Saturday, June 27, 2009

Donated goods sought at Red Hill for troops

"The Blue Star Moms of Marin will collect donated food and toiletry items July 11 at Red Hill Shopping Center in San Anselmo and send the goods to military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Collection boxes will be in front of the San Anselmo Safeway betweem 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Shoppers can pick up a list of requested items outside the store. Cash donations are also needed to cover postage.
For information about Blue Star Moms, send e-mail to"

Donated goods sought at Red Hill for troops - Marin Independent Journal:

Governor's shelter proposal hurts many, saves few dollars

"A troubled economy creates lots of victims. While social services are generated to assist people who can’t pay mortgages, battle credit card debt, need temporary housing, there’s no one to advocate for the voiceless: all the companion animals flooding the shelters because their owners have lost their jobs and / or housing.
Little, if any, temporary housing allows companion animals.

The shelters face further difficulties because budget cutbacks have slashed their services and more cuts loom ahead. In California, the situation is especially dire as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes to cut the holding period animals stay in shelters by half: to 3 days. His move would weaken the Hayden bill, passed in 1997, which stipulates stray animals be held 4 or 6 days (depending on hours of operation).
That cut would save less than .01 percent of California’s $24 billion deficit, according to testimony Jennifer Fearing, chief economist for the Human Society of the United States, gave to the state budget conference committee on June 4.
The goal of the Hayden bill, Fearing said, is to give owners more time to locate their beloved pets and to give unclaimed animals more time to be adopted to picked up by a rescue group.
In Sacramento, city and county shelters are closed Sundays and Mondays. So for pet owners whose animals wander off on the weekend, by the time Tuesday rolls around and they can peruse the shelters, their beloved Fido or Missy may be euthanized already.

In the meantime, service organizations employing animals for service or therapy often find good candidates in shelters. A Sacramento fire chaplain is well-known in town not only for his dog, Bailey, who provides him independence, but also for the comfort Bailey provides people who have suffered losses due to fire. Bailey was not only a shelter resident, but one of Johnson’s foster dogs.
Other programs involve training youth in boys camps to train service dogs; recently, trainers began meeting with prison officials to work with adult inmates.

And just recently, Blue Star Moms began working with an area dog trainer to
provide therapy dogs for military personnel returning from war. The dogs help
combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, says Johnson.

“There’s so many things that can be done – why do we have to keep killing animals?” she asked."

More...Governor's shelter proposal hurts many, saves few dollars:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Returning soldier gets grand greeting

"About 60 people, including 29 young children carrying American flags and red, white and blue balloons, gathered Friday morning at Reno-Tahoe International Airport to welcome Jake Sitko home from Iraq.
When the 19-year-old Reed High School graduate appeared, wearing his military uniform, the family and friends started yelling, clapping and crying.“Jake! Yeah! Sitko! Yeah! Welcome Home!”
Sister Carly Sitko ran to her older brother, and mother Lois Dadek followed, hugging her son and kissing him on the cheek.
Sitko, a private first class in the Army, spent most of the last year in Basra, serving as a gunner on a Humvee, he said. He is home on two-week leave.
“I get to go home to see my family and friends,” Sitko said. “It’s been 10 and a half months since I’ve seen any of these people.”
His sister had trouble finding words to express her emotions.“I don’t know how to explain it,” said Carly Sitko, 16. “But I’m just excited that he’s home even for a little while.”
The airport gathering came as a surprise, the soldier said. While he was expecting his mother, sister, uncle and a few other family friends, he had no idea the welcome party would be so big.The children, from Hippity Hop Learning Center, came at the request of Trish Svare, a major in the Nevada Army National Guard who owned the center for six years before selling it earlier this year.
“Supporting their community exposes them to what’s out there,” said Svare, the family programs director for the guard. “When they see soldiers, they should know that they’re an important part of the community.”
Also present were several members of the Truckee Meadows Nevada Blue Star Mothers of America, a group of women with children in active duty.
“Our main focus is to support our sons and daughters and everyone else who serves,” said Paula Fleming, president of the Reno-Sparks chapter. “It’s critical that the community support these guys and what they’re doing.” "

