Monday, March 29, 2010

Parents of military offspring discover online connection: New Blue Star Mothers chapter offers a hand to those with children in harm's way

"Mar. 27--From pugil stick drill to rifle practice, Tammie Hayes of Belmont watched her son tough it out in Army basic training.
On Facebook.
The social networking page had been set up at Fort Jackson, S.C., near Columbia, so parents could monitor the making of soldiers.
As Facebook friends got to know each other, Hayes heard about Blue Star Mothers of America Inc., a support group for people with children in the military.
When she couldn't find a local chapter, she started one.
With roots going back to World War II when military moms displayed blue banners in their windows, the national nonprofit has 10 chapters in North Carolina and seven in South Carolina.
Hayes, 44, has organized North Carolina's 11th chapter -- Queen City Blue Star Mothers, serving Gaston County and the Charlotte area. Seven people showed up at the first meeting this week. They talked about sharing concerns and raising money for such projects as shipping care packages to troops overseas by Memorial Day."

Parents of military offspring discover online connection: New Blue Star Mothers chapter offers a hand to those with children in harm's way:

National American Legion Commander Clarence Hill

SC"National American Legion Commander Clarence Hill, and Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina, Carol Dion, Rita Parks, Jane Gale and Sharon Russell."


"I was in Nashville for the past few days. I did not see the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman or the 'bat' building."

I did see the airport, the Holiday Inn Express, and Lipscomb University. And I also saw that in the 'time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.' (William McKinley). I saw that there are many, many others who, in recognition of the selfless service in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, love and care for our veterans, and that there are passionate people out there such as Lipscomb University, Challenge America, Operation Standdown, Share Care, Blue Star Mothers of America, Dive Heart, The Shield Foundation, The Kessler Foundation, Folds of Honor Foundation, Challenge Aspen, Wounded Warrior Project, Penny's from Heaven Foundation, Inc. and others standing by their sides and fostering solutions for transition from battlefield to home front.


Happening Today

"Blue Star Mothers of America are looking for family and friends who have loved ones serving in the United States Military. They are welcome to the monthly meeting, the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room, Doylestown. Information: or call 215-723-4935."
Happening Today - The Times Herald Life: Norristown, PA and Montgomery County (

Dallas community calendar |

"Blue Star Mothers of America, Lone Star Chapter 6, meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Thursday each month at First United Methodist Church of Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway. Parents who have or have had children on active duty are invited. Call 972-897-9250, e-mail, or visit www.dfwbluestar Drop-off points for troop care-package items are Fire Station No. 30, 11381 Zodiac Lane, Dallas; Fire Station No. 6, 900 Seabrook Drive, Plano; and Fire Station No. 1, 136 N. Greenville Ave., Richardson."Dallas community calendar News for Dallas, Texas Dallas Morning News Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth Dallas Morning News:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dodge BSM spearheads effort - Dodge City, KS

y Don Steele
Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 12:00 PM
An organizational meeting to charter a southwest Kansas chapter of Blue Star Mothers is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Dodge City VFW, 901 N. 13th Ave.
Blue Star Mothers of America Inc. is a nonpartisan, non-political organization created as a support system for mothers with children in military service. Member chapters participate in a number of national projects.
Spearheading efforts to organize the southwest Kansas chapter is Margaret Butcher, whose son, James, is currently stationed in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. James is an Army Ranger based at Fort Campbell, Ky.
"James went into the Army right out of Dodge City High School in 2006," Butcher said in a recent phone interview. "It was something he had been planning since he was six or seven years old."
For the full story, go to

Dodge BSM spearheads effort - Dodge City, KS - Dodge City Daily Globe

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Program to honor vets cut


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - One local woman is fighting to save a program that honors military families. The Freedom Team Salute program gives recognition to parents, spouses and supporters of members of the military, as well as retired veterans. But a funding shortage is shutting it down.

"The funding was withdrawn and the program was terminated," says Blue Star Mothers president Wendy Hoffman. "There hasn't really been any explanation."

Hoffman says the salute was a way to let vets know someone still cares.

"The Korean War vets, they call that the forgotten war," Hoffman explains. "For someone to come in and give them the salute, its like they're no longer forgotten."

The program got $7 million in funding last year--this year it's getting nothing.

Volunteers say the cost is worth it when you see the vets reaction.

"I had one gentleman in a nursing home break down and cry when I gave him the salute," says retired Lieutenant Colonel Jim Rudy. "They haven't heard anything from the army in 40 or 50 years and all of a sudden they're getting this recognition, they're really thankful."

Rudy and Hoffman agree, the most important part of the freedom salute is the chance to say thanks.

"It's not about the paper and the pin," Hoffman says. "It's about the recognition."

If you want to join the effort to bring back the freedom team salute, you can send letters, make phone calls and write emails to Congress' Armed Services Committee.

For contact information, email Jim Rudy at

Program to honor vets cut - - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports |

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blue Star Mom gives far more than she takes

By Nancy Kaye Contributing writer
When, at the end of 2004, Pat Soler's son, Kyle, decided to enlist as a private in the United States Army, she wasn't surprised. She and her son had talked about it for some time. One month later, she “enlisted” in the Blue Star Moms.
The Solers can be classified as “a giving family.” Rossmoor resident Pat is now volunteering 50 hours a week for the Blue Star Moms; much-awarded Kyle is now a second lieutenant, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Pat's daughter, Kelly, is a recent UC Santa Barbara graduate, working as a case manager for a homeless shelter.

And indeed, Soler has supported her son as well as thousands of other military personnel by her full-time activities with the Blue Star Moms. In the 5-1/2 years since she joined the 9,000-member organization, she's put in more hours than if she were in a full-time paid job.
She is the group's national financial secretary and active in the local chapter, located in Danville.

Presently, Soler is ecstatic about Kyle's forthcoming award for being the Army's outstanding officer candidate school graduate for 2009. He will receive it in Fort Benning, Georgia, on March 25, that is if he isn't deployed to Afghanistan before then. And if he is, his mother expects to fill in for him.
more...Rossmoor News

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kingwood Chamber honors nonprofits

"Monday, March 08, 2010
Anne McIlhany
– Annual ‘Lifter’s Lunch’ puts local nonprofits in the spotlight –"

Local nonprofits had a chance to shine at the annual Go Texan Lifter’s Lunch hosted by the Kingwood Chamber of Commerce March 4. The luncheon was held at the Nathaniel Center located in Kingwood, with nearly 300 attendees, and 27 nonprofits honored.
Each participating nonprofit had a booth and a chance to go over their mission statement. Several organizations took part in the event, including: Humble Area Assistance Ministries, Go Red for Women, FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling Center, Including Kids Inc., HealthYes, Young Life, Blue Star Moms, Kingwood Rotary, Kingwood Women’s Club, Animals Always Believe in You, Village Learning & Achievement Center, Kingwood Nutrition, Friends of the Library Kingwood, Houston Airport System, Kingwood Civic Club, and many more.
Members and guests at the event enjoyed visiting the booths, socializing and a delicious lunch provided by Chachi’s Mexican Bar and Grill (located in Kingwood Town Center.)

Kingwood Chamber honors nonprofits - Monday, March 08, 2010 - Copyright 2007

Troop supporters plan benefit event

"Staff Report
Posted: 03/07/2010 06:50:13 PM PST

Blue Star Moms of Marin and the Ignacio Rotary Club are teaming up for a Monte Carlo Night fundraiser March 13 at the Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. ballroom in Novato.
The Rotary Club has pledged to donate $1,000 to Blue Star Moms if the group can sell 20 tickets at $50 each. The 23rd annual Monte Carlo Night will include a casino, auction, dancing, food and drinks. The event has raised $650,000 through the years. For ticket information, call 899-7341 or send e-mail to
For more information about Blue Star Moms, which supports military troops overseas and their families, check www.bluestar"

Troop supporters plan benefit event March 13 - Marin Independent Journal:

Casa de Fruta Partners to Send Fruit and Nut Care Packages to Wounded and Deployed U.S. Soldiers

"Casa de Fruta, a family-owned dried fruit and nut grower, is partnering with two non-profit organizations to send care packages filled with healthy snacks, treats and patriotic items to wounded and deployed American soldiers. This collaboration enables donors, via the Casa de Fruta website (, to select the appropriate donor level and gift basket they would like shipped to U.S. soldiers who are either deployed or wounded and recovering in hospitals abroad.

The two organizations partnering with Casa de Fruta are Operation First Response, which will forward the care packages to wounded soldiers in combat hospitals, and Blue Star Moms, which will send the care packages to deployed soldiers. Operation First Response is dedicated to sending care packages to wounded American soldiers in combat support hospitals in Iraq, Germany and other locations around the world, while Blue Star Moms is a support group for military mothers and families in Northern California and is the Bay Area chapter of the national group, Blue Star Moms of America."
Casa de Fruta Partners to Send Fruit and Nut Care Packages to Wounded and Deployed U.S. Soldiers:

Blue Star Mothers embrace new era of soldiers

"As long as the United States is at war, a blue star banner will hang in a window of Vickie LaBonte's home."
LaBonte is president of the Portland chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America. The group wants to see more banners displayed in the homes of military service members in Maine.
The chapter formed after LaBonte began meeting with other mothers of Marines after Sept. 11, 2001. They knew their children would be going into action, wherever it was, and were looking for support. Besides helping one another, the Blue Star Mothers work with other groups aiding service members, veterans and their families.
Even though her son, Stephen Gosselin II, has been out of the Marines for five years, LaBonte wants to keep the momentum going – especially now that more mothers have children serving in Afghanistan.
More... Blue Star Mothers embrace new era of soldiers The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram: