Amherst, NY - Inspired by her sons Ryan, who is serving in Iraq, and David, who is serving in Afghanistan, Catherine Chapman of Amherst is starting a Buffalo-Niagara Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America.
Blue Star Mothers coming to Buffalo-Niagara - YNN, Your News Now
"This is our way of saying thank you to those men and women who have answered the call and have stepped up to the plate and who do believe in what they're doing," said Chapman.
The Blue Star Mothers are mothers who currently have or have had children honorably serving in the military. Chapman learned about the organization after her sons enlisted. She joined a chapter in Chautauqua County in March around the same time she lost her job. It was then she decided to focus her energy on starting one in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
"It's well worth it," said Chapman. "It's been a lot of work but it's been a lot of fun too along the way, and I've met some absolutely wonderful people."
Blue Star Mothers are more than a support group. They collect items for care packages and have a "Greetings from Home" campaign as well. Chapman sews pillowcases with the goal of putting one in each care package. "This helps to boost their morale to know that somebody really cares, and we're not forgotten and we're not doing this for nothing," said Chapman.
Blue Star Mothers also tend to the needs of veterans. Chapman expects to complete the Blue Star charter application Tuesday night. That's when she'll encourage others to join the group at an informational meeting at 7 p.m. at the American Legion on Amherst Street in Buffalo. For additional information people can visit www.NY7BuffaloNiagaraBSM@yahoo.com.
"This has helped me personally to be able to, like I said, not only give back to the troops and show them appreciation, but it's also helping me to understand that I'm not alone in this," said Chapman.
Chapman proudly flies her flags and displays a blue star banner in the window of her Amherst home, one star for each son. She's looking forward to sharing her patriotic pride with a new chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America.