Returning soldier gets grand greeting Reno Gazette-Journal:

Military mothers send supplies to troops

"HOUMA — Cookies, toiletries, snacks and flashlights.
Related Links:Thibodaux honors its fallen soldiers One by one, volunteers filled 362 packages with goodies Friday at Houma’s VFW Post 3700.
Called “Christmas in July,” the packages will soon be on their way to U.S. soldiers overseas.
The effort was organized by Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana No. 2, the state’s southeast chapter of the national organization.
Mona Delatte, secretary and treasurer for the chapter, said they send the care packages to give service members “a piece of home.”
These pieces of home will end up spread among different military units. All the soldiers in two local National Guard groups — one from Houma and one from Thibodaux — will be sent packages."

More... Military mothers send supplies to troops The Thibodaux Daily Comet Thibodaux, LA:

Crowd endures rain to honor service, sacrifice

"A mother who lost her son after his capture in Iraq shared her story as part of the annual Freedom Ride vigil at Hesky Park.

The 16th annual Freedom Ride started at Lowe's Plaza in Gilford and ended at Hesky Park in Meredith. Activities started and ended earlier than had been scheduled due to rain showers.

Carolyn Maupin, the mother of POW/MIA Pfc. Keith Matthew 'Matt' Maupin, spoke to the crowd during the vigil.

Matt Maupin who was stationed in Iraq with the Marines and was captured by al-Qaida in 2004. After nearly four years, his remains were identified in 2008."

More...Crowd endures rain to honor service, sacrifice - Fosters:

BLUE STAR MOTHERS: Independence Day

"When we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, what will that mean to you? For many it means a day of paid vacation, a reason for a parade, family get-togethers and often a cookout or a picnic. But the day has been intended since the founding of our nation to be much more.
When the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 it declared not only the separation of the American colonies from English rule, but also the beginning of a great experiment in national government. The founding fathers understood that the government they were creating was unique. It was designed to urge men to, in Thomas Jefferson's words, 'assume the blessings and security of self-government.'

In a letter written in 1826 he stated that this new form of government "restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man ... For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion of them."
The initial public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia's Independence Square was celebrated with ringing bells and bands playing.
In 2009, I hope that on July 4th you will pause to think about this incredible journey we are participating in -- this "experiment" in government for the people, by the people. Take a moment to take a measure of your commitment to the freedoms you have. Additionally, please remember the many who have fought for the freedoms you have, and to be thankful for those who are in the armed forces now - ready and willing to fight to protect your freedoms.
Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
Blue Star Mothers, Inc. is a National Organization Chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded in 1942 by mothers of service members concerned about their nation and their sons. Membership is open to all mothers of persons who are serving or have ever been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States. Associate membership is open to all family members of the same. Meetings are held on the last Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Crossroads Public Library, 6350 Byesville Road, Cambridge. For more information contact Laura Edwards-Conrad at 740-432-7812 or" - BLUE STAR MOTHERS: Independence Day:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Military families unite at Goochland picnic

"Grilling hot dogs and hamburgers over open flames is a rite of summer. But for about 70 people, a cookout yesterday in Goochland County was about more than good food and fellowship.
Members of the Blue Star Families of Richmond gathered at Benedictine Abbey on River Road for the group's annual picnic -- just one way they provide support for families of active-duty military personnel.
The gathering drew families from all over the Richmond area and included two mothers whose sons died while serving on active duty.
'We have different interests, but we have one really important common interest -- to support the military, and, specifically, our sons and daughters who are serving,' said Retsy Kitchen of Richmond, whose oldest son is serving in Afghanistan.
Miniature American flags lined the path leading to a covered pavilion adjacent to Bobby Ross Stadium at Benedictine Abbey. Many of those in attendance were wearing red, white and blue clothing, while children waved American flags."

Military families unite at Goochland picnic Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Group commemorates Flag Day

"ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Sunday was Flag Day. It's a day that's often overlooked, but a group of military families in Albuquerque said they want to change that.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church in northeast Albuquerque held a special mass to honor and remember those who lost their lives fighting for the U.S.
For those at the service, Flag Day cannot be ignored.
'Until I was a Blue Star Mother it was just one of those holidays that flew under the radar, you didn't really do anything,' Joan Thomson said.
Thomson's son is in the military, making her a Blue Star Mother.
Several Blue Star Mothers attended the service Sunday."
More...Group commemorates Flag Day:

Universal Remembrance

"Thank you for these very kind words of introduction. It is a great privilege to come before Blue Star Mothers of America to explore the spirit of Universal Remembrance. It is comforting a thought to know that you, America’s Blue Star Mothers, remain tireless in your efforts to fulfill your Congressional mandate, “to perpetuate the memory of all men and women, who serve our country as members of the Armed Forces.” Never greater the need for your service to the Nation than at times of war. For in providing support for our sons and daughters in uniform, in promoting patriotism, assisting veterans, and in providing homeland volunteer efforts you help maintain and preserve the home front. In the forefront of the war effort, you live up to the Nation’s call “to uphold the American institutions of freedom, justice, and equal rights, and to defend the United States from all enemies.”"
more...Right Truth: Universal Remembrance:

War heroes honored with permanent fixture at Dutchmen’s

"CATSKILL — The Catskill Garden Club dedicated a Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker, a national Garden Club project to honor our nation's Armed Forces, at Dutchman's Landing in Catskill on Saturday.

According to guest speaker Jack Van Loan, director of Veteran Services Agency of Greene County, the original design was patented in 1917 by a World War One Army captain.

Later that year, an Ohio Member of Congress introduced the design into legislation and it was adopted as a service flag so people in the communities would know of the service and sacrifice of their neighbors.The banner, a blue star on a white background with a red border, hung in the windows of families whose loved ones were serving the country.The blue star stood for hope and pride.The banners could have as many as five stars, one for each family member in the armed forces.If a service member died in the line of duty, a small gold star representing sacrifice replaced the blue star. A silver star signaled a soldier wounded in battle.Catskill has two Blue Star and Gold Star mothers. Ruth Vedder Schmidt lost her son in Vietnam and Virginia Calvo lost both a son and her husband, the former in Vietnam and the latter in Korea.“Most people don't realize this country has been at war for the past eighteen years, since August 2, 1990,” Van Loan said.“The Blue Star program recognizes those men and women who are serving the U.S.”"

more... The Daily Mail Online:

Archers take aim for good cause

"Hundreds of archers took aim at a tournament held at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Shooting Range on Saturday, and if Scott Smith has his way, thousands more will flock to the site very soon.

Smith helped organize the “Shoot for Our Troops” Tournament, which brought more than 300 archers to the shooting range in West Monroe. Smith said proceeds from the event would benefit four local war veterans, Smith’s Straight Arrow Foundation, Horse Assisted Therapy Services of North Louisiana and Blue Star Mothers, a support group for mothers with sons and daughters in military service. Part of the proceeds would also go back to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Smith expected the event to raise $15,000 from the event, but that is just the beginning of his plans.He hopes to hold a similar tournament two to three times a year at the site, bringing in similar numbers, and use part of the money to fund an archery mentoring camp for children.In two weeks, the West Monroe native also will travel to Illinois to lobby the Archery Shooters Association for a permanent regional tournament at West Monroe. He said ASA events draw from archers from surrounding states and generate significant revenue for area tourism.Richard Freeland, a professional staff member for Mathews Archery, said the “Shoot for Our Troops” tournament had some of the best facilities he had seen in his 17 years on the tournament circuit, and an ASA event could easily bring 2,000 people to the range."

