"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.