For every soldier that is deployed, there is a mother and father anxiously awaiting their return. Luckily for the parents, there is a group dedicated to being a support system to parent’s of children serving in the military.
The Blue Star Mothers was founded by a group of dedicated mothers who banned together to support the troops, veterans and each other. Ruston is home to the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana Chapter five. These women meet the second Tuesday of each month to gather in support of their children, each other, and the many veterans who have already served our country.
Cynthy Bissell, of San Diego, California, has two sons, Matthieu and Michel, who have served in the United States Military, and her husband is a retired Air Force major.
“Matthieu is a Navy veteran who currently works as an ER nurse here in Ruston,” she said. “Michel, Gunnery Sergeant Michel Bissell, has served 15 years in the United States Marine Core and he is currently stationed at Camp Pendlton.”
Bissell, who serves as the chapter’s president, joined the Blue Star Mothers group in 2010.
“The best thing about this group is the fellowship with the mothers and fathers who have or had children serving,” Bissell said. “We support our troops here in the state and all around the world. We also help with local veterans who have served. We try to do as much as we can for them.”
Bissell said the Blue Star Mothers also help to support Gold Star Mothers – mothers who have lost a son or daughter in service.
During the September meeting, the women were working to box care packages that would be sent to various soldiers around the world. Bissell said there “was lots of support from the community for this project.”
“We honestly had so much community support,” she said. “Different organizations donated toiletries, snacks and books that we are packing to send to deployed troops. We also had many private donations that were made to help with everything.”
The Blue Star Mothers is a group open to any parents who have a son or daughter serving in the Armed Forces.
Angie Sanders, of Ruston, said it is important to find the young moms and show them support.
“The hardest part of all of this is when your son or daughter deploys,” Sanders said. “We are a support group for the moms who have children who are deployed. We want to show and give them the support that they need during this time.”
Jennifer Martin, of Ruston, is fairly new to the Blue Star Mothers group. Her son, Logan Martin is an Infantry at Ft. Riley in Kansas.
“This organization has been so good for me,” Martin said. “These ladies have all been through the same thing I am going through, we’ve all been through it. We are a support group for each other because we are all very proud and full of terror everyday. This keeps me from sitting at home worrying about my son.”
Martin, who serves as Sargent-At-Arms for the group said her son “is very proud of what the group is doing.”
“We are proud that are children are fighting for your freedom – for our freedom. These soldiers get really down and being able to pack boxes and send items really is a moral boost for them.”
The Blue Star Mothers are always accepting donations for items to send to soldiers.
Carol Garcie, of Quitman, said they are always accepting cards and letters to send to the troops.
“It’s OK if you can’t afford to donate anything,” Garcie said. “We always appreciate cards and letters. The boys and girls love to see and read letters sent from home.”
The Blue Star Mothers meet at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. They welcome any new members with open arms.
For more information, you can contact the group on Facebook at Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana – Chapter 5.
This originally appeared in The Ruston Daily Leader