Archers take aim for good cause The News Star:

Honoring the sacrifice of service members' families

"The women stood together after the ceremony and the speeches, as the crowd left to find lunch and workers took apart the public address system.
Raeann O'Connor's son, Pfc. Timothy Markle Jr., is serving in Iraq with the 56th Stryker Brigade of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
Connie McNally's son, Warrant Officer Steven Viands Jr., will return to Iraq for his second tour of duty in September.
'People say they understand, but they can't,' O'Connor said. 'You can't understand if it's not your family.'"
"We suffer," McNally said. "Very hard. There are days that you can't function."
"You wish you could hold your child," O'Connor said. "You wish you child could walk through the door at night. You wish you could just go to the movies, but you can't.
"Every morning and every night I have that question: Is my child coming home?"
They sat next to one another Saturday, as the Garden Club of York dedicated the Blue Star Memorial Garden built just inside the Brooks Robinson Plaza gate at Sovereign Bank Stadium to honor the families of those serving the country.
"As a blue star mother, it's hard to find other blue star families," O'Connor said. "York County can be isolating like that."
"We just met today," McNally said.
Listening to the tributes was difficult, they said. At times, both women choked up.
As speakers spoke of sacrifices that could never be forgotten, fans walked past on the plaza, not wanting to miss the Revs' batting practice.

Named after the flags given to the families of those serving during war, a blue star represents those supporting a son or daughter, husband
or wife in the military.
In 1944, the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 dogwood trees as a living memorial to those killed in World War
II. The next year, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the symbol when it began the Blue Star Highway system, which honors all veterans.
Both the Blue Star Mothers and Blue Star Families are organizations that support the families of those serving in the military.

Honoring the sacrifice of service members' families - The York Daily Record:

NH Troop Rally Today!

"The Blue Star Families, whose children are or have served in the US Armed Forces and Gold Star Families whose children gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, along with the deployed New Hampshire Armed Forces Family Support Groups, NH National Guard, US Armed Forces Reserves, The Red Cross and The American Legion are participating in 'New Hampshire Supports Our Troops Rally' at the State House Plaza in Concord NH on June 13, 2009 at 11am. The rally is to show our support for the deployed members of our armed forces and their families.

Speakers will include along with Jack Kimball of Granite State Patriots, Gold Star Mother, Lynn Savage, Chaplain Veinotte and Sgt First Class Jon Worrall, of the Chaplain’s Emergency Relief Fund. There will be displays of military vehicles, Military color guards, military displays, The American Defenders of NH Baseball Team, activities for children and much, much more. Come join us in a show of support for the men and women of our armed forces. For further information contact Holly Haas at navyblu007(at)"

GraniteGrok: Troop Rally Today!:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blue Star Mothers to ‘Lift High the Flag’ with July packing event

"Blue Star Mothers to ‘Lift High the Flag’ with July packing event
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Churches across the city are joining with the Edmond North Oklahoma City Blue Star Mothers for its Fourth of July, Freedom Box, packing event.

To date, members of nine churches and two Cub Scout Packs will be filling the Freedom Boxes to be shipped to deployed American troops across the world.

Sherry Stensrud, president of the local Blue Star Mothers chapter, said so far members of Peace Lutheran, First Methodist, First Christian, United Covenant Methodist, Lighthouse Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Memorial Road Church of Christ, Calvary Baptist, Santa Fe Presbyterian Cub Scout No. 94 and Deer Creek Cub Scouts Pack No. 348 will participate in the new style packing event.

The theme for this program is, “Lift High the Flag.”"

More... The Edmond Sun - Blue Star Mothers to ‘Lift High the Flag’ with July packing event:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Than a Flag

