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Maricopa Military Moms
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Lisa Durst and Tracy Davis, two Maricopa moms, are on a mission to build an official Blue Star group, an organization that is more than just a support group for military families. Blue Star Mothers of America was started in World War II and has since played an active role in the lives of families who have a loved one serving in the military.
Davis’s son, Blaine, graduated from Maricopa High School in 2010 and entered the Navy. He graduated from boot camp in 2011 and is currently stationed in Yokusuka, Japan, where he is aboard the USS George Washington.
“When they first leave to deployment, it’s tough because you just don’t know,” said Davis. “You wish there was another mom to reach out to, someone who understands.”
Durst's son, Bryan Schmid, is in the Army, First Battalion, and is stationed in Afghanistan. Durst concurs with Davis and talks about that initial period.
“When you make it through the first year, you pretty much know what’s going on,” Durst said.
Together, they want to build the group to not only show hometown support but by becoming an official charter, which will give them more resources to support those troops serving overseas, such as with the shipping of gift packages. In order to become an official charter and receive the resources, Durst and Davis must have five members to begin the filing process. It is their hope they can establish the first charter in Pinal County. The closest other charters are in Scottsdale and East Mesa. Once the affiliate is officially recognized, it will gather once a month.
“It is first a support group for moms, and then it also allows us to reach out to other members of the families, like the wives,” Durst said.
It is their intention to not only prepare gift boxes, support local families and veterans, but they would also like to be involved in the homecoming celebrations. By being a recognized nonprofit, it allows them to accept donations and have fundraisers to provide those resources.
“We want to show this little town cares,” Davis said.
Another aspect of the group is that the military, after contacting the family, would provide a notification to the group in the event of a soldier killed in combat. In this unfortunate circumstance, the group would be readily able to assist the family of the soldier.
“When there’s that silence, the Blue Star moms will be there,” Davis said.
If you would be interested in joining the group or would like more information about Blue Star Mothers of America, visit www.bluestarmothers.org. To contact Lisa Durst, e-mail email@example.com. You can e-mail Tracy Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.