Smith-Cotton JROTC’s Bravo Company and veterans groups around Sedalia are teaming up to find mothers eligible for the Gold Star/Blue Star Mothers Award.
A Blue Star Mother is a natural or adoptive mother or stepmother of a son or daughter serving in or who has been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed Forces. A Gold Star Mother is a natural or adoptive mother or stepmother of a son or daughter who has made the supreme sacrifice of their lives to serve the United States while on active duty. For the award to be granted, the death must have occurred while the military member was on active duty.
Gold Star/Blue Star Mothers started in World War I. While children were off at war, mothers would hang the representative flags of either gold or blue stars in their windows to show they were Gold Star/Blue Star Mothers. The tradition has been lost over the years, focusing solely on the veterans themselves.
“We tend to forget the families, so this is a good way to honor the mothers,” said Paul Bennett, Missouri State American Legion Historian. Bennett is one of the veterans teamed with the JROTC to find eligible mothers; he is joined by Don Barbour, local commander of the veterans organization 40 & 8. Barbour’s mother would put a flag in their window to represent his older brother, who served in the Navy in World War II.
“This award gives tremendous recognition and shows that Americans are still involved in world peace and still keeping it like we should,” Barbour said.
The JROTC and veteran groups are passionate about giving back to the families of the service men and women. They are working hard to make this project as big as possible and letting it be known throughout the community.
Those who know of women who are eligible for the Gold Star/Blue Star Awards are asked to contact Smith-Cotton JROTC Command Sgt. Major Randy Woods at 660-851-5317; Barbour at 660-826-2102; Joe Cochran, commander of American Legion Post 642, at 660-827-2750; or Larry Revan, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2591, at 660-826-4543.
Haily Zaremba is a student at Smith-Cotton High School.