More Than a Flag
By Jeff Nilsson
It was proclaimed by President Wilson in 1916. It became official with an Act of Congress in 1949. It is “observed” today at all federal facilities. But Flag Day is not one of a federal holiday, which is unfortunate.
June 14 is the date that the Continental Congress approved the new flag, which makes this the birthday of America’s most powerful symbol. The American flag is unlike those of other nations, just as our nation is unlike others. The flag stands for the invented nation of the United States, founded on a principal, not geography. It symbolizes our revolution, our ideals, our past actions, and our potential.
The reason we were taught to pledge allegiance to the flag as children was so we would stand by it as adults. We are held accountable for what our country does. Like it or not, the world has high expectations for Americans—expectations they don’t hold for, say, Finlanders or Luxembourgers.
If you’re among the 20 percent of living Americans who were born in the mid 1950s, you probably learned to pledge allegiance to a 48-star flag. The addition of Alaska in 1959 required the country to produce a new, 49-star flag. Then, in 1960, the star for Hawaii made these newer flags obsolete, as reported by a Post reporter:
“One more month and the proud new 50-star flags you see being sewn together by the busy Betsy Rosses … will become officially ensigns of the United States. It has been a hard two years on manufacturers such as the Dettra Flag Company of Oaks, Pennsylvania. After 47 years of an unchanging 48-star design, two newcomer states forced the rearrangement of the flag’s union, or starred blue field, twice within a year. On the double change-over, Dettra lost about $150,000 in canceled orders and unsalable inventory. The short-lived 49-star flag started the biggest boom the flag business had ever known. This boom collapsed utterly when Hawaii’s admission to the Union was voted by Congress in March, 1959. However, when the president announced on August 21 which 50-star design was to be used, the boom revived, and by the Fourth of July Dettra will have made 2,000,000 bright new banners—twice as many as it ever made before in a single year, and about 40 percent of the year’s total for the country.”
The flag made frequent appearances on the Post’s covers over the years, particularly during World War II. Yet, in the patriotic euphoria following the war’s end, Post editors grew concerned about—of all things—too many flags.
“The season for parades is on, everything from the carnival show to the Ancient and Ponderable Order of Chowder Marchers. Nobody is complaining about that because parades, particularly the bands, are a great treat to most people. Nevertheless, as the wife of a distinguished combat officer in Europe points out to us, most parades carry too many flags. Not only does this compel patriotic men and women to stand at attention more often than necessary, but it leads to disrespect for the flag, just as endless reproduction of a Worth gown would depreciate the value of the original. At an Army post review or parade, only one flag is carried, and the honor of being a part of the color guard is highly cherished. It does seem as if the annual parade of the Knights of the Full Gallon Convention Week could get along with what the Army considers adequate.
“Our major’s wife reports watching a parade in Boston in which “literally hundreds of flags” were carried, with the result that men had to stand like ramrods most of the time or struggle to dispose of packages while removing their hats. The unfortunate part of it all is that the national emblem, which should have a special meaning now, receives no honor from this promiscuous use.
“No, we aren’t out to pass a law about it—only to urge on well-meaning chairmen of committees the point that the American flag is not a decoration or an excuse for a mass of color. It should be displayed with regard to its dignity and the appropriateness of its use.”

We would be remiss if we didn’t bring attention to another important flag hung in American households: the service flag. The Post ran a short article about it in 1942.
“The story begins in Cleveland, Ohio, at the home of Capt. Robert. L.Quiesser. Captain Quiesser had served on the Mexican border with the Fifth Ohio Infantry, from 1914 to 1916, been injured in an accident, and placed on the retired list of officers of the Ohio National Guard. ‘Shortly after April 6, 1917,’ he relates, ‘when war with Germany was declared, I wondered if I could not evolve some design by which it might be known that my two sons were away in their country’s service; one which, to their mother, would be a visible sign of the sacrifices her sons were making. And I wanted it to be a comfort, not only to my wife, but to all mothers whose sons or daughters were in the service.’ Captain Queisser went right to work. He designed a service flag which, by June, had been formally adopted by the city of Cleveland and was spreading rapidly over the country. In subsequent months, several resolutions were introduced in Congress to proclaim it an official flag of the Government. Although none were adopted, Brig. Gen. Nathan William MacChesney declared in May, 1918, that the service flag had taken such firm root in popular sentiment and has been of such beneficial influence that it is officially recognized, and everyone who is entitled to fly it is encouraged and urged to do so.
“When the present war began, numerous households hauled out their old World War I service flag; new ones began appearing on the market. This time Congress did act, passing a bill in October, 1942, which authorized the secretary of war to approve an official design and license manufacturers to make them.
“The present Government approved design is similar to Captain Queisser’s—a white rectangle with a red border, and a blue star for each person in the service. A smaller gold star is placed over the blue if the service man—or woman—is killed. No one had a record of how many service flags are flying today, but the total obviously runs in the millions.”
You will occasionally see a service flag still. The Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives help promote the use of these flags to show support to the spouses and children serving, and dying, in foreign lands. They also provide support to state-side families dealing with separation and loss. For more information, visit and

