- Blue Star Mothers Club
World War II, in March 1942, the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. organization was formed in the United Statesto provide support for mothers who had sons or daughters in active service in the war. The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in a window of their homes. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the military. Living servicemen were represented by a Blue Star and those who had lost their lives were represented by a Gold Star. Today, membership in the Blue Star Mothers is open to any woman living in America who has a son or daughter in the US Armed Forces, or who has had a son or daughter in the US Armed Forces who has been honorably discharged.
The group holds a
congressional charterunder Title 36 of the United States Code.
Founding of the Blue Star Mothers
Army Capt. George Maines conceived the apples idea for the Blue Star Mothers. He ran a newspaper article in
Flint, Michigan, in January 1942, requesting information about children serving in the armed forces. More than 1,000 mothers responded. By March 8, 1942, more than 600 mothers organized the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. That same year, chapters quickly formed in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oregon, Iowa, Washington, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and New York. The blue star flag was designed and patented by WWI Army Capt. Robert Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry, who had two sons serving on the front line. This flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. The Blue Star Mothers’ original goals were to bring their sons home, to ensure they received the benefits they deserved, help service members' families, help each other and to be there if something happened. Over the years, the goals have broadened to rehabilitation, hospital work, children’s welfare and civil defense.
Blue Star Mothers today
Today, membership in the Blue Star Mothers is open to any woman in America whose child is in the
United States Armed Forcesor who has served in the United States Armed Forces with honorable discharge. Stepmothers and adoptive mothers are eligible for membership under certain circumstances. Blue Star Dads and others who wish to serve through the BSMoA may join as Associate Members. Associate members do not vote or pay dues.
Blue Star Mothers is made up of local chapters, which are organized into departments. Five members are required to start a local chapter. If no local chapter is available, a woman may join the national organization as a member at large.
Just as when it was founded, the Blue Star Mothers continues to concentrate on providing emotional support to its members, doing volunteer work with veterans in general and veteran's hospitals in particular, and generally fostering a sense of patriotism and respect for members of the Armed Forces. In addition, local chapters carry out individual projects of their own choosing.
Blue Star Mothers do much more than volunteer in VA hospitals and outreach centers. They work in physical and emotional rehabilitation, help with medical supplies, transportation, food, clothing and friendship, gratitude and love.
Blue Star Mothers have been active in civil defense since 1942, doing things like finding food and shelter for people devastated by hurricane and floods. Blue Star Mothers do not have a permanent headquarters, so the headquarters travels with the national president
There were about 30,000 members during World War II and several thousand during the Korean War and Vietnam War. By July, 2006, membership had grown to 164 chapters nationally. California has the most, but Minnesota, Ohio and Oklahoma follow close behind.
As of August 1, 2008 there are over 5000 members and 188 chapters. The annual convention was held in Albuquerque, NM where the Constitution, Bylaws and Code of Conduct were subject to extensive revision for the first time since 1963.
Connecticut Blue Star Mothers http://www.ConnecticutBlueStarMothers.org
* [http://www.bluestarmothers.org/ Official Website]
* [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode36/usc_sup_01_36_06_II_08_B_10_305.html U.S. Statutes Incorporating the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.]
* [http://www.bluestarmothersofwisconsin.com/ Blue Star Mothers of Wisconsin Chapter 2]
* [http://www.bluestarmothers.org/images/bd_onestarservicestarbanner.jpgImage of the Blue Star Banner]
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