Baltimore VA Hospital Holiday Gift Distribution
December 23, 2016
On Christmas Eve, Eve, Friday Dec 23rd, during the last minute hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Theresa Mills, Michelle Murphy and Lauren Seidler took time out to visit and bring gifts to Veteran patients at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. They were joined by hospital staff as well as members of the Baltimore Knights of Columbus and the 78th Army Band from Fort Dix playing holiday songs and favorites in a jolly and joyful musical parade throughout the hospital. From room to room we went bearing gifts of knapsacks filled with blankets, gloves and scarves, coloring books, toothbrushes, and gift certificates. The knapsacks and items had been generously donated by various organizations, including our Chapter, for the veterans. As we presented the knapsacks and items to each veteran, we had the opportunity to talk to them and thank them for their service. We had the chance to chat and some shared memories and stories. They all thanked us and from the smiles all around, we could tell they truly appreciated our visit. We were glad to have had the opportunity to serve our veterans and we left with our hearts filled.
Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) Christmas Dinner
December 19, 2016
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to help serve Christmas dinner at the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) facility. Janice Chance represented the Chapter and was joined by members of the American Legion Post 122, VFW, Parkville Women’s Auxiliary and several other organizations to serve a delicious meal and desserts to our Veteran Heroes, in addition to other homeless individuals that came into the center for shelter due to the frigid temperatures. It was a Blessing not only to serve, but to also eat and spend time talking with our Heroes. We also joined the residents, staff and the MCVET choir in singing the MCVET version of the “12 days of Christmas” song. It was great to see the smiles on their faces and to hear their laughter. The residents and staff expressed their appreciation to all of the volunteers. Janice presented a Christmas donation check for $500.00 on behalf of the Maryland Chapter to Mr. Jeffrey Kendrick, Director of Operations and Mrs. Roseline Taylor, Chief Supply officer on December 21, 2016. We are looking forward to continuing to serve and support our Heroes.
Wreaths Across America (WAA) organization celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. Their mission is to Remember, Honor and Teach. The WAA founders Morrill Worcester and his wife Karen continue to inspire thousands of patriotic citizens to participate in wreath laying ceremonies, sponsor an event, donate and/or volunteer to assist with laying of remembrance wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes. The WAA leaders, WAA team, and Volunteers started their journey from Maine on December 10, 2016 and ended their journey on December 17th. Several National American Gold Star Mothers officers, members and other Gold Star family members from across America joined the WAA team on their journey. Maryland Chapter Gold Star member Michelle Murphy joined the WAA convoy in Portland, Maine. She participated in all of the scheduled wreath laying ceremonies as the team traveled down to Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). Janice Chance, Maryland Chapter member, joined the WAA convoy in Grasonville, Maryland on Friday, December 15th. She also participated in wreath laying ceremonies and other events. Prior to Janice joining the convoy, she was interviewed by Craig Boswell on Monday, December 12th at Arlington to share why Wreaths Across America’s matters. Minnesota – CBS News – WAA Interview. Although, the weather conditions created several driving challenges due to freezing rain, the WAA team was blessed to safely convoy into ANC on Saturday, December 17th. Several other Gold Star Maryland Chapter members Paula Davis, Regina Barnhurst, and Cindy Lohman were also able to safely arrive to meet the convoy and join in with the laying of wreaths on the graves of their children and other fallen heroes. Regina and Paula also set up a table near Section 60 to enable Gold Star families and other volunteers to receive a complimentary cup of coffee or hot chocolate. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provided the table and also donated some of the hot drinks. The hot drinks were appreciated by the volunteers because it was a frigid day. They also provided materials to enable family members to make tree ornaments with the name of their hero and a message to hang on a tree in Section 60. In spite of the weather conditions, many people were still able to make it safely to ANC to assist with the laying of wreaths. As a matter of fact, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, Mrs Dunford and their son also came out to assist with the laying of wreaths, as well as visit and support Gold Star and Veterans family members. Maryland Gold Star mother Yvonne Green and her husband Garry had to abort their journey to ANC due to the weather conditions, but her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren arrived safely to participate. The Maryland Gold Star Mothers were grateful that we were able to participate in WAA’s 25th Anniversary event. Hopefully the weather will be better next year. We are looking forward to participating again in next year’s annual WAA event.
MCVET 3rd Annual Women’s Tea
December 11, 2016
On Sunday, December 11, 2016, Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst, Theresa Mills, Paula Davis, and Donna Robinson attended the 3nd Annual MCVET Women’s Tea to Support Our Women Veterans. Incorporated on February 25, 1993, the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation designed to provide homeless veterans and other veterans in need with comprehensive services that will enable them to rejoin their communities as productive citizens. Dr. Hawkins was the key note speaker and she delivered a timely message that we are confident, inspired the Honorees as well as everyone else in attendance. Special guest in attendance was Baltimore City’s States Attorney, Marilyn Mosby. It was a great event. Our female Veterans have overcome many obstacles and are making continued progress toward their goals. They were beautifully dressed and some even wore hats for their Special Tea. We made a monetary donation in support of our Heroes, in addition to presenting the ladies with a gift certificate for the Bath and Body store. Most of the ladies have graduated, or are currently in school receiving specialized training. It was a blessing to be in their presence and to pour out our love on them.
Manhattans, Martinis and Mistletoe Gala
December 7, 2016
On Wednesday December 7th, members of the Maryland Gold Star Mothers, Janice Chance, Michelle Murphy, Mary Wiley, Yvonne Green, Joy Goode, Paula Davis, Sheba Khan (not pictured) and Theresa Mills volunteered as hostesses at the Third Annual “Manhattans, Martinis & Mistletoe” Gala which was sponsored by Defend Our Nation service organization. This fundraiser was held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts located in Washington DC and raised money for service organizations chosen for their commitment and dedication to serving our veterans with integrity. This year’s recipients were: Green Beret Foundation, Operation Second Chance and United Soldiers and Sailors of America. This year’s event commemorated the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor with a 40’s holiday theme, which included music provided by a local swing band. Also pictured: Bramer Group Host, Elise Ravenscroft.
Charlotte Hall Holiday Luncheon
Charlotte Hall Veterans Home
Charlotte Hall, Maryland
December 4, 2016
On December 4, 2016, Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Michelle Murphy and Gina Barnhurst went to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. We joined the Maryland Patriot guard to serve lunch and hand out holiday gifts to the residents. The Maryland Patriot guard purchased flannel shirts, jackets, and hats that we handed out to all of the residents. In addition we gave out some of the blankets that were made by mothers in our chapter. More blankets are being made to give out at a later date. The veterans were so grateful for all of the gifts and it was touching to be able to talk with all of them. Thank you to Donna Buck, President and all of the members of the Maryland Patriot Guard for inviting us to join them in this holiday project. Janice Chance presented a check for $500.00 to Brandy, the Activities Director for the Assisted Living residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home from our Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter. The donation will be used for the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Gina Barnhurst and Michelle Murphy are holding the blankets made by The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter to be given to the residents at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Holiday Luncheon
American Legion Post #60
December 3, 2016
After our bi-monthly meeting, Maryland Gold Star Mothers were treated to barbeque and sides compliments of Mission Barbeque in Laurel, Maryland. Many thanks to Will Hall, Manager of Mission Barbeque and special servers Cassie and Missy, who provided the delicious meal. We also shared our stories of our children and our continual mission of serving our active military and Veterans.
Annual Maryland Patriot Guard Holiday Party
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
December 2, 2016
On December 2, 2016, Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members Donna Robinson, Mary O King and Janice Chance served as volunteers during the annual Maryland Patriot Guard (MDPG) holiday party at WRNMMC Bethesda held at the USO. They were invited by two of the MDPG organization leaders, Ann and Ted Nettles to join their team in setting up for the holiday party, to serve at the German food station and to help with clean up after the event. The food was provided by the “Old Europe” restaurant located in NW Washington, DC. Special thanks to Alex the owner who made sure that he kept the food station stocked with their delicious food. There were also several other veteran service organizations, including Operation Second Chance, who provided a desert station, as well as other local community businesses that set up a variety of food stations for our heroes and their families. Santa made his usual Grand entrance along with his elves who gave toys and other special gifts to the children. There were also several organizations who gave gifts to the service members and their families. It was a Blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the children and adults, to hear laughter, and to serve our Heroes and their families along with the MDPG team. We also had the pleasure of spending time talking with some of our Heroes, their families and many other volunteers. It was a fun and memorable day. We were able to say mission accomplished for the day. We “HONORED THROUGH SERVICE.”
Truckin4Troops Bull Roast Fundraiser
November 19, 2016
Founders of the Truckin4Troops Foundation, Scott and his wife Lynne Mallary, invited Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members to volunteer at their Bull Roast Fundraiser that was held at Camp Barrett in Annapolis, Maryland. Their mission is to support our troops, Wounded Warriors, veterans and military families. Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers Yvonne Green, Rosemarie Ceo, Linda Willey, Michelle Murphy and Janice Chance served as volunteers. Johnnie Pearson, a Blue Star Mother and Gold Star Dad Charlton Chance also volunteered. We were assigned to assist with checking in guests, food set up, silent auction, mystery auction, and other duties as required. It was another opportunity to not only support an organization that serves and supports our Heroes, but it also provided an opportunity for us to meet and thank some of our Heroes and their family members that attended the event.
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake – Veterans Build
November 12, 2016
On November 12, 2016, Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance – President, Gina Barnhurst – Secretary, Elsheba Khan and Rosemarie Ceo volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake annual Veterans Build 2016. The Veterans Build was coordinated by Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake staff Matthew Herzberg- Volunteer Engagement Manager, Matthew Metzger- Director of Volunteer Engagement, and Lindsey Linton- Marketing and Events coordinator.
Veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines gathered to work on houses on McCabe Street in Baltimore. Janice Chance started the day by talking to the Veterans about the history of the American Gold Star Mothers organization and about some of our volunteer projects. Each of the Gold Star Mothers present shared briefly about our children, our Heroes. We then thanked the Veterans and rendered a Mom’s Hand Salute.
Maryland Gold Star Mothers helped with registration, drink breaks, serving lunch, and clean up. The highlight of the day for the Gold Star Mothers was spending time talking with the Veterans and giving each Veteran a Veterans Day card with a Starbucks gift card enclosed. The cards were designed and created by Ms. Kathryn Cross, President of the New York City Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers.
The 2016 Habitat Veteran Build was a day of hard work, fellowship and fun for all involved.
Maryland Gold Star Families Monument Dedication
November 11, 2016
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford were joined by Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs George Owings, Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter President and Chaplain, Janice Chance, Chase Savage, Dennis Brant and numerous gold star families at the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument dedication on November 11, 2016. The dedication occurred on the day that we honor our Veterans, but this was a special day to honor the Maryland families of fallen heroes. The monument will serve as a reminder that there is a family connected to every fallen hero. As inscribed in gold on four separate panels on the front of the monument, “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument A tribute to Gold Star Mothers, Fathers and Relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.”
Governor Hogan gave an emotional speech and as he expressed to the audience, “There can’t possibly be words adequate enough to express our sincere gratitude, our respect and our appreciation for all the men and women in uniform. We must always honor them and we must never forget, just as we must never forget the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but I cannot even begin to fathom the unimaginable loss and heartbreak of losing a son or a daughter, a father, mother, brother, sister or a spouse to war. This monument is a small way to honor those families who will never again be truly whole.”
The memorial ground breaking ceremony took place on August 15, 2016 and within three months, the monument was erected.
Veterans Day Ceremony
November 11, 2016
On November 11, 2016, the Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited by Andy Powell from the American Legion Post 128 to attend the Veterans Day ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Aberdeen, Maryland. GSM Chapter member Linda Willey attended on this beautiful day honoring all Veterans, living and dead, of all wars, declared and undeclared. It was hosted and attended by members of Aberdeen Memorial VFW Post 10028, Korean War Veterans Chapter 271 and American Legion Post 128. Guests included the Mayor of Aberdeen, Patrick L. McGrady, Councilmen and Councilwomen, the Chief of Police Henry Trabert and Keynote speaker Major General Kirk F Vollmecke who is the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors at APG, MD. Mrs. Hopkins and the Aberdeen Middle School band and Chorus filled the air with beautiful patriotic hymns and songs! Neighbors in the community, even residents (Veterans) from a nearby assisted living home were in attendance showing their patriotism! Speeches honoring past, present, and future Veterans for their loyal, selfless, service were shared by many, followed by the Placing of the Wreaths, which began with GSM Linda Willey placing the first wreath representing our children who have made the supreme sacrifice. Many other wreaths were honorably represented followed by TAPS and a benediction. Afterwards the Aberdeen VFW Post 10028 hosted a luncheon for those in attendance! It was a wonderful program saluting and honoring all those who have given their all to God and country!
Garrison Forest Cemetery Veterans Day Program
November 11, 2016
Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members Joyce Goode, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance attended the Annual Garrison Forest Cemetery Veterans Day Program on November 11, 2016. The Maryland Center for Veterans Education choir sang the National Anthem in addition to several other Patriotic songs that helped to set the tone for the program. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 521 and the J.R.O.T.C from two local high schools served as the Color Guard, Senator Ben Cardin spoke expressing his thanks to the Veterans for their Service and Sacrifice, and a Marine Veteran read a poem. The keynote speaker was Ms. Jackie Iversion a US Army Veteran who gave an inspirational message. After her message, the Gold Star Mothers participated in the Wreath Laying Ceremony that was followed by the playing of TAPS by Richard Foltz. It was a Great Program that provided an opportunity for the Gold Star Mothers and other attendees to Honor and Salute our Heroes. After the program the members of VFW POST 521 hosted a luncheon at their post.
VA Maryland Medical Center Veterans Day Celebration
November 10, 2016
On November 10, 2016, Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members participated in the Veterans Day distribution of lapel pins to veteran out patients, and a special gift to all of the inpatients at the VA Medical Center located on Greene Street. Moms Donna Robinson, Elsheba Khan and Janice Chance also participated in a Veterans Day Ceremony hosted by the Veterans Canteen Service! It was an honor to meet and visit with our Heroes and to thank them for their Selfless service and Sacrifice to our nation. We Honor and Salute them. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony
November 9, 2016
Maryland Gold Star Mothers President/Chaplain Janice Chance and Sergeant at Arms Yvonne J. Green attended the 2016 Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Base on November 9, 2016. The keynote speaker was retired Army officer Major David A. Yensan. Major Yensan enlisted in the Army directly out of high school and he served two tours in Vietnam and became a helicopter pilot in 1967. As the Major stated during his address, he had no stories and that he would not be long. True to his word, he kept his presentation “short but sweet”. It was an honor for us to attend the Veterans Day ceremony in support of our Heroes. The leadership team, service members and community leaders expressed their appreciation for us coming out to support them.
Military Appreciation Day
Towson University Football Game
November 5, 2016
The Towson Tigers hosted the Elon Phoenix on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Tracy Miller, Paula Davis, Gina Barnhurst and Theresa Mills, along with their fallen heroes were recognized as part of Towson’s Military Appreciation Day prior to half time. The mothers were greeted and escorted by the Loyola, College of Notre Dame and Towson U.S. Army ROTC cadets. The president of Towson University, Kim Schatzel, Athletic Director, Tim Leonard and Deputy Director of Athletics, Will Huff, as well as their mascot “Doc”, welcomed us onto the football field as our names and Heroes were announced. Special thanks to Tracy Miller, who organized this event and is a student advisor at Towson. It was a beautiful fall day and a great win for the Towson Tigers!
Baltimore County Memorial Monument Dedication Ceremony
November 5, 2016
The Baltimore County Monument Commission, Inc. had a vision to have a memorial monument created in honor of Baltimore County Citizens. On November 5th, the Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial Monument was dedicated to Veterans of Baltimore County who served and in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice – “ Fallen Heroes”. It is located on the grounds of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse in Towson, Maryland in the memorial garden, alongside Pennsylvania Avenue.
As Jari Villanuava played the last notes of “Taps,” there was not a dry eye in the area. His rendition capped a moving ceremony on November 5, 2016, at which a granite monument listing 27 names of Baltimore County residents who gave their lives in the Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom conflicts.
Beautiful weather made the experience a poignant yet pleasant one for members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter: Janice Chance (MD Chapter President and Chaplain), Michelle Murphy (MD 1st VP), Yvonne Green (MD Sgt.-at-Arms), and Maryland Moms Donna Robinson, Lauren Seidler, Marie Moudry, Rosemarie Ceo, Tracy Miller, Maryland Chapter fathers, and other Gold Star family members of Baltimore County fallen heroes.
The ceremony included Honor Guards from the Vietnam Veterans of America and from the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion USMC. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, State Senator Jim Brochin, and County Councilman David Marks spoke. Other guests included U.S. Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, other County Council people, and State Delegates.
The Monument Commission, which has been planning the Monument for five years, included Gold Star Mom Tracy Miller.
November 4, 2016
IN THE BAG VII, Silent Auction & Luncheon
It was a blessing to serve with a wonderful group of business professionals to raise money for the American Red Cross. Janice Chance represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc.
L/R Ms.Dori Scott, Publisher VA Womens Magazine, Mrs. America, Kinosha Soden – District of Columbia 2016, and Mrs. Iris Britt, President – Iris Britt Consulting, LLC.
St. John Properties, Inc. Gold Star Mothers and Families
Memorial Dedication Ceremony
The Government and Technology Enterprise (GATE) Park, Aberdeen Proving Grounds
October 25, 2016
St. John Properties, Inc. sponsored and hosted a Gold Star Mothers and Families Memorial Dedication Ceremony. This was an historic occasion, the placement of the first monument in honor of the Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families within the GATE at an Army Installation. The ceremony was held on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at GATE Park at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). Mr. Jim Costigan, Senior Representative General Dynamics Mission Systems, was the MC. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, US Representative for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional district; LTG Robert Ferrell, Army Chief Information Officer/G6; Janice Chance, President and Chaplain Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc.; and Mr. Edward St. John, Chairman St. John Properties, were the event speakers. Numerous state and local elected officials, community leaders and APG service members and personnel also attended the event. A contingent from Connecticut comprising of Congressman John Larson; East Hartford Connecticut Mayor, Marcia LeClerc; a Gold Star mother and two Vietnam veterans were also in attendance. The special guests of honor were the Maryland Gold Star Mothers and Families. Special thanks to Mr. Edward St. John; Ms. Sharon Akers, Vice President, Corporate Relations St. John Properties, Inc and Executive Director of the Edward St. John Foundation, Inc. and their staff for making the Gold Star Mothers’ Memorial become a reality. The Gold Star Mother, was sculpted by Mr. Will Hemsley, who along with his dad, Mr. Tilghman Hemsley also created the “Fallen Star” Memorial that was dedicated September 29, 2015 in honor of one of our nation’s Heroes Major General Harold Greene, who was killed in Afghanistan on August 5, 2014, and the War Fighters and their families. The bronze Gold Star Mothers sculpture is located on the bench adjacent to the Fallen Star Memorial with her gaze looking up to the fallen star. Following the dedication ceremony a special reception and recognition ceremony was held. A miniature replica of the Gold Star Mothers statue was presented to the guest speakers and to Michael Farlow, SOS coordinator. Then Mr. St. John and Ms. Sharon Akers surprised everyone when they unveiled a large cardboard copy of a check. Mr. St. John presented Janice Chance with a donation of $10,000 to the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter. This will assist our chapter to continue to fulfill its mission of serving our veterans, active-duty members and their families. Again, a big thank you to St. John Properties for their continued support and generosity.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
October 22, 2016
Halloween came a week early at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland. Military families enjoyed a blustery day at the athletic field jam-packed with many activities including face painting, craft tables, painting pumpkins, bowling, pony rides, petting zoo, find-a-treat in the hay, and a moon bounce. Prizes were given out to the best costume and there were many children dressed for the contest! Maryland Gold Star Moms Michelle Murphy, Lauren Seidler, and Theresa Mills along with Gold Star Dad, Ken Murphy and Lauren’s sister, Andrea Masek volunteered at different stations throughout the day. The Maryland Patriot Guard and the NSA Bethesda Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored this successful event.
Operation Second Chance Allegheny Bicycle Ride Fundraiser
October 2, 2016
Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers were invited by Ms. Cindy McGrew, Founder and President of Operation Second Chance (OSC) to volunteer during their Annual Allegheny Ride Fundraiser. The group of 100+ cyclists started a four-day ride that started in Pittsburg, PA on September 29th and ended in Gaithersburg, MD on October 2, 2016. The following mom’s: Mary Wiley, Donna Robinson, Regina Barnhurst, Janice Chance, and Paula Davis volunteered along with two Girl Scouts from troop # 1369 to serve at the last “Rest Stop Whites Ferry” in Dickerson, MD. It was an honor to meet and serve the cyclists, in addition, to expressing our appreciation and cheering them on. Our only regret is that we did not have Pom Poms to wave as we were cheering for them. We were also invited to attend their celebration barbeque at Smokey Farms located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was exciting to witness and cheer for the riders coming through the Victory balloon arch at the Farm. The OSC event raised $440,000 that will enable them to fulfill their mission of serving our wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. They support Veterans and their families by building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. They also support Gold Star Mothers and their families. We have been the recipient of much kindness from the OSC organization.
Ft. Meade, Maryland
September 25, 2016
The butterfly represents new life, hope, change and endurance. Once again our friends from Survivor Outreach Services at Ft. Meade, Maryland celebrated Gold Star Mothers and Family Day with a butterfly release. A large group of family and friends gathered at Burba Lake, along with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troops from Ft. Meade. We shared something about our loved one that passed, read a poem, and released butterflies in their honor and memory. For more information about Ft. Meade’s Survivor Outreach Services, please visit their website at Ft. Meade SOS Programs.
Gold Star Mothers Day Ceremony
Arlington National Cemetery
September 25, