Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County remembers troops at holidays

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Troops around the world are getting a taste of Valencia County, as 213 care packages from the Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County hit the mail last week.

The boxes were chock full of goodies such as socks, lip balm, cookies, crossword puzzles and of course, jerky and salsa.

Submitted photo: Friends and members of the Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County gather around a batch of care packages the organization sends out to troops stationed around the world every year.

Barbara Carlberg, a member of the county chapter, said the packages mostly went to men and women serving in the Middle East, but they were also sent to troops stationed in places such as Guam, South Korea and Germany.

Locations where there were large units received multiple boxes, she said, and even some individual units received four or five boxes so they could share a taste of home with their fellow servicemen and women.

To get the boxes out and around the world close to Christmas time, the Blue Star Mothers spent most of the fall collecting goods and funds, Carlberg said, often doing drives outside large retailers.

Schools and other organizations around the county also did drives on behalf of the Blue Star Mothers to collect things such as trail mix, socks and playing cards to send to the troops, she added.

“We can’t express enough our gratitude to the community and the businesses,” Carlberg said.

“They donated money, food and goods. The citizens of the county are outstanding in their willingness to help us out.

“People think the war has wound down, but we still have more than 68,000 troops in Afghanistan.”

Blue Star Mothers also helps with projects that take care of veterans here at home, Carlberg said, such as the Henderson House for homeless women veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project, Run for the Wall and Paws and Stripes.

“Our wounded warriors and our veterans, we have to provide for them as well as our active duty troops,” she said.

The Valencia Chapter of Blue Star Mothers was founded in 2007 by a small group of mothers whose sons were serving in Iraq.

It is one of six New Mexico chapters and has grown to more than 30 members over the years.

A person doesn’t have to have a child in the military to be a part of the Blue Star Mothers organization, Carlberg said.

“To be a voting member, you do, but some of our associate members who are friends of the military, are our most active,” she said.

For information about the Valencia County chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, visit their Facebook page, call 807-1033, email bluestarmothersvalenciaco@gmail or visit www.bluestarmothersofvalenciaco.org.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.