Mothers. do weep.
but your faithfulness keep
You raised your sweet children.
You raised them to recognize a wrong
to always defend and protect those not strong
to seek the truth in this cruel world
Now about them the battles may swirl
They have their promises to keep
Mothers... with you we weep...

When war does rage
recorded again on history's page
and Death counts its toll
pray your children are not on its role
This matters above everything
for when it is done and freedom does ring
Mothers, your praises they will sing
But for now its` price is so steep
Mothers... for you we weep...

┬ęCopyright March 15, 2003 by Faye Sizemore



The U.S. Military - Blue Star Mother Prayer

Give me the greatness of heart to see, The difference between duty & his/her/their love for me. Give me understanding so that I may Know, When duty calls him/her/them, he/she/they must go. Give me a task to do each day, To fill the time when he/she's/ while they're away. When he/she's/they're in a foreign land, Keep him/her/them safe in your loving hand. And Lord, when duty is in the field, Please protect him/her/them and be his/her/their shield. And Lord, when deployment is so long, Please stay with me and keep me strong.


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.
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