"While her son sweated and gasped through U.S. Army boot camp, Tammie Hayes found comfort and friendship on Facebook.
The captain of her son’s platoon at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., posted photos and videos from basic training on the popular social networking site, Hayes said. The Facebook page provided her with a link to new military moms just like her.
“It gave the mothers, the spouses, the siblings and everyone the opportunity to talk to each other and ask questions,” Hayes said. “We can help each other and give that support.”"
It also gave Hayes an idea. The Belmont resident decided to start a local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, a group for mothers of active and honorably discharged military service members. The organization helps families of fallen troops, sends care packages overseas and raises money for other projects.
“I think it’s going to be a good support group, but we also want to help our soldiers,” said Hayes. “There are more and more who are going to be deployed.”
The Blue Star Mothers of America is a nonprofit organization authorized under the U.S. Code. It is nonpartisan and apolitical, according to its Web site.
“They’re just out for one thing,” Hayes said, “to support each other and support our troops.”
The local group will be the 11th chapter in North Carolina and will be called the Queen City Blue Star Mothers. With the next nearest chapter in Hickory, Hayes hopes Charlotte-area residents as well as those in Gaston County will join.
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