Children Of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund


Wreaths Across America


You Are participate in the wreath-laying ceremony and activities at Arlington National Cemetery, or at any of the locations across the Country on

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

*see location list for specific times and schedule. A Moment of Silence will be held at ALL locations at Noon EST(sharp).

List of Participating Locations

Help us with these locations we are still waiting to hear from

How can you get involved?

We hope you will be able to join us at Arlington National Cemetery or one of the other participating locations across the Country.

For those not able to attend, please pass the word that there will be a Moment of Silence at Noon EST, where people all across the Nation will stop and share a silent thank you, to all those who serve, to all we've lost, and to their families who will be without loved ones this holidays.

Please Print and Share - Help us spread the word!




Col. Raymond Gates Memorial Cemetery - Rocky Hill
Lt. Col Anthiny Cichocki, Jr.
Royal Charter Composite Squadron


Spring Grove Veterans Cemetery - Darien
Greg Sokerka



Gold Star Mom

The banner was small
But the star was large,
The color of a blue, night sky.
She hung it in the window
With trembling fingers
And tried hard not to cry.
He was so young to go far away
As all soldiers have to do.
She knew that danger
Lurked everywhere,
As she touched the star of blue.
The weeks went by
The months rolled on
She knew he would not die.
Her faith in God held her head up high.
In her heart she sang a song.
But the battles raged.
The news was not good
Why did so many have to die?
The thought made her cold
And she felt terribly old
As the day came that she faced
With dread.
When a knock on the door
Shattered her life evermore,
And the blue star turned to gold.

--Esther B. (Campbell) Gates

Written in memory of her son, Specialist Keith Allen Campbell




The Institute of Heraldry

The Institute of Heraldry of the U.S. Department of the Army has prepared a fact sheet on the service flag. This fact sheet gives detailed service-flag information from the Department of Defense Directives and U.S. Code. Click here to view the fact sheet. article
Blue Star Mothers of America
Deborah Tainsh | October 17, 2006
On September 30, in Columbus, Georgia, I sat among families attending the first Blue to Gold Tribute to honor Georgia's fallen heroes and their families -- an important event not possible without Georgia's Blue Star Mothers of America, Chapter One.

Few know the meaning behind Blue Star Mothers of America, an incredible support system for families and deployed service members (especially during wartime). This support system is offered through various state chapters of courageous moms called Blue Star Mother's of America, Inc., an organization I had no knowledge of until after the death of my stepson in Iraq on 11, February 2004.

Upon receiving by mail a beautifully framed flag with a Gold Star centered on white material bordered in red a few weeks after Patrick's death, and no letter to explain the meaning of the gift, I searched the internet for such a flag. I learned that the historical and proud significance of this Gold Star Flag was preceded by the Blue Star Flag designed and patented by Army Captain Robert Queissner during WWI. With two sons on the front lines, Captain Queissner began a tradition for families to signify the love, pride, and hope for children serving in war by hanging in household windows a flag with blue stars. As death of a child came to families, a blue star was changed to gold.

Blue Star Mothers of America became official in March 1942, after Army Captain George Maines placed an article in a Flint, Michigan newspaper requesting information about children serving in the armed forces. Over 600 moms responded and subsequently came together to create Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. From the Blue Star Service Flag, Blue Star Mothers of America took their name and chapters grew across America with the goal of supporting their military community, helping to build the morale of their deployed loved ones through care packages, and providing visits and care for the wounded at home.

Gold Star Mothers of America, Inc took their name from the Gold Star that replaced a blue one, and in 1929 became incorporated after inspiration from the story of Grace Seibold, a WWI mother who worked through her grief and sorrow after the loss of her son by visiting the wounded in hospitals and reaching out to other mothers who suffered the same grief. What very few know today is that the last Sunday of September is officially Gold Star Mother's Day, as set forth in 1936 by Senate Joint Resolution 115.

Since learning the meaning behind Blue and Gold Star Flags and the mothers of America who currently work together, reviving a support system for parents and members of the United States Armed Forces, whether serving, wounded, or fallen, I have been privileged to meet many of these courageous and selfless women from coast to coast. Many of these Blue Star moms have learned together the pain, sorrow, and bittersweet pride of becoming Gold Star Moms as they personally present Gold Star Flags to grieving military families in their communities. Yet, Blue Star Moms who know their star color can quickly change, continue to support the Gold, one another, and strive to bring honor and support to our nation's armed forces serving in harm's way.

As a guest and keynote speaker, I have witnessed the support provided by Blue Star Mother chapters that work together voluntarily with a voracious synergy to raise funds and create events to honor their states' Gold Star families and fallen heroes. In September, 2005, I observed this with the East Bay Area Chapter #101 Blue Star Mothers led by Deb Saunders, where with help from Major General Michael J. Myatt, USMC Ret, President and CEO of the Marines' Memorial Association in San Francisco, California families were brought together for a time of honor, remembrance, and bonding in their time of grief.

On September 24, 2006, Gold Star Mothers Day, I was in awe of the Colorado Blue Star Mothers led by Janna Schaffer who brought their Gold Star families together in the town of Estes Park at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park. Here Colorado Congresswoman, Marilyn Musgrave, also a Blue Star Mom, brought words of support and comfort, and families who had had no previous contact with others on this path of sacrifice, found new support through shared time and stories.

And on September 30, in my home state of Georgia, the amazing Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., Georgia Chapter One, from every corner of the state, led by President, Nancy Seifert of Hamilton, Georgia, gave an incredible gift to Georgia families and their fallen heroes. With funding from Georgia's Columbus Bank and Trust, Synovus Financial Services, Total Systems, Inc., and Greystone Properties, family members of all service branches' fallen heroes received an impeccable dinner and honor as words of support were provided by Fort Benning Georgia's Commanding General, Major General Walt Wodjakowsi and his wife, Candy, who learned that as parents to a son serving in the United States Army, they are also Blue Star Parents.

Bill Stembridge spoke on behalf of Georgia's United States Senator Saxby Chambliss who also sent a personal video message for the families. The tribute was made complete with the professionalism of a Fort Benning Color Guard, a tribute slide show of Georgia's fallen heroes created through the help of Shaw High School in Columbus, near Fort Benning, and TAPS performed by a bugler from Fort Benning's outstanding Army Band.

Following the tribute, the mom of SGT Kelley Courtney, USMC, KIA October 30, 2004 in Anbar Province, Iraq wrote:

Tears still flow readily from the Tribute Dinner experience in honor of Kelley. We are very grateful for the experience. Meeting everyone face-to-face who we previously only knew ethereally was a kindred bond we all needed. What a special moment.

I can't imagine how we will be ever be able to adequately express our thanks to everyone for all the hard work that was put into making such a beautiful and memorable evening fall into place so perfectly. If we can ever be of service to you, in honor of Kelley, please let us know.
We love you.
Gena and Bobby Courtney, Macon, Georgia

Without Blue Star Mothers of America chapters, such needed support and honor for military families would not occur. Our nation's Blue Star Mothers are the epitome of servants to those who serve our nation. As during past wars, they are priceless treasures to our country's military families. They are among the true patriots. Each knowing they can at any moment become a Gold Star Mother as they remain diligent and courageous with open arms for all who need them, because, after all, that's what mothers do, and I thank you.

About Deborah Tainsh
Deborah Tainsh, Gold Star Mother of Sgt Patrick Tainsh KIA Baghdad, Iraq, 2/11/04, is the author of Heart of a Hawk: One family's sacrifice and journey toward healing, recipient of the Military Writers Society of America's Spirit of Freedom award.

A supporter of America's military and their families, Deborah is a national speaker, writer, and peer mentor for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of military personnel located in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, USMC Sgt. Major (Ret) David Tainsh live in Harris County, Georgia, near Columbus and their son, Phillip.
For more info go to:



Every room in my house has a clock.
Only one has ever stopped.
They chronicle a life that is ebbing away,
A family history that is here to stay.

There is the clock that ticked off the hours
The times when my children were born.
One a clock whose china base holds flowers
And one with a face that is torn.

The grandfather clock in the hallway that chimed
Giving away the hour they came home.
A clock in the parlor that would ever remind
Me of the home they have always known.

But the clock that stopped when I was told
My soldier son gave his life for his friend.
Will never be wound now that I’m old.
But the others will tick to the end.

--Esther B. Gates

Posted: 20 March 2005



For Ann Hampton, Gold Star Mother of Captain Kimberly Hampton

War has taken her only daughter
in the name of freedom in a foreign land
shot down in a Kiowa OH-58 helicopter...
so young... felled by an Iraqi enemies hand...
awakened while living her dream...
Death had not been in her scheme
Ann Hampton... a Gold Star Mother
but a child... this one has no other
America saluted her with a gold star
Now she sits alone... her thoughts afar
back to the youth of her only child...
when her tears did not have to fall...
back when her daughter had not given all
Through tightly close eyes... her happiness amiss
for gone forever are her days of maternal bliss...
her tears seep down... silent... unbidden...
on a mother's arms... cradling emptiness...

©Copyright January 12, 2004 by Faye Sizemore



Doc's Gold Star Mothers Tribute


White House Commission on Rememberance