More Than a Flag

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gold Star Families license plates has been established

"Two weeks ago Governor Jim Gibbons signed a bill establishing the Gold Star family's license plate for families who lost a loved one while serving in the military.'I feel great,' said Varela of the license plate, 'I feel I've accomplished something. It's not just for me but for others who will be able to be recognized as Gold Star families.'

He added family members who have had a loved one killed in military action from World War I, WWII, Vietnam or the Korean conflict to the current war can apply for a license plate at the Nevada Division of Motor Vehicles.
Families, though, will have to provide proof that a loved one perished while serving in the military."

Gold Star Families license plates has been established Reno Gazette-Journal:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sailors, Mothers Work Together to Support Service Members

"CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (NNS) -- Sailors from the Rochester Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) volunteered May 28 to help rehabilitate the Blue Star 'Canteen' in Canandaigua as part of a community relations project during Rochester Navy Week.

The Blue Star Canteen is a project taken on by the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., New York Chapter 1, to create a home-like atmosphere for veterans and active-duty military personnel."

more Sailors, Mothers Work Together to Support Service Members:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

THE PEOPLE SPEAK: Flags should be raised at front of Civic Center

"What is wrong with our Muskogee City Council that they would give our veterans such a slap in the face on May 28 at their meeting? Why are they so set against flying the POW/MIA flag? Do they not care that these men and women are the reason they can sit in their chairs and make decisions for the betterment of this city and community? Do they not care how the veterans, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandpas and grandmas feel, not knowing if their family members are still alive or gone?"
Do they not realize, this is our way of saying, “We’ll never give up and we won’t forget you? Muskogee will not forget you!”
They couldn’t have hurt the veterans or the families of those still missing in action more if they had walked up and slapped us in the face.
The Blue Star Mothers and veterans are getting signatures to petition them to fly the POW/MIA flag at the Civic Center along with the American and Oklahoma flags.
Come on, Muskogee, stand with those trying to get council to approve this and proudly say, “We won’t forget you! We will fly this flag till the day the last MIA comes home.”
Patricia L. Davis
Muskogee, Muskogee, OK - THE PEOPLE SPEAK: Flags should be raised at front of Civic Center:

Local Blue Star Mothers participate in Memorial Day Events

Shelby County Reporter Local Blue Star Mothers participate in Memorial Day Events: "Last summer, a small group of Chelsea mothers of active military personnel began working to organize a local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America Inc.
In October, the group was chartered by the national organization as the first chapter in Alabama.
“But there is now a second group in north Alabama,” said President Pam Wilson. “Chapter One now has “22 members (mothers of active duty military) and nine associate members (family, friends or those that want to support our efforts).”

Blue Star Mothers of America Inc. sends care packages and writes letters of encouragement to troops. They support veteran’s health groups and families who lose loved ones in the war against terrorism. The organization also supports the efforts of other groups to bring the plight of POW/MIAs and veterans to the nation’s attention.
On Memorial Day this year, the local chapter participated in the Laying On Of Wreaths ceremonies at the Alabama National Cemetery and the American Village.
“We laid two wreaths, one at the Alabama National Cemetery and one at the American Village in honor of those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live in this great nation and enjoy the freedoms that we have today,” said Wilson.
Mothers from the group also manned a table where visitors to the American Village could get more information on the organization and sign up for membership.
Vice–president Katharine Johnston was one of these mothers. Her son has deployed twice to Iraq with the army and is now back in the States.
Bobbi Wideman’s son also did two tours in Iraq, but was discharged from active duty with the army the first of this year. She is still an active member of Blue Star Mothers."