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.

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