Blue Star mothers form local chapter
On March 9, 2015, the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc (BSMA), Pennsylvania Chapter #12, became official. Currently with eight members and two associates, these mothers are already active in local events as well as gathering items for deployed soldiers.
On May 5, designated as Blue Star Mothers Day, Chapter President Jackie Ceaser-Wherry of Williamsport, and Chaplin Karen Campbell of Montgomery, were recognized in Harrisburg at a gathering of the state assembly. This meeting included delegates from all groups within the state.
Chapter 12 is the north-central chapter and includes nine counties. Meetings are held the second Thursday monthly at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the 40 & 8 Club on Market Street, Williamsport.
Within the membership are three mothers from the eastern end of the county. They are Karen Campbell and Cheri Murray of Montgomery, and Deb Pietrovico of Hughesville.
Campbell’s son, Scott has completed his term of service with the Air Force.
Murray’s son Benjamin Simcox is with the Navy, currently stationed in Bahrain as a Master of Arms, which is equivalent to the Military Police. The 2014 Montgomery graduate and navy man carries on light hearted joking with his grandfather George Lupold of Muncy, a former Marine.
Pietrovico’s son, Staff Sergeant Kyle Pietrovico is with the U.S. Air Force currently stationed at Thale Air Force Base, Greenland. The 2007 Hughesville High School graduate joined the military in February 2009 and has served three deployments in the mid-east.
On Saturday May 23, the mothers will be posted at the Lycoming County Veterans Memorial Park for a Memorial Day observance. They will have drinking water available and distribute leaflets informing the public of their cause. On June 28 from 10 to 5, the mothers will host a hot dog burn at Sam’s Club where the public can fill a boot full of loot destined for soldiers, or pick up and fill a shopping list of suggested items and drop them in a bin provided.
The first group of Blue Star Mothers was initiated in February 1942 in Flint, Michigan with eight more groups forming that year including one in Pennsylvania. BSMA groups are non-political, non-profit and non-sectarian. Original goals were to bring sons home, ensure receiving deserved benefits, help service member’s families and be there if something happened.
Goals have broadened over the years to include rehabilitation, hospital work, children’s welfare and civil defense. In addition to the membership of mothers, the upgrade now includes grandmothers, adopted mothers, foster mothers and any female legal guardians.