Two Capital District mothers with sons in the military have come together to support other area moms with children in the service by forming a local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America.
Kay Moody and Darlene Ward are co-presidents of the Albany Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America. Members of the group, which was conceived during World War II by a former Army captain, hang blue stars on the windows of their homes, signifying their support for the men and women in the military. They also raise money to send care packages to people in the service and provide a host of support and activities for military personnel and their families.
I heard about the group online and originally wanted to begin a chapter in Bethlehem, said Moody, who lives in Glenmont.
Moody said the response has been so great that the new chapter quickly became an area Blue Star group.
"I receive pages and pages of e-mails with moms pouring their hearts out, and they say finally someone is willing to listen to them," said Moody.
Moody's son Jeff, 19, is stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., as part of the Army's 101st Air-borne, nicknamed "Screaming Eagles."
"My husband is an Army veteran, but we worry about our kids," said Moody. "I'm proud of him."
Moody said many of the moms who respond have loved ones serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
"I received a letter from a Glenmont woman who has a daughter in Iraq and a son in Afghanistan," said Moody.
Darlene Ward also has a 19-year-old son in the military. George Ward is currently stationed at Camp LeJuene in North Carolina with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, also known for their gallantry as "The Walking Dead."
"George has talked about this as long as I can remember," said Ward, whose father was a Navy veteran.