier or sailor was lost in the war, the blue star was replaced with a gold star.
When the Military Museum of Southern New England in Danbury started gathering artifacts for a new display on the home front, it needed a World War II blue star banner to hang next to the gold star banner it already had."
Millions of the blue star banners hung across the nation during the 1940s, so it was thought finding one would be easy. Wrong.
Like so many reminders of war, they'd been discarded or packed away in boxes and forgotten by a nation eagerly embracing peacetime.
Word of the search reached Bethel resident Pat Wilson-Perkins, president of the Blue Star Mothers Northern Fairfield Chapter, which serves Putnam County, N.Y., and this part of Connecticut.
She located Miguel Espinosa of Danbury, a World War II veteran and former president of the Rotary Club of Danbury. Espinosa still had the blue star his mother proudly hung in Mexico City while awaiting his return.
more...
Danbury military museum gets its blue star - NewsTimes:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

With A Little Help From My Friends : Parents Zone

"When I first began with the Blue Star Moms, I wasn’t sure about how we were going to get things going as far as packages for the Troops or our Wounded Warriors. Things have moved so fast in a positive direction that I know that being a part of this, even beginning this Chapter, is something I was supposed to do. I know that may sound silly to some, but I am a firm believer that if you are meant to do something in life then the Universe will allow you to succeed. If you truly want to accomplish anything, feel it in your heart, it will come your way, in one manner or another, you will get what you need. By giving you receive." more With A Little Help From My Friends : Parents Zone:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wreaths Across America in Londonderry Sunday – Londonderry NH net


"The Blue Star Mothers are going to have a wreath ceremony on the Historic Londonderry Town Common Sunday, Dec. 6 at 9:30 am. This is part of the Wreaths Across America ceremony, also known as “Wreaths of Remembrance” to honor America’s fallen warriors, POWs, MIAs, and all who have served or are serving."

Wreaths Across America in Londonderry Sunday – Londonderry NH net:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mothers send worries, supplies to troops overseas

"HIGHLANDS RANCH - Mother's worry. That's what they do. Yet, when you're a mother like Brooke Pilkington, you find yourself worrying more than most."


9NEWS.com Colorado's Online News Leader Mothers send worries, supplies to troops overseas:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Coping while loved ones serve - KJCT8.com - Grand Junction


"GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -- For military families the holidays can be one of the most difficult times of the year.
Sherry Verdick's son was in the service for four years--staying busy is what helped her get through it.
'When our son wasn't here at Christmas time I would go out and help somebody else in the community during Christmas,' she says, 'because that was my way of not concentrating on the fact that he wasn't here.'
She's also part of the Blue Star Mothers, a support group for military families."

more... Coping while loved ones serve - KJCT8.com - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports :

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cromwell Residents Offer Thanks To Troops During Holiday Season -- Courant.com

"CROMWELL — - 'We are thinking of you.'

'Thank you for keeping us safe.'

'Keep up the good work.'

The words were as simple as the meeting room they were spoken in Wednesday evening at town hall. But every syllable came from the heart.

One by one, they sat at the wooden table that held a microphone and tape recorder. Jennifer Donohue; her daughter, Kathryn Goldner, 9; and son, Patrick Goldner, 12, were all a little nervous. But although they had no specific service member in mind as they leaned in to speak, they knew it was important to let the troops know they were thinking of them."...

..."The messages that people are sending will be uploaded to a computer file and continuously broadcasted between songs on CNX during the holidays. Because the station can be accessed globally, the greetings will reach many different listeners, said Clark, including U.S. soldiers on military bases throughout the world.Among those who came out Wednesday were Cromwell residents Cecile Fazio and Gail (Slover) Arcari and Marlborough resident Jean Jordan — all members of the Middlesex County chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America Inc."The reason I joined [Blue Star] is because I needed to stay busy while my son was serving, and I just got so caught up in the group," said Fazio, who son, Angelo, is serving his second tour in Iraq with the Army.

More... Cromwell Residents Offer Thanks To Troops During Holiday Season -- Courant.com:

Mom cherishes chance to spend day with son


"CALEDONIA - Beth Nelson was elated when her daughter-in-law called to invite her for Thanksgiving.
This will be the first Thanksgiving in four years that Beth Nelson has spent with her son, Tyler.
Tyler Nelson, 25, has spent the past three Thanksgivings overseas.
Three years ago he was stationed at an Army base in Vicenza, Italy preparing for deployment to Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne.
The next year, he was in Afghanistan, where he awoke to the sound of mortar blasts, he would tell his mother during a Thanksgiving Day chat."

more... WITH VIDEO: Mom cherishes chance to spend day with son:

Grand Strand groups' gifts brighten U.S. troops' holidays


"If those in the military don't receive any holiday cheer this season, it won't be for lack of efforts by folks on the Grand Strand homefront.
Area volunteers including local chapters of national organizations and grass-roots groups are doing their best to gather goodies to brighten the holidays of troops serving overseas and stateside.
Members of the Grand Strand Blue Star Mothers and Coastal Carolina Blue Star Mothers were busy last week packing more than 60 boxes with homemade cookies, toiletries, current movies and more for mailing in time for Christmas delivery."

more... Grand Strand groups' gifts brighten U.S. troops' holidays - Local - TheSunNews.com:

Blue Stars fill sweet tooths | soldiers, donations, danby


"Though they may enjoy the military's version of turkey and cranberry today, some U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere may truly give thanks in about a week.
That thanks will be for Doritos, Rice Krispie Treats, hygiene products and other everyday items the Tri County Blue Star Moms chapter collected and gave to Beale Air Force Base soldiers on Wednesday.
Lori Danby, president of the chapter covering Yuba, Sutter and Colusa counties, said soldiers in Afghanistan have encountered difficulties in getting household snacks, toiletries and related items because supply lines are limited and security for civilian contractors is tight."

more...Blue Stars fill sweet tooths soldiers, donations, danby - Local News - Appeal-Democrat:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Everest Self Storage Supports Military Families With Food and Clothing Drive

"Everest Self Storage in California is partnering with Blue Star Mothers of America Inc. to collect food, clothing and living items for military families. Everest will also donate a unit to store the collected items until they’re distributed.
Volunteers from Blue Star Mothers will be at three Everest Self Storage facilities—Anaheim, El Segundo and Rosemead—to collect the items on Nov. 27. The drive will focus on collecting food, toys, hygiene products and cleaning supplies.
Blue Star Mothers is a non-partisan, non-political organization of mothers who now have or have had children honorably serving in the military.
Everest Storage owns and manages self-storage facilities throughout the United States and in Canada under the brand name, Advantage Self Storage."

Everest Self Storage Supports Military Families With Food and Clothing Drive:

Mothers Of Fallen Triad Soldiers Honored

"JAMESTOWN, N.C. -- Piedmont mothers who lost their children in military action were honored over the weekend for their sacrifice.
Parents gathered for the 'Blue to Gold Memorial Ceremony' which honored fallen soldiers and their families. Blue Star mothers, who have sons or daughters currently serving or who have served in the military, paid tribute to Gold Star mothers, who have lost a son or daughter in war."

more...Mothers Of Fallen Triad Soldiers Honored - Winston-Salem News Story - WXII The Triad:

includes video.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mom aims to transform her grief with wreaths


"By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM
New Hampshire Sunday News Staff


MANCHESTER – As a military funeral coordinator, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James Dixon's mission was to honor those who serve and comfort those who grieve.
Now Dixon's mother wants to honor her son in similar fashion.
Anne Chouinard of Manchester is hoping to raise enough money to place at least 650 Christmas wreaths on graves at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. That's where Dixon conducted military honors at funerals.
It's also his final resting place. Dixon was killed in a car crash on May 9...
She was inspired after seeing a 2007 photo of wreath-covered graves at the
cemetery on the Web site of the Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire


...On Saturday, Dec. 5, volunteers from the Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire and from veterans' groups will place the wreaths on as many graves as possible.
Chouinard especially wants to decorate Section 4 of the cemetery, where so many service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, including her son's classmate, Michael Ouellette. James Dixon is buried beside Ouellette.
But she wants to decorate other veterans' graves too -- "the ones that have no families and there's no one to remember them.""

more...Mom aims to transform her grief with wreaths - Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blue Star Mothers ensure that troops are not forgotten

"On Christmas Day in Iraq and Afghanistan, some U.S. troops will wake up to a decorated pine tree from Clifton Springs in Ontario County. There will be cards and gifts, as well."
It's "a taste of home for Christmas," says Bobbie Metcalfe of Williamson, Wayne County.
The proof that the troops are not forgotten comes courtesy of the local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, which for the last two years has raised money to send the trees and gifts to units with local soldiers.
Like Metcalfe, all of the Blue Star Mothers have or have had children in the military. One of her sons, Specialist Gregory Metcalfe, 24, is a Humvee mechanic in Afghanistan. Her daughter, Jennifer Vester, 22, is retired from the service.

More...Blue Star Mothers ensure that troops are not forgotten democratandchronicle.com Democrat and Chronicle:

Sean Daniel Davis | Honoring the Hero's of our country with Russ Murphy Ministries

: "What a blessing and honor we had ministering with Russ Murphy this past week-end in Shiprock NM at a Veteren's Day celebration to the Navajo Nation. Actually it started on Thursday evening Nov. 12, 2009 at the Life Church in Durango, CO. We went to see and support Russ at an evening set aside to honor our Vet's, as well as The Blue Star and Gold Star Mom's.
During worship I was asked to join him through signing and then later in the evening Russ asked me to sign a couple songs with him again. I expressed to Russ a passion to learn the song "Welcome Home Soldier" and through that, was later invited by a Blue to Gold Liasion from the Durango Chapter of Blue Star Moms, to join Russ next September 2010, in Estes Park, CO to minister through signing at their Gold Star week-end! I just keep thinking WOW GOD You are so AWESOME in how You orchestrate things in our life to answer our prayers and heart's desire!! We are so excited to see what God is up to NEXT......."


Sean Daniel Davis Honoring the Hero's of our country with Russ Murphy Ministries

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NCS remembers veterans – and their mothers

Nov, 17-2009 4:52 pm
By SUZANNE MARINO
Staff Writer


NORTHFIELD – Veterans Day at the Northfield Community School is a special event. Over the last three years, sixth-grade teacher Mary Ann Devine has developed a research project that allows students to learn firsthand about veterans and their experiences as members of the military.

It’s better than reading a book or watching a movie, as students can interview the veterans or people who knew them, take pictures and listen to their stories; then they create a display board with the information.

For some, like David Wilson, it was a chance to learn more about the grandfather he is named after, who passed away in 2008.

Wilson sat down with his father and went through old photos and memorabilia. It was an opportunity to remember Grandpa in a different light.

After students prepared their boards and gave their reports, they took their project one step further and invited veterans to the school for a program in their honor. This year, 46 veterans representing the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War and active military were honored. Students held signs and cheered as the veterans entered the gymnasium, and the men, a few still fitting in their uniforms, could feel like heroes once again.Devine revived a tradition that has fallen by the wayside since World War II:

She presented service banners to the mothers of men and women currently serving in the military.She explained that many decades ago, women who had men serving in the war were issued a Blue Star Flag that was to be hung in their front window to let others know that a member of the service lived there, and the family was waiting and praying for him to come home safely.“Mothers dreaded the knock on the door that would be an officer or deliveryman bringing the message that their son had been killed or was missing in action,” Devine said.“He would bring the mother a gold star that was to be sewn over the blue star, indicating the soldier had died in service to his nation.”
She said that after the war the use of the Blue Star Flag tailed off.Devine had the banners made up for all of the mothers present who have sons and daughters serving in the military.She presented a Blue Star Flag to sixth-grade teacher Carol Willett, whose son Maj. Terrence Willett is currently serving in the Army. Other teachers at the school who have sons serving in the military and to whom Devine presented a Blue Star Flag are Natalie Fisher, for her son Lt. Peter Fisher, Navy; Betty Ann Miller, for her son Airman Christopher Miller, Air National Guard; Kathy Faust, for her son Cpl. Matthew Faust, Army and Devine’s mother, Doris Kelly, for her son Capt. Greg Kelly, Naval Reserve.
The student’s Veterans Day project boards are being displayed in stores, at City Hall and the Northfield library though Dec. 4.
An organization called the Blue Star Mothers of America Inc. has chapters in nearly every state, including New Jersey. It was chartered by Congress in June of 1960. The practice of displaying a service flag began during World War I and became more widespread in the Second World War, according to the organization’s website. For information see http://www.bluestarmothers.org/."

NCS remembers veterans – and their mothers Shore News Today:

Addresses sought for military gifts

"Know a service member in Iraq, Afghanistan or stationed at sea who needs some holiday cheer?
The Modesto-Central Valley Blue Star Mothers & Families will be sending Christmas care packages the week of Nov. 23.
Anyone that has a loved one serving is encouraged to send in their address to the Blue Star Mothers. They'll receive a care package with goods donated from Central Valley residents and businesses.
Send addresses to modesto.bluestarmothers@yahoo.com. For more information, contact Debbie Katsounakis, president of Modesto-Central Valley Blue Star Mothers & Families, at 410-2467 or GDKATS@aol.com.

Read more: http://www.modbee.com/local/story/936632.html#ixzz0XC4o5PXs"


Addresses sought for military gifts - Local - Modbee.com:

Blue Star Mothers seek help with care packages for troops

"The Truckee Meadows chapter of Blue Star Mothers is seeking sponsors to ship care packages this holiday season to local deployed troops."
Individuals may sponsor one box for $15 or an organization or shipping firm may sponsor as many boxes or pounds as they’d like.
Blue Star Mothers is a nonprofit organization of women who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military.
Details: pfleming03@sbcglobal.net or 775-626-7839.

Blue Star Mothers seek help with care packages for troops rgj.com The Reno Gazette-Journal:

Wreaths Across America veterans event is Saturday, Dec. 12, in Baton Rouge

"BATON ROUGE - The Wreaths Across America event to honor veterans will be in Baton Rouge at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Baton Rouge National Cemetery.
The Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana- Chapter 1 has volunteered to conduct the WAA ceremony this year.
Seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed to remember those who served, honor their sacrifices, and teach our younger generations about the high cost of our freedoms.
Specially designated wreaths for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and POW/MIA will be placed on memorials during a ceremony that will be coordinated simultaneously at over 400 participating locations all across the Country."

More... Wreaths Across America veterans event is Saturday, Dec. 12, in Baton Rouge thetowntalk.com The Town Talk:

Covering the home front

Blue Star Mothers come together to send supplies to the troops
By RALPH HEIBUTZKI - H-P Correspondent
Published: Monday, November 16, 2009 1:08 PM EST
ST. JOSEPH - Every detail takes on huge significance in a military household, especially when it comes to keeping in touch with loved ones in Iraq or Afghanistan.Bridgman residents Tonda and Al Smith know the feeling well. For 3 1⁄2 years, they’ve faithfully sent packages to their 23-year-old son, Dustin, who’s serving in the U.S. Army in Baghdad.

“I had a soldier call me and ask for homemade Rice Krispie treats because that was my specialty. I would flavor them with lemon, or banana, and the guys loved them. It was something different,” she said.

On Saturday, the Smiths joined other families for a major box-packing effort at Michigan Lutheran High School, organized by the Blue Star Mothers of America’s Charles Baldwin Chapter 177.

Saturday’s event also provided a bittersweet reminder of the unpredictable rhythms of military life."

more...Herald Palladium > Archives > Local News > Covering the home front:

Kids donate candy to troops, get cash

"LATHAM — It seems hard to believe that kids are willing to part with the candy they go door to door for on Halloween, but for over a decade, they’ve been doing just that. This year, in fact, candy collected by orthodontist offices Decker, Sbuttoni, Boghasian, DiCerbo and Lawless collected the sweet stuff to the tune of 1,180 pounds — In just one day.

With offices in Albany, Delmar and Latham, the practice has been participating in the candy buyback program since 1995. According to practice manager Gerry Clifford, the buyback program was the brainchild of the American Association of Orthodontists and was started in the early to mid 1990s.
...
The candy, along with toothbrushes and toothpaste are sent to the troops serving in active duty, through the national organization Blue Star Mothers. Though the practice has been participating in the program since 1995, Clifford said that it’s only the past three years that the candy has been sent to troops.Decker, Sbuttoni, Boghasian, DiCerbo and Lawless decided to team up with Blue Star Mothers, an organization for mothers who have children serving or have served, after learning that one of their employees, Erika, had a mother who was a member of the group.“Erika’s brother was overseas in Iraq at the time, and (Blue Star Mothers) were looking to send stuff over to them and that’s when we started teaming up with them,” Clifford said.Along with the candy, she notes, “we send toothbrushes and toothpaste to make sure they’re cleaning after they eat it.”"

more...Kids donate candy to troops, get cash - The Record News: Serving Troy and its surrounding communities (Troyrecord.com):

Monday, November 16, 2009

Freedom Boxes Packed for Troops

COLONIE -- With the holidays right around the corner, a number of military mothers are coming together to make sure that troops overseas don't go without. Blue Star Mothers say the simplest gift can make a difference.
"It's like Christmas all over again," said Chris Lonergan, who spent a year and a half in Iraq in the Army. "The littlest toys, candy. It just makes us happy. When I was over there we used to play poker with swedish fish and jolly ranchers."   more...http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S1253990.shtml?cat=300


Amelia Village Honors Local Veterans - KYPost.com

Amelia Village Honors Local Veterans - KYPost.com: "AMELIA, Ohio -- Amelia is making everyday Veterans Day.

The Village will have its 5th annual salute to veterans Saturday at Amelia Elementary School.

It starts at 2:00 p.m.

This year's event honors women in the military.

The event will also have several featured speakers including: Colonel Dean Smittle, USAF Retired and Military Analyst for WLW 700 Radio; Colonel William J. Rapp, USMCR Ret.; Bob Proud, Clermont County Commissioner, Captain Karen Caligaris, U.S. Navy Veteran and U.S. Army Reserves and Women Veterans Program Manager.

The Blue Star Moms will share experiences and participants will be able to enjoy musical entertainment from The Lasting Impressions."

Valley Celebrates Veterans Day


: "Patriotic red, white and blue could be seen throughout Gibbel Park on Wednesday during Hemet’s first-ever Veterans Day celebration of those who served this country.

Ed Bardwell, 83, served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam during his years in the Marine Corps. Before the ceremony, three young Marines dressed in battle dress uniforms came up to Bardwell and shook his hand.

“I was always in the Marine Corps,” Bardwell said wearing a uniform displaying, among other medals, a Purple Heart.

Bardwell, a native of Vermont, has called Southern California his home for 35 years, and he said, as a veteran, he is always touched by ceremonies such as the one Hemet held.

“It means a lot to remember the veterans,” he said.

Teresa Bullock and her husband, Mike, came out to remember her son, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Webb, who was killed nearly three years ago in Iraq."

Webb, whose name is on the memorial wall in Hemet, was married and had a 7-month-old daughter when he died. He also had a brother who is serving new and was at Fort Hood during the deadly rampage last week.“My other son called me to say that he was fine,” Bullock said said.Bullock said she is a member of the American Gold Star families (those who lost a son or a daughter) and Blue Star families (those with children serving in the military).“I get one of each,” she said, pointing to her shirt with the two pins.

more...The Valley Chronicle > News

Blue Star Mothers send Care Packages Overseas

Veterans Day was last week, but our troops are still in harm's way, with many more likely on their way overseas.
Fortunately, efforts continue to support veterans and military servicemen. The Blue Star Mothers of America, a nonprofit which works to support veterans and the mothers of those who've been sent off to war, organizes events for volunteers to package and ship gifts to overseas troops.
San Diego-based Chris Morrow filmed a Blue Star Mothers event in California for CNN iReport.
In the video, Blue Star Mothers Pam Woodward introduces the organization, and Sgt. Michael Scofield details the assortment of goods that can go in each customizable box.
For his shipment overseas, Scofield selects magazines, batteries, a DVD of "The Mexican" starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, coffee, sardines, beef jerky, microwave popcorn, loofahs (to which he remarks, "Our female soldiers will love this"), Mike & Ikes, gum and toothbrushes.
After filling up his package, Scofield encourages people watching the video to get involved in community action to support the military. "It's part of our country," he says. "It's what makes us great."


Sunday, November 15, 2009

National Ceremonies at Arlington


National President Wendy Hoffman prepares to present Blue Star Mothers of America Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown, Arlington on November 11th, 2009. Photo by Brad Waldron, (NOVA Blue Star Mothers) VA

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Military honor, Oct. 29 |


Military honor, Oct. 29 islandpacket.com: "Army Capt. Patrick L. Devine, son of Michael and Scherlie Devine of Sun City Hilton Head, recently was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. Devine is set to return to the United States in November after completing a 12-month tour in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division"
Scherlie is a member of Low Country Blue Star Mothers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

November is Blue Star Mothers Month

Proclamation

Candy For Troops; A Big Hit

"A local dentist has collected hundreds of pounds of Halloween candy to send to our troops. Dr. Glen Dean bought back nearly 500 pounds of Halloween candy since this past Saturday."

Candy For Troops; A Big Hit:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blue Star Mothers « The War Machine


"My Mom is part of a group in Nevada call the blue star mothers. If you have ever seen the flags that people sometimes hang in their windows when they have a family member deployed, its a white flag with a red border, and a big blue star in the center.
The flag (It’s called a Service Flag) originated all the way back in WW1, and was used in WW2 as well. It kind of lost its way in Vietnam, (since there were so many who didn’t approve) but has as of late come back into use. A lot of people don’t fly them however, as it lets some people know that someone is missing from that household. It’s unfortunate, but people are out there who will take advantage of anything if they can.

The Blue Star Mothers Club started back in 1942, and the requirement is you must have a child who is active duty, or was in and is now discharged honorably. If you want to read about them, you can do so here.
So of course, my mom being the proud mom she is, is the treasurer for her chapter and as you can see we got some packages from them. The guys were circling them like a shark feeding frenzy once I opened them. The cookies were of course a big hit.
I would like to take this moment to thank all those Blue Star Mom’s out there for the support that they give. People may not understand, but you are just as much in this war as we are. And I know that I (as well as others) couldn’t make it through all this without you.

MAIL CALL: Thanks so much for the 4 care packages BSM’s! My platoon thanks you!"


Blue Star Mothers « The War Machine:

Sand Springs Leader - Sand Springs, Oklahoma - Neighbor Newspapers > Archives > News > Blue Star Mothers remember troops overseas

"With Thanksgiving coming up, Sand Springs Blue Star Mothers want to make sure area military personnel serving overseas will have a little taste of the holidays.


That's why the Freedom Boxes, packed and mailed Monday, will have some special treats in them, said Sandy Curtis, local chapter president.

Items in those boxes included a canned ham, beef jerky, Girl Scout cookies, and other snack items; plus golf balls, a pocket book, and cards and letters from students at Park Elementary School and Clyde Boyd Middle School.“This so important to their morale,” Curtis said. “They share the snacks and cards and letters with their friends. It means a lot to them to know somebody is thinking of them.”Blue Star members packed about 30 boxes for the November shipment overseas.Claire LaPorte, a Sand Springs resident who is a member of the Tulsa chapter of the American Sewing Guild, donated special handmade items for the troops."

More... Sand Springs Leader - Sand Springs, Oklahoma - Neighbor Newspapers > Archives > News > Blue Star Mothers remember troops overseas:

Military Mothers forming

"A meeting for military mothers will be held on Sunday, Nov. 8, at the National Guard Amory in Jefferson at 2 p.m. Mothers of military sons or daughters serving in any branch of service who live in Watauga, Ashe, or Avery counties are invited to attend and be involved in this exciting new group to support our military family members who serve our nation so valiantly and with honor.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the chartering of a High Country Chapter of the National Organization of Blue Star mothers who have sons or daughters serving in the military. The organization will plan activities to support both the families and those serving in the military. Those activities are determined by each group, and include mailing cards, letters, and packages to area service men and women as well as being a support group for mothers who have sons and/or daughters in the military.

For further information or to notify of your interest in Blue Star Mothers, you may contact Debbie Branch, chair of the event, at branchfamily@earthlink.net."

Jefferson Post - Military Mothers forming:

Candy gives dentist pride, kids money and troops sweets


"Halloween candy collected Monday at the office of Dr. David Jones, D.D.S., will soon be on its way to troops overseas thanks to Chapter Three of the Blue Star Mothers.
Now in his third year of participating in the Candy for the Troops Program, Jones and his staff collected 110 pounds of candy from 32 children and one Marine in three hours Monday afternoon. Jones said the program is intended to reduce the amount of sweets in the mouths of children and give it instead to soldiers far from home. The office will continue collecting the candy through Wednesday."

MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK - Candy gives dentist pride, kids money and troops sweets:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Buying Candy from Kids


"GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)- A Grand Junction Dentist will be buying candy from kids this Monday.
Dr. Glen Dean thinks this could teach your kids a lessen in giving and maybe even lessen the chances of getting a fews cavities.
He will be paying $2 a pound for the candy and hopes to see a lot of business from it. The drop off will be at his office which is off N. 8th and Wellington until 6 pm on November 2nd.
The candy will be going to the Blue Star Mother Group and they will be sending it to troops overseas. And Dean says it's good because, 'the soldiers use the candy to give to the children in the middle east and the children will tell them where the landmines are and the road side bombs so in some regards it supposedly protects our military'"

Buying Candy from Kids:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

High Country Military Mothers to Meet Next Weekend

The High Country Blue Star Mothers will meet next weekend at the National Guard Armory.
According to Gail Walker, of ASU’s Reich College of Education, the organization is for mothers in Ashe, Avery, or Watauga County who have sons or daughters serving in the military.The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the chartering of a High Country Chapter of the National Organization of Blue Star Mothers. Nationally, the organization holds activities to support both the families and those serving in the military.Interested residents can contact Debbie Branch, the chair of the event, at branchfamily@earthlink.net.

GoBlueRidge.net - High Country Military Mothers to Meet Next Weekend - Constantly Updated High Country NC News Source

Blue Star Mothers of America « Celebrate America


"On January 22, 1942 the Flint News Advertiser printed a coupon asking Mothers of serviceman to return the coupon after filling it out. The following February 1st 300 mothers met in the Durant Hotel, in Flint Michigan. Captain George H. Maines, who had conceived the idea for this group, acted as the chair of this first meeting. It was decided that after receiving 1000 responses from the ad to form a permanent organization. That’s was the start to the Blue Star Mothers of America.
On February 6th the organization was reported on Congressional record. Chapters then formed in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, California, Iowa and Washington. In June of 1960 the organization was chartered by congress.
Mothers volunteered throughout the tough times of World War II. They worked in hospitals, train stations, packed care packages for soldiers and were a working part of homeland security during times of war. The organization waned in size over the years but has held together by mothers showing pride in both their children and country. In recent times we have began to grow in strength. Being attacked on our own soil has once again started mothers hanging flags in their windows at home proclaiming pride in the fact that we have children protecting our freedom during at time of war
Their organization not only provides support for active duty service personnel, promotes patriotism, assists Veterans organizations, and are available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong."




Blue Star Mothers of America « Celebrate America:

‘Night Under Stars’ for Blue Star Mothers


"By Alicia Dukov
For The Signal
Posted: Oct. 29, 2009 9:33 p.m.
POSTED Oct. 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Mothers of children in service were served with moral support at the recent SCV Blue Star Mothers Chapter #91, 'A Night Under the Stars.'

Held at the Elks Lodge in Canyon Country, the event was organized by the local chapter of the organization for mothers who have children serving or who have served in the armed forces of the United States."

Gathering for a goal, the evening of dinner and dancing raised funds for the chapter's creation of care packages that will be sent to veterans as well as overseas troops during the holidays. From 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. families and friends gathered to honor service members and those who stay by the sidelines rooting for their safe return home. Chapter president Sandy Baer was on hand to welcome newcomers to the group and also recommence with veterans of the cause."I am glad that we are all able to come together in support of our troops and definitely each other," said Baer. "My son is in the Army and I know how it has affected me. Being able to reach out to other mothers who are going through something similar is really important to me. It helps a lot."

More... The Signal - Santa Clarita Valley News - ‘Night Under Stars’ for Blue Star Mothers:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Supporting loved ones serving in Afghanistan


"Massive explosions and constant gunfire continue to ring out in the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. (View Video)
Officials say several people were killed in the latest round of violence, including six United Nations staff members. Earlier this week, eight U.S. servicemen were killed after dozens of others in recent weeks.
This makes October the deadliest month on record for U.S. troops since the war began. This level of violence hasn't been witnessed since the aftermath of 9/11."
It's been eight years and President Obama is said to be considering sending more troops to the region. In the meantime, local families with loved ones serving in Afghanistan are coming together.
They say now is when our troops need our prayers and support the most.
The images on television are hard to avoid: escalating violence in Afghanistan, eight more American troops killed Tuesday - 55 total in just the last few weeks.
Blue Star Mom Dorothy Fusco has endured this sort of thing before. Her son Anthony is a First Sergeant in the army; he's on his sixth trip to the war zone, his third to Afghanistan. And now Anthony is married to First Lieutenant Melissa, who is serving there as well.
"She deployed in May and he deployed in August. It is difficult to hear that there are casualties but you have to learn to deal with it. And we support each other and we pray a lot."
While the Fuscos try to avoid the images, they do stay current on the issues and the politics; they both favor sending more troops to the region.
"I don't know why we're hesitating," says Richard Fusco, Anthony's father. "We're going to wait for some more to get killed. Maybe if they had more troops these eight wouldn't have gotten killed (Tuesday)."
The Fuscos' spare room is a workshop of sorts, where care packages and supplies are assembled. One batch in particular is intended for shipment right before the holidays.
"They need to have that contact to see that life is normal. Not everything is bombs and bullets."
The Fuscos keep in touch with both Anthony and Melissa via the Internet but communications are limited. For security reasons, the Fuscos don't always know exactly where Melissa and Anthony are located.
But what they do know is that they're almost always in harm's way. Anthony has already received three Bronze Stars for bravery.
Blue Star Mothers is a national, non-political support network for U.S. troops. If you're interested in donating or helping with care packages, log on to BlueStarMothers.org.



Supporting loved ones serving in Afghanistan:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Elsie Gertrude Fleming Rader

Lima, OH


"Elsie Gertrude Fleming Rader, 84, died at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 2009, at Golden Living Center, where she had been a resident since June 2004. She succumbed after a long struggle against Alzheimer’s disease.
She was born March 23, 1925, in Jackson Township, near Lafayette, to John Wesley and Bertha Louisa Binkley Fleming, who preceded her in death. On Dec. 29, 1951, she married Wayne Roger Rader, who died Feb. 18, 2008.
Mrs. Rader was a teacher before her marriage and again when her children were all in school. She taught at Lafayette-Jackson, Liberty Benton, Whittier Elementary and Kinder Kottage Preschool. She graduated from Lafayette-Jackson High School and attended Bowling Green State University.
She was well-known for her volunteerism. She had been active in the PTA, American Heart Association, Lutheran Church Women, Church Women United, and Blue Star Mothers, in which she held several local, district and national offices, including Ohio and national president. In 1988 and again in 1995, she laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. She was given the PTA Founders Day Award, Soroptimist Woman of the Year 1978, and LaSertoma Woman of the Year 1990. She was a longtime member of St. Luke Lutheran Church, and had been very active in church activities, including church choir, Women’s Church Circles and Altar Guild.
She was always willing to help other people. She had looked after several elderly neighbors and did many canning, baking, cooking and craft projects to help support her family, church and organizations to which she belonged. Yet, she always had time for her family. She was a loving wife of 56 years, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Survivors include eight children, Elayne (Tim) Redding, Miriam Rader-Downing, Philip (Mary) Rader Sr., Rachael Lewis, all of Lima, John (Betty) Rader, of Parma, Timothy (Beverly) Rader, of Elida, Mary (fiancé Tom Glick) Evans, of Lima, and Mark (Lori) Rader, of Spencerville; 19 grandchildren; six stepgrandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; nine stepgreat-grandchildren; three sisters, Gladys Wagner, of Findlay, Betty Hawk, of Lafayette, and Jean (Dan) Holyoak, of Moab, Utah; a sister-in-law, Evelyn Fleming; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Linda A. Rader; 11 siblings, Walter (Barbara) Fleming, Clarence (Geneva, Anna) Fleming, Ralph (Edna) Fleming, Guy (Ruth) Fleming, Gerald (Dorothy) Fleming, Helen Fleming, Lester Fleming, Dorothy (Robert) Lambrecht, Edith (Paul) Stager, Mabel Fleming and infant Stella Mae Fleming; and two brothers-in-law, Charles Wagner and Richard Hawk.
Services will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Luke Lutheran Church. Pastor Lars Olson will officiate. Burial will be in Desenberg Cemetery, Lafayette.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Chiles-Laman Funeral Homes, Lewis Eastside Chapel.
Instead of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke Lutheran Church, the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Heart Association."



Elsie Gertrude Fleming Rader elsie, fleming, gertrude - Obituaries - LimaOhio.com:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Group gathers messages for military

A Central Virginia organization that supports families of service members is gathering messages and care packages to send overseas.




The Blue Star Families of Central Virginia, which includes participants from throughout the area, will collect messages to send to the troops at the Nelson Memorial Library, an effort that began Monday and will conclude Nov. 8.



The care packages are a hit with the troops, said chapter President Jacqui Cecalupo, who teaches gifted students in the Albemarle County public schools.

One of her sons, John, is an Army major who taught at Virginia Military Institute and is serving a second tour of duty in Iraq. Her other son, Michael, is an Army captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and now is transitioning out of the military.


The chapter is unique in that it is an affiliate of the Blue Star Moms, mirrors that mission and includes male family members.

“Our intent was to include the husband and wife” of service members, Cecalupo said.


The chapter was formed in 2003 and approximately 80 families are participating.

Veteran Tickets Foundation hosts Military Appreciation night at Fear Farm

(PHOENIX, Ariz.) – Active Duty Military, Veterans and their families will all be honored with a FREE spooky treat as Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) hosts Military Appreciation night on Oct. 25 at Fear Farm located at 2209 N. 99th Ave. Phoenix, AZ.




From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. anyone with an active duty military, Veteran, American Legion, VFW ID or DD214 form is invited to come out to Fear Farm to enjoy five scary mazes, kids activities, military displays including the National Guard #88 NASCAR and Patriot Chopper, and special appearances by the Suns Gorilla and Coyotes mascot Howler.



The regular fee for entry to Fear Farm is $25.



“We couldn’t be more pleased to work with groups like Fear Farm to host events like this,” said Vet Tix CEO Michael Focareto. “The venue is donating thousands of potential dollars they could be making in profit so that military members might enjoy a fun filled night with their families, and we sincerely cannot thank them enough.”



In addition to the corn maze, guests can expect Army recruiters to be on hand with a target shooting game, a pie walk sponsored by Village Inn and Blue Star Moms, face painting and carnival games with prizes sponsored by Kohl’s Department Store.



Activities for young children will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Adult corn maze and activities will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blue Star Moms Care Package Donation Collection

Blue Star Moms Care Package Donation Collection: "East Bay Blue Star Moms are collecting items for their upcoming annual Holiday Hugs mailing event at the Pleasanton Walmart, 10 am - 3pm. For more information, please go to our website, www.bluestarmoms.org"

One for the troops


One for the troops troops, deploying, biden - News - Jacksonville Daily News: "Deploying troops in the Second Combat Engineer Battalion were surprised with an executive send-off this week when the second lady of the United States, visited Camp Lejeune.
Dr. Jill Biden, a “Blue Star Mom” military mother herself with a son, Beau, who recently returned from a year-long deployment in Iraq, mingled with about 150 troops and their families on Wednesday. The troops were preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Biden has made a priority of reaching out to service members and her families in a public capacity."

One for the troops | troops, deploying, biden

One for the troops troops, deploying, biden - News - Jacksonville Daily News: "Deploying troops in the Second Combat Engineer Battalion were surprised with an executive send-off this week when the second lady of the United States, visited Camp Lejeune.
Dr. Jill Biden, a “Blue Star Mom” military mother herself with a son, Beau, who recently returned from a year-long deployment in Iraq, mingled with about 150 troops and their families on Wednesday. The troops were preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Biden has made a priority of reaching out to service members and her families in a public capacity."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Iraq’s women, families topic of conference here this week

"Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, Samir Sumaidaie, also will attend one of the public events, “A Hero’s Salute,” to be held at the S.C. Aviation and Technology Center at Donaldson at 2 p.m. Friday. He will join Gold and Blue Star Mothers and military service personnel to honor those who served and died in Iraq. The event’s speakers include the Iraqi women delegates, 4th District U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis and retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Garry L. Parks."
Iraq’s women, families topic of conference here this week GreenvilleOnline.com The Greenville News:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Hero's Salute at SCTAC in Greenville, SC

Gunner's Military News Blog - from USAFNS: "Greenville, SC – On October 16th at 2:oo PM, as Marines in dress blues escort the last few Gold and Blue Star Moms, Iraqi delegates and special guests to their respective places, Families United Toward Universal Respect/ FUTURE presents A Hero's Salute at SCTAC in Greenville, SC. There, among a sea of waving American flags, North Greenville University's Brass Ensemble will set the tone for the afternoon's featured speakers, which include Iraqi delegates, SC Congressman Bob Inglis and retired Lieutenant General Garry L. Parks – former Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs U.S. Marine Corps. To show support on an official visit, Iraqi ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Samir Sumaidaie, will be attending and and participating."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Letters of Appreciation

Donations: "'No one has left this hospital without being taken care of thanks to organizations such as Blue Star Mothers. Blessings and thanks again…' CH Leathers, 10th CSH, Iraq
'Being so far from home makes me sad but groups like SDNC Blue Star Mothers keep our Moral up and keeps us going when the bad times come up. Every little thing brings warmth to our hearts.' Spc. R.R. - Bagdad
Certification of Appreciation 'For hard work and dedication in providing care packages for our paratroopers.' Battalion Chaplain - Afghanistan
Tonight we came to work and we had a huge pile of boxes waiting for us when we arrived. They were all support boxes from you all. Thank you. “the kids” gathered around as I opened them and dumped them on the mail cart for all to share. Let me tell you seeing them start there day off with a smile is something I will never be able to say thank you enough! Everyone got something to there liking from the boxes and all started off the day with a smile... GySgt A.,, Marine Corps, Iraq"

Fresno Blue Star Mom Visits Her Wounded Son

"Fresno, CA (KFSN) -- A Fresno woman who comforts military families is now dealing with her own son's injuries suffered in Afghanistan."




more...Fresno Blue Star Mom Visits Her Wounded Son - 10/07/09 - Fresno News - abc30.com:

LA’s Sale-abration a huge success

Soldiers Angels LA » LA’s Sale-abration a huge success: "Hi everyone and thanks for all your work. WELL IT PAID OFF. $ 3,000.00 ($2,250 to Soldiers’ Angels and $750 for other charitable uses & a $100 to set aside for the next sale – read on). Plus all the items to ship overseas that were put in the Jeep by loving Americans for their troops. These will be shipped out by Blue Star Moms this month to La. Military overseas. We will be shipping items to American Indians and Appalachia, filling special Louisiana homemade pouches for the females in the group that will be leaving us in Jan. We donated 2 lg. boxes of books to the group that sends reading materials on request to our military."

Gunner's Military News Blog - from USAFNS

"Greenville, SC – On October 16th at 2:oo PM, as Marines in dress blues escort the last few Gold and Blue Star Moms, Iraqi delegates and special guests to their respective places, Families United Toward Universal Respect/ FUTURE presents A Hero's Salute at SCTAC in Greenville, SC. There, among a sea of waving American flags, North Greenville University's Brass Ensemble will set the tone for the afternoon's featured speakers, which include Iraqi delegates, SC Congressman Bob Inglis and retired Lieutenant General Garry L. Parks – former Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs U.S. Marine Corps. To show support on an official visit, Iraqi ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Samir Sumaidaie, will be attending and and participating."
more... Gunner's Military News Blog - from USAFNS:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

8th Anniversary of Afghanistan War

"Today marks the 8th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
So far 21,000 troops have been sent over this year alone, which brings the total to 68,000 armed forces for the entire war to date.
On this anniversary, the Grand Valley Blue Star Mothers hopes that people won't forget about those who are still fighting as well as those who have served in this war.
Nearly 800 soldiers have lost their lives in the Afghan War.
President Obama is expected to make a decision Friday on General McChrystal's request of an additional 40,000 troops."

8th Anniversary of Afghanistan War:

Tampa Bay Newspapers

: Largo Leader - Tampa Bay Newspapers: "Family support assistance is provided by several groups, including the Navy Seabee’s Department of Florida, the Blue Star Mothers, and the Tampa Area Marine Parents’ Association."

UCP partners with Buckeye Military Moms


"You’d be surprised how many items will fit in a box when preparing a care package for the troops overseas. The Chapter President of the Buckeye Military Moms chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, Trina Dunlap, invited UCP of Central Ohio to be part of a Packing Party on Saturday, October 3, 2009. UCP sold OSU Buckeye bears and Brutus holiday stockings to include in the packages with a portion of the proceeds benefitting both organizations."

American soldiers and people with disabilities both benefited from this partnership as over 600 care packages were stuffed to be shipped to the troops. The packages contained food and hygiene items, and several fun items including water balloons and Nerf footballs! The boxes were complete with a stuffed Brutus doll or stocking to make a place far away feel a little more like home


more...UCP partners with Buckeye Military Moms chapter of Blue Star Mothers to support our Troops UCP of Central Ohio:

Blue Star Moms offer support for military mothers

"COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO -- Mothers who have a child serving in the military know first-hand how difficult the possibility of their child never returning is. And that's where Blue Star Moms come in.
Blue Star Moms meet once a month for two hours to talk about anything. They talk about the first day their child becomes a soldier to finding out that soldier is being deployed to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.
These moms told FOX21 News they understand each other better than anyone else since they're going through the same struggles every day."
“You know I have friends and they just don't understand. But all these ladies in this room understand what I’m going through,” said Carol Dial, Blue Star Mom.
Blue Star Moms also come up with ways to give back to the military by sending care packagesand letters, and they help veterans who are readjusting to life after the military.
“There are a lot of strong military parents in Colorado and we reach out to them and say, 'Don't be alone, don't worry about your child without having someone else. We are here to help you,'” said Tari Cofield, Blue Star Mom.
For more information on how you can become a member of Blue Star Mothers of America, log onto the Colorado chapter's Web site.

more... Blue Star Moms offer support for military mothers : News : KXRM FOX 21:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Town Talk - Farmington Daily Times

Town Talk - Farmington Daily Times: "7 p.m. first Monday - The Blue Star Mothers will meet at a new location, The Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. Blue Star Mothers have sons or daughters in the military. Anyone wishing to help the troops is welcome to attend. Information: (505) 325-3834."

Blue Star Mothers of America:

Blue Star Mothers of America: Wednesday, 10/7 at 7:00pm at Niles Veterans Hall - when.com: "Are you the parent of a US servicemember, current or having honorably served? Please join the Alameda County Blue Star Moms, Chapter CA23 the 1st & 3rd Wed. of each month. ALL family members are invited to our organization as we continue to support the Troops. We are a support group, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to the service and support of our Troops/Veterans and Families."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Support The Blue Star Moms - San Francisco

"Furniture and other items available at sale to raise funds to support our troops. Items include loft bed, computer desk, matching sofa, chair and ottoman and TV. Sale is Oct 3 at 19001 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon. Hours are 8-1. Early birds can pay $5 for early entrance (starting at 7am). Rain or shine. Cash only.

www.bluestarmoms.org"

Support The Blue Star Moms - San Francisco :: For Sale General:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vince Gill to Receive Will Rogers Award

"The Tulsa World Scene reports Vince Gill will receive the 2009 Spirit of Will Rogers Award on Nov. 8 at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. Vince joins past winners Toby Keith, Garth Brooks and Jane Goodall, among others. Tickets are pricey, starting at $125, and table prices range from $1,700 to $10,000 — but proceeds, in part, will benefit American Blue Star Mothers, Oklahoma Chapter 1, which sends “Freedom Boxes,” or care packages, to troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and on any hostile foreign soil."
Vince Gill to Receive Will Rogers Award GAC News & Notes:

Santa Clarita Valley News - Your Community: Upcoming Events

"Blue Star Mothers Night Under Stars
Dinner, dancing, door prizes, raffle, and silent auction, 5:30 - 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, Elks Lodge, Canyon Country. $25, with proceeds benefiting Blue Star Mothers. Info: (661) 251-4395 or (661) 251-4934."

The Signal - Santa Clarita Valley News - Your Community: Upcoming Events:

Thanks for community help at OTD 2009

"To the sponsors, to the vendors, entertainers, those attending the day’s events, All Start Audio, Pyro Shows (fireworks company), emcee John Forcinelli, Parade Committee Chairman William Haley and his committee, city workers, our sponsors and others who made the day the most special one yet, the committee offers a large thank you!"
This year’s weather was good and the festival was a great day for everyone involved. We’ve had nothing but compliments about the event.Congratulations to the parade winners: Main Stage (Best Musical float); Express Automotive (Best Vehicle), Roy Waldron Dance Team (Best School); Cain Ridge Freewill Baptist Church (Best Church float); Miracle Baptist Church (Best Float); Police Athletic League (Best Youth); Music City Blue Star Moms (Enthusiasm); Al Menah Shriners (Spirit of La Vergne) and Ultimate Family Martial Arts (Mayor’s Cup). Thanks to the judges who picked these winners.
Next year’s event is set for Sept. 18, so start planning now to be there. Also, entertainment packages can be sent to Angie Mayes from Nov. 1, 2009 - Feb. 28, 2010 only. The address is 5093 Murfreesboro Road, La Vergne, 37086. Vendor (food, craft and sales, and business) and parade applications will be accepted after January 1, 2010.


Thanks for community help at OTD 2009 : WGNS Radio:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Air Force members return home to NM



"ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - 12 members of the U.S. Air Force were greeted with an emotional homecoming when they returned to New Mexico Sunday after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The men and women were given a loud and happy welcome home by their families, friends and members of the Blue Star Mothers."

Air Force members return home to NM KRQE News 13 New Mexico:

Plates honor fallen soldiers

"On a crisp September Monday, Bernadette Monroe added a new license plate to her Pontiac convertible making it more special. More personal.
The license plate reads 'Honor.' It's in memory of her son, Anthony.
Monroe was the first in North Dakota Monday to receivedthe state's new Gold Star family license plate.
The plates came out of the last legislative session but it was Monroe and others who pushed for a license plate as a way to remember North Dakotans who have died in the line of duty in the military.
Anthony Monroe was 20 when he was killed Oct. 11, 2004, while with the Army Reserves in Iraq.

The Gold Star license plates are available to the immediate families of any member of the military who was killed in the line of duty during a time of active conflict.
The plates were unveiled in the Capitol, with four sets given to families of fallen soldiers."
Plates honor fallen soldiers:

Pow-wow Honors Gold Star Mothers


Elias HernandezCBS 7 NewsSeptember 27, 2009

"Odessa, Texas - All weekend long, the Odessa College Sports Center has been filled with the sights and sounds of Native American culture. But today they took time to honor Permian Basin troops.

They honored Gold Star mothers of the Permian Basin today. Mothers who have lost their children fighting overseas."

CBS 7 - Your Eye on West Texas:

Mothers honor local families of fallen military

"On Sunday, four families attended Gold Star Family Day, an event held by the Blue Star Mothers Hanover Chapter No. 2 to honor the families of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The event was held at the chapel at Homewood at Plum Creek. The names of each fallen soldier from the area -- as far south as Emmitsburg, Md., and as far north as Carlisle -- were read."
more...Mothers honor local families of fallen military - The York Daily Record: