Thursday, April 30, 2009

Online Letters to the Editors for April 28

Thanks to Blue Star Mothers, troops overseas aren't forgotten
"I would like to express my appreciation to all the residents who so generously supported the New York State Yellow Ribbon Initiative by dropping items for our service people at the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office, at one of our three Department of Motor Vehicle Offices and/or at the town of Halfmoon.
Seventeen boxes of food, toiletries, books and other items were collected during the course of one week to support the Yellow Ribbon campaign. These boxes were given to the Capital Region Chapter 32 — New York Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., who pack and send freedom boxes to our deployed troops on a regular basis.
As we come closer to the end of the war in Iraq, sometimes we forget that the soldiers serving our country are still in danger and that every day they are risking their lives in the name of freedom. It is important that these brave men and women know that we will support each and every one of them until the very last one has been brought home to safety. Also, we must show young men and women who are considering a military career that they will be supported — whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan, or serving their country on our own soil. Our country was built on hard work, optimism and the promise of freedom. Let us show the men and women in the armed forces that we are still willing to work hard, be optimistic and hold firm the belief that the freedom we fought for, so many years ago, is still worth fighting for today.
The Blue Star Mothers deserve a great deal of praise. The members, who are mothers of an active-duty or honorably discharged military person, work tirelessly on behalf of our troops. Not only do they send out the boxes of collected items, but also welcome troops home at the airport, proudly show their support in area patriotic parades, volunteer at the Stratton VA Medical Center and much more. If you would like to show your support, they would gladly accept donations to help pay for the cost of sending packages overseas. For contact information and general information, visit their Web site at
A special thank you to Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth for partnering with the county clerk’s office in the collection of items for our soldiers. A huge round of applause to Carol Hotaling for her tireless efforts on behalf of our soldiers and for organizing this event. Again, I wish to thank everyone who brought in items for our soldiers. Your response to this call was overwhelming and heartwarming."

Kathy Marchione

Online Letters to the Editors for April 28:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blue Star group seeks members

"Are you the mother of a son or daughter currently serving, or has served, in the U.S. Armed Forces?
Then you are invited to join the Blue Star Mothers of America. Blue Star Mothers is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonpolitical organization of service personnel mothers who assist active duty and discharged veterans. We not only send care packages and letters to our troops overseas. but we assist discharged personnel (veterans) and active service personnel families with any help or support they may need. We not only support active personnel, their families and veterans but we support each other. Our goal is to show our troops and veterans that we appreciate them and promote patriotism.
Our chapter covers the Lansing area (Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and parts of Shiaweese counties). We meet the first Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Betsy Miller at (517) 339-3741 or"
Blue Star group seeks members Lansing State Journal:

Newburyport's Blue Stars - Newburyport, MA - The Newburyport Current

"Newburyport - Mayor John Moak and Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins spoke to a modest crowd gathered in the City Council chambers
'“This is a tremendous effort to be able to honor men and women serving in the armed forces today,'” Moak told the small group that included George Roaf, commander of the Newburyport American Legion, veteran Dexter “Dec” Mead and Marine Corps Maj. Robert Murphy. “'We are where we are today because you protect our lives and our liberties.'”"
Newburyport's Blue Stars - Newburyport, MA - The Newburyport Current:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Meeting Place For Soldiers

"A new venture puts the Canandaigua VA Medical Center ahead of the nation once again. The Blue Star Mothers are leasing a house on VA grounds. It's a place where soldiers can gather and fellowship. The mom's are renting the house for free from the government. But they'll have to pay utilities and maintain it.
The Blue Star Mothers are leasing the house from the VA. All they had to do was convince the government. "It had to go all the way to the Secretary of Veterans administration for us to get approval," said Joyce"

New Meeting Place For Soldiers:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fresno soldier gets help along the way home for birth of child

"His wife, Sara, was about to give birth to their first son, and Blake Brown was 9,000 miles away in the Somali Peninsula, doing Uncle Sam's work.
It would be an exhausting trip home, even for a soldier hardened by wearing body armor in searing African summers."

Brown was to go from Camp Le Monier in Djibouti to Ethiopia. Fly to Paris, then to Dallas, on to Phoenix and, finally, a short leg home to Fresno. Expected time: 36 hours, including layovers.

His plane landed late in Phoenix the night of April 2.
Brown rushed to the gate for US Airways flight 2716, only to find it closed.
Would he miss the birth of their first son?

When Blake was younger, [his mother] was a soccer mom, organizing
trips and fundraisers. And, when he enlisted after a year at Fresno Pacific
University, she joined the Central Valley Blue Star Moms, a nonprofit helping
military personnel and their families. She's now the membership director.

more... Fresno soldier gets help along the way home for birth of child - Bill McEwen -

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Old River Road: The burden of bad advice, part II

The Old River Road: The burden of bad advice, part II: "Bobby Jindal's inner circle needs to answer a very serious question -- where the hell are your brains? His staff declined an invitation to attend a Blue Star Mothers luncheon, despite a promise to the contrary last year from the Wunderkind himself."
In case you're unfamiliar with Blue Star Mothers -- it's a group comprised of mothers with children serving our country in the military. They provide support for each other and send care packages overseas among other things. As Greta Perry points out, many of them are also Soldier's Angels -- a group that adopts servicemen and women and sends them cards and care packages.
According to Janet Broussard, the state Blue Star Mothers president, a luncheon invitation was sent to the Governor's office in November of last year but she was told it was too early. So a follow-up invitation was sent in February. After no response, Broussard contacted the Governor's office last month and was told:
"Well, if you haven’t head anything yet, then he won’t be there" and that the Governor "receives thousands of request."

UPDATE: As Janet Broussard has informed us via a comment below, the
luncheon invitation Bobby's staff declined was in honor of parents whose sons or
daughters were killed while serving.

I'm sure these Blue Star Moms are wondering why their Governor can take time to jet set across the country picking up $5,000 checks, but can't spare a couple of hours to attend their luncheon. Once again, Jindal's staff has made their boss look bad -- really bad.
Call the Governor at (225) 342-7015 and tell him to make time for Louisiana moms with children serving our country honorably.
-Charlie Buras

Blue Star Mothers form local chapter

"The Lake Superior Chapter of Blue Star Mothers (mothers of military personnel) has recently formed and meets the third Thursday of each month — including this Thursday — at 440 Marshall St. in Duluth.
The group meets to support each other and send cards and packages to deployed soldiers and others, to participate in service-related functions, to keep informed on military news and issues and to support the national organization.
For more information, contact Sara Lund at (218) 724-0661 or"

Eh column: Tell Parks and Rec what you want Duluth News Tribune Duluth, Minnesota:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Casper Star-Tribune Online - Letters


With the impending deployment of the 115th Fires Brigade from our great state on April 19, I felt it appropriate to address some attitudes I have witnessed over the last several months from colleagues, friends, and the general public.

As a Blue Star Mother, I am extremely proud of the courage and dedication to country that my son shows while preparing for his second tour of Iraq with the Wyoming Army National Guard in the largest deployment from our state since the Korean War. Perhaps being part of the military culture has clouded my vision of how people should react when I proudly tell them that my son is preparing for a second tour. After all, there have been generations of the Cochrane family who have faithfully served their country; dating back to the Revolutionary War through Doug's grandmother's family.
I am struck by how people are so profoundly "sorry" that my son is being deployed anywhere but especially to the Middle East. I'd like to publicly clarify that this is my son's job. He volunteered to serve his country; he wasn't conscripted or coerced to swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. He also swore that he would obey the orders of the president of the United States and the governor of Wyoming. I have yet to tell a friend or acquaintance that I am "sorry" that their son is an electrician, a mechanic or a school teacher, let alone a doctor or lawyer. I am extremely proud that my son is part of the less than 1 percent of our total population who has the courage and fortitude to volunteer to serve our country and defend our freedom.Yes, we should all continue to pray for peace, but in the meantime let's not forget the warrior in the midst of war. I hope that the next time a Blue Star Mother proudly tells you that their son or daughter is serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or other foreign port, you can thank that mother for her son's or daughter's sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy everyday and unconsciously take for granted in today's society.Godspeed to the 115th Fires Brigade. We will anxiously await your safe return in 2010! Thank you for your service to the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Casper Star-Tribune Online - Letters:

Blue Star Mothers support troops with care packages, more

Blue Star Mothers support troops with care packages, more - Military Notes by Brian Albrecht - "Home comes cellophane-wrapped, as in the handfuls of hard candy dropped like long-distance Easter eggs in postal shipping boxes scattered across a small room of the Lakewood Christian Church.
It comes vacuum-packed in bags of homemade beef jerky that Blue Star Mother Nikki Rothschiller, of Cleveland, sealed as 10 Boy Scouts of Troop 41 in Bay Village stuffed footwear in the overseas-bound boxes as part of their "Socks for Soldiers" effort.
Home also comes wrapped in horsehide - new gleaming-white baseballs that Betty Crighton, of Cleveland, mother of an Army captain who recently finished his second tour in Iraq, pitched into in each box. "It's opening season," she explained with a smile. "We try to make it cheerful.""


