When Joan Van Swol's son was deployed to Iraq the first time, she didn't have the unique level of supportive understanding that she gets with Blue Star Mothers.
"I have a terrific family, but unless you're the mother of a deployed service member, you just don't know what it's like," she said. "No one knows what military moms go through except other military moms."
Blue Star Mothers is a support, social and service group devoted to supporting the moms of active and retired military personnel. The Southeast Wisconsin, Chapter 2 group meets the third Thursday of each month at Sturtevant Village Hall. They share a pot luck meal and discuss upcoming events in which they'll participate, like the Memorial Day parade or putting together care packages for troops currently deployed.