Monday, November 30, 2009

Coping while loved ones serve - - 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 - - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports :

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cromwell Residents Offer Thanks To Troops During Holiday Season --

"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 --

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 -

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

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 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
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"

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 For more information, contact Debbie Katsounakis, president of Modesto-Central Valley Blue Star Mothers & Families, at 410-2467 or

Read more:"

Addresses sought for military gifts - Local -

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: or 775-626-7839.

Blue Star Mothers seek help with care packages for troops 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 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 (

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...

Amelia Village Honors Local Veterans -

Amelia Village Honors Local Veterans - "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 "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


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"

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.", 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: