Veterans, their welfare, benefits and readjustment, have always been a part of the mission of the Blue Star Mothers of America. When we formed our chapter in 2001, the Veterans of our communities were the first to embrace us and our efforts, taking our Moms under their protective wings, as we faced a war with this new generation of heroes. Today, we remain committed to our Veterans, as many of our own kids have now completed their service and have joined this community of pride in their service to America.
Some of the ways we help locally are:
East Bay Stand Down
This is a program for hundreds of homeless Veterans in the Bay Area originally sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley. They are brought to a tent city at the Pleasanton, CA fairgrounds for about 4 days, every two years. They are given new clothes and boots or shoes, haircuts, food, showers, healthcare, dental care, legal aid, job opportunities, housing and support. Many volunteers step up to help these men and women get a new start on life. Stand Down is held in locations all over California. If you would like more information about this program please check out the website.
Veterans First Initiative
This is a program at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA designed to help Veterans who are re-entering the college scene. There are staff members available to help the students apply for their GI Bill benefits, as well as counselors who help them develop new career paths. LPC holds an annual Info Faire for incoming prospective students to see what LPC has to offer and they have an opportunity to network with local community organizations who offer services to Veterans. Last year we were proudly able to donate $5,000.00 to the book loan program. The book loan program was developed at LPC to help veterans buy their books until their GI Bill money comes through. Please check out their website for more information.
We visit the area VA hospitals in Palo Alto, Livermore and Martinez and provide necessities on their "wish lists". We deliver homemade patriotic pillow cases, coffee and food, lap blankets, magazines and many other items requested by the hospitals to make their residents more comfortable. If you are interested in providing pillow cases and/or lap blankets please contact our Veterans Committee chair mom.
There are many other ways that come up throughout the year that we help veterans and veteran organizations. We hope we can count on your continued support to carry on this important mission in our community. Contact us if you need more information.
See our Resources page for additional veteran outreach information.
We receive requests from our military hospitals, both here and abroad, as well as the field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are treating those who are often able to return to the battlefield. At home, the needs are more centered on rehabilitation. Abroad, even clothing items and scrubs are in short supply.
Because the needs vary greatly and some requests have to be special ordered, like handi-pockets for wheelchairs and walkers, gait belts used to transport patients from bed to wheelchair, and knorks, a combination knife and fork used by our heroes who have lost use of one of their arms, we are asking only for monetary donations to purchase specifically requested items.
Sentinels of Freedom
The Blue Star Moms Chapter 101 fully support the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Program. With the help of ordinary citizens in our communities, Sgt. Manny Mendoza, Sgt. Victor Thibeault, Sgt. Donovan Speith, SSgt. Jay Wilkerson, and Petty Officer Manny Del Rio, who were severely injured in the Global War on Terrorism, have been welcomed into our lives and are now realizing their fullest potential.
Please visit www.sentinelsoffreedom.org for more information about how you and your community can become part of this program.