The San Diego North County Blue Star Mothers was formed in September of 2005 consisting of local mothers whose children are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces. Our mission, in a broad sense is the support of troops, their families, the advocacy of Veterans issues and the promoting of patriotism. This is done through various activities such as fund raisers, the sending of packages to military hospitals abroad and to individual service personnel at the request of a friend or family member, donation drives and the attendance of local city events to promote public awareness.
When my own son commissioned in December 2004 as a 2nd Lt. in the Marine Corps I immediately started looking for a support group to join. I'd had years to prepare for this season of my life since he has wanted to fly for the military since he was 4 years old and that goal never wavered. He told me of the Blue Star service flag so I began researching it on the internet I came across the national web site (bluestarmothers.org) and sent in my application. I eventually got word back that the closest Chapter was several hours away and that’s when I decided to establish one in the San Diego area. I contacted a friend whose son is serving in the Army and together we spread the word and put an ad in the local paper announcing our first meeting. That meeting brought together our 6 founding members to become an official Chapter.
One of our first projects was the sending out of about 100 boxes to a hospital in Iraq. Items such as writing paper, pens, tooth brushes, tooth paste, reading material, candy, cookies, cameras, and comforts from home were sent ahead of an Army unit on its way to that particular hospital. We later learned that on the way they were separated from their sea bags and when they arrived they were without any of their personal belongings. Fortunately, our boxes had arrived. The note we received back said, “What a wonderful surprise to receive your care packages. Everyone dug in and grabbed something they needed.” It was a great start for our small group.
Having a child, my only child, serving in the military has brought about some unwanted but necessary topics of conversations. Such as his making out a will, how and where he would like to be buried should he be killed, memorial service instructions. Although we as mothers would like to believe our children will outlive us that’s not always the case. His own mortality has been brought to the forefront I try to prepare myself of how I would react in the event a strange car pulls into the driveway with two Marines in it but I don’t believe one can really prepare for that, we can only be aware of its possibility. I, along with so many other mothers, am intensely proud of my son. Not only for his willingness to serve his country and protect our freedoms, but for the character it took for him to be where he is today. His path was not an easy one, with many roadblocks that he had to get over but he persevered and is now living his dream of 20 years.
I was recently singing “America the Beautiful” and as I was singing, a phrase hit me as it never had before. In fact, I don’t think I even paid attention to it until Justin joined the Marines and then it became very real to me. It is an accurate description of our sons and daughters who willingly put themselves in harms way. It says,
“Oh beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”
In January of 1942 the Flint News Advertiser printed a coupon asking Mothers of serviceman to fill it out and return it. That following February 300 mothers met for the first time. It was decided after receiving more than 1000 responses from the ad that a permanent organization should be formed. In June of 1960 the organization was chartered by Congress.
Blue Star Mothers of America is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization being non-political, non-partisan and we do not endorse any religious organization.
The Blue Star Service flag was designed in 1917 by an Army Captain in Ohio whose 2 sons were serving on the front lines. It quickly became the unofficial banner of having a child in service. Each blue star representing a child serving. It is hung during a time of war and we as Blue Star Mothers still proudly display this service flag in our widows letting all who see it know that we support those who are dearest to us as they offer themselves in the service of our great country. It is a reminder of the courage and commitment of our sons and daughters.
A blue star becomes gold if a service member is killed or dies while on active duty. We never want to forget our Gold Star families whose children don’t come home.
Serving proudly as the 2021/22 National Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. Officers:
Stacy Anders, President
Rebecca Stafford, 1st VP
Karen Stillwell, 2nd VP
Cheree Barrett, 3rd VP
Brenda Ternullo, 4th VP Pro Tem
Doreen Berggren, Recording Secretary Pro Tem
Lucie Cutts, Financial Secretary
Diane Evans-Vance, Treasurer