"FITCHBURG - The Good-Wil Music Brunch will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19, at the Fitchburg Armory, 14 Wallace Ave. This month's brunch will honor the Blue Star Mothers Massachusetts Chapter 1.
Entertainment is provided by Wil Darcangelo with his five-piece infused jazz ensemble. The band also showcases other local singing talent during the performance. Tickets are $12, $8 for seniors and children under 12 (children under 5 are free).
Local vendors are welcome to display their goods and raffle prizes will be drawn every 20 minutes. Good-Wil cookies will also be on sale. Remaining brunch performances are May 10 and June 14. All proceeds go into the Good-Wil Annual Fund to be distributed among the 11 selected organizations for the season. For information, please visit www."

Soft Hearts for Soldiers

"The clarion call to help our troops went out across the counties, from the Northern Kentucky Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. and six local schools answered the call.

The Northern Kentucky Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. was assembled in 2006 for the purpose of showing emotional and moral support to the families of those serving overseas as well supporting troops by sending goodie boxes to those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and any other foreign land. This goodie box is their way of saying thank you for their time and service. Including letters, food, gum, socks and personal care items, these boxes also provide the feeling of being home while away."

more...Soft Hearts for Soldiers - Covington News at

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Newtown Bee

"Son or daughter?"

That is the way new members approach and greet each other, and that is how Kathleen Pritz greeted The Bee's reporter to the Blue Star Mothers Group meeting in Stony Hill on March 10. Mothers of servicemen and women gather once each month at the firehouse on Route 6 in Bethel and hold meetings to offer support to each other and the troops who are currently serving in the name of the United States Armed Forces."

The Northern Fairfield County Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America made its
parade debut last month when it marched in Danbury’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Susanne Zencey of Newtown and Laurie McCollum of Sandy Hook are holding the
parade banner designed and constructed by fellow Blue Star mom Pam Tibbits. Each
son or daughter of a member is represented with a blue star on white banner and
a ribbon with their service branch indicated above the star and a second ribbon
with their name below the star. --Bee Photo, Hicks

The Newtown Bee:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blue Star Moms honor Marines killed 5 years ago

"It's been five years since Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Travis Layfield of Fremont became one of the first Alameda County service members to die in the war in Iraq.
On Saturday the Alameda County Blue Star Moms — a new support group that counts Layfield's mother Diane as one of its members — saluted Layfield and others who died with him April 6, 2004.
About 150 people attended the event, which started at 1:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Fremont's Niles district.
'I always honor them every year,' Diane Layfield, said. 'It's a remembrance celebration. We want to celebrate their lives.'"

Blue Star Moms honor Marines killed 5 years ago - Inside Bay Area:

Around Livermore - Inside Bay Area

"donations for troops: The Blue Star Moms has another aid package shipment scheduled for July for our service members overseas. Donations can be dropped off 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 and May 30 at the Pleasanton Wal-Mart.
On May 16 and on June 6, donations can be dropped off at the Danville Veteran's Center."
Around Livermore: Las Positas College to celebrate Native Americans - Inside Bay Area:

Good Deals for a Good Cause at Garage Sale

"(Tulsa, OK) - You can help yourself to some good deals, and help out the troops, all at the same time. The Tulsa-based chapter of Blue Star Mothers is holding a garage sale at 21st and Sheridan.
Money raised from the event goes for mailing care packages to military personnel overseas. Blue Star Mom Teresa Nightingale says its been a year-and-a-half since they used the garage sale technique, and she says they're doing it now because their donations are way down, likely because of the bad economy.
The garage sale runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday at 21st and Sheridan at the south end of the parking lot in the Alameda Shopping Center."Good Deals for a Good Cause at Garage Sale - KRMG Local News on

Thursday, April 2, 2009 | Sending love oversees

"When Patricia Lewis-Clark of Bluffton recalls her son’s recent departure for his second tour of duty in Iraq — he left on his 21st birthday — tears start to flow.
Lewis-Clark has found a way to stop those tears. She’s active in the Lowcountry Blue Star Moms Chapter No. 6, a part of the national Blue Star Mothers of America. The group supports active duty military as well as retirees, and is recognized by the Department of Defense." Sending love oversees: