"Mar. 27--From pugil stick drill to rifle practice, Tammie Hayes of Belmont watched her son tough it out in Army basic training.
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: