Friday, June 22, 2007

Blue Star Mom's send love to U.S. Troops

Photo by Terry Faust Main Story: "Blue Star Moms send care packages laced with love to U.S. troops abroad"


Serving in Afghanistan or Iraq can be a challenging task these days.But that burden can be somewhat lightened for a young man or woman in the military when it feels like a dozen mothers are sending love from home to each service member.That description of the Blue Star Moms, a Saint Paul branch of the Blue Star Mothers of America, was recently offered by Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) William “Jesse” Kelley, 3rd Special Force Group Airborne, US Army.His mother, Pattie Kelley, joined the Blue Star Moms, a group of mothers who have a child currently serving or who has served in any branch of the military. “Finding and joining the Blue Star Moms has had a definite and obvious positive effect on my mother and her well being,” Sgt. Kelley said. “The same way military members understand and can be sympathetic to military issues other service members have, so can military moms understand each other in unique ways and rely on one another for support.”Pattie agreed. “It’s just been a lifesaver,” she said.Her son, Jesse, joined the military five years ago and is in the active army branch. After basic training, he went to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, which provides intelligence training for all branches. He attended airborne school, learning to “jump out of a perfectly good plane,” as his mother puts it. He spent a year in Korea, and then was at FT. Briggs, NC, his home base. He became attached to the 3rd Special Force Group Airborne and found out he was going to Afghanistan.When she knew he was going on his first deployment, Pattie found out about the Blue Star Moms and attended some meetings in north Minneapolis. Less than a year ago, Cindy McLean started a chapter in Saint Paul.“We meet the first Tuesday of each month,” said Pattie, who serves as chaplain and is on the board for the Saint Paul chapter. She said anyone can also send out an e-mail saying they need to talk, and any members who can will get together and provide support.Support is the primary benefit the group has to offer.“Nobody knows what you’re going through more than another mom,” Pattie said. “My family is so supportive, as are friends, but nobody knows like another mom. They are experiencing exactly the same thing.”


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