Blue Star Mothers honor local veterans

By Sydney L. Murray

June 17, 2014

EATON—The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. Preble County Chapter organized a pinning ceremony on Saturday, June 14, to praise local veterans.

Five veterans were honored with a flag pin, a thank you card, and a handshake, presented by area Boy Scouts.

“Our way of saying thank you for what they have done for us and our country,” Blue Star Mothers President Linda Samuels said.

Samuels has two sons in the Army, both of whom have served in Iraq. Samuels became involved with the Blue Star Mothers while both of hers sons were deployed.

Samuels said having both of her sons serve at the same time was very scary, and said she cried more than she ever thought one person could cry.

“Moms in Blue Star Mothers, they know what you’re going through,” Samuels said. “They have the same feelings you have.”

Anita Eby, treasurer of Blue Star Mothers, has a son in the National Guard.

Although Eby’s son is not stationed overseas, Eby said her heart goes out to mothers who have sons who are deployed.

“I still feel for the other mothers,” Eby said. “I wanted to do my part.”

Eby said the Blue Star Mothers send care packages overseas, but are also trying to do more for veterans.

Samuels also said the group has usually been more geared toward deployed military, but said now they are trying to work toward helping veterans, especially those veterans who didn’t get a proper thank you when they came home from war, such as veterans from the Vietnam and Korean wars.

“So we just try to do what we can,” Samuels said. “Our little part.”

Samuels said this is the group’s first time organizing the pinning and said the Preble County Fairgrounds gave them the Bruner Arena building to use free of charge.

“So we really, really appreciate that,” Samuels said.

The room was decorated in red, white and blue balloons, confetti and flags. The Blue Star Mothers also provided snacks.

The Blue Star Mothers Preble County Chapter meets at 6:30 p.m., the last Wednesday of every month, at the Preble County YMCA. The chapter began in 2006 and is open to mothers from Preble, Darke and Butler counties in Ohio and Wayne County, Ind.

The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1942. There are currently more than 200 chapters throughout the country with more than 6,000 members.