I’m a Blue Star Mother
The orders came that the first duty station my son would be stationed at would be Schofield Barrack in Hawaii. Yes, sunshine, beaches, water sports, and perfect weather all of the time, yet all I could think of was how many miles it was from family.
How do you mentally prepare for your only child being so far from home? I didn’t even know there was an Army base in Hawaii! The paperwork said three years, but in my mind, it was forever. After a week at home, the day came to drive him to the airport. A stop to say goodbye to his grandfather on the way to the airport and I wanted to be brave; I wanted to bury my emotion, but the tears came. As I kissed his cheek at the airport, I hugged my son and held on so tightly knowing that when I let go, I would no longer be there to care for him and protect him, he was a man. He was carving out his own life, his own legacy, and what mark would he leave on this world?
Who are the Blue Star Mothers?
My experience is not uncommon. As Blue Star Mothers, we may become accustomed to this scenario, but it’s never easy. The sadness we feel in each goodbye is rivaled only by the pride we have in our children for serving their country.
It’s because of this pride that we strive to honor the service of our children. Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. is a non-political organization of mothers, step-mothers, and grandmothers of active duty and veteran service members. In 1960, the Blue Star Mothers were officially chartered as a Veteran’s Organization. Our mission is to support active duty service members, promote patriotism, and aid Veteran’s associations.
The Blue Star Service Banner
In 1917 Captain Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry designed the banner to honor his two sons where were deployed by the Army. During World War II, the Department of War set official guidelines for displaying the banner, which was later confirmed by an act of Congress in 1966.
Etiquette for Displaying the Blue Star Service Banner
Family members of those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces continue this tradition of honoring the service of their loved ones by displaying the banner in the front window of their home.
Guidelines for appropriate display include:
Organizations with members serving in the armed forces may also display the banner in a similar manner during times of war or hostile conflict.
One blue star is displayed on the banner for each family member serving in the armed forces.
One banner may display up to five stars.
If a service member is killed or dies while in active duty, a smaller gold star is placed over the blue.
Banners displaying both blue and gold stars should display the gold stars above and to the right of the blue.
So, when you see these banners, know that in that home is a parent, grandparent or sibling experiencing those mixed emotions of fear and pride, and be grateful to their loved one who is serving our country and to all of those who have served to protect our way of life.