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Sun, June 16

Mothers of servicemen and women needed to start Blue Star Mothers chapter

Courtesy Photo<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Chance Phifer, 24, traveled to Indiana this spring to train on the Javelin, a rocket launcher. He is stationed in Ft. Benning, Ga., and is the son of Rebecca Leatherwood who is founding a new chapter of Blue Star Mothers.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Courtesy Photo<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Chance Phifer, 24, traveled to Indiana this spring to train on the Javelin, a rocket launcher. He is stationed in Ft. Benning, Ga., and is the son of Rebecca Leatherwood who is founding a new chapter of Blue Star Mothers.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

It takes five mothers to start a Blue Star Mothers chapter, and Rebecca Leatherwood is looking for three more. While anyone can join the organization, the five special mothers must have a child in any branch of the U.S. military, either active or honorably discharged.

Leatherwood was founder and president of her BSM chapter in Ohio, and has recently relocated to Prescott Valley. Her son, Chance Phifer, 24, joined the Army seven years ago. He has decided to make the Army a career and re-upped for another six years. Leatherwood said the Army deployed her son twice, and he now is stateside.

Blue Star Mothers provide general outreach services to military families. They help support spouses with children, volunteer at veterans hospitals and USO programs, and pack supplies to servicemen and women overseas. They are the first to provide support to Gold Star Mothers, mothers who lose a child.

She is anxious to get a chapter started in this area in order to send gift boxes in time for Christmas.

"I'd like to send boxes to at least one unit," she said. "Another opportunity is at the beautiful veterans hospital you have here, to go in and do Christmas functions there and help out."

Anybody can join the Blue Star Mothers, whether they or family members ever served in the military. Leatherwood said she welcomes fathers, grandparents, family members, and retired veterans.

"I've noticed many bumper stickers when I drive between Prescott Valley and Prescott that say proud mom of a Marine or Air Force. I know there are plenty in the area," she said.

Those interested may call Leatherwood at 602-327-6917. The first meeting takes place at her house in the Prescott Country Club, Dewey, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Please call for directions.

The BSM website states that the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political organization. It does not support any political candidate, nor endorse any religious organization. The military represents all aspects of America as does the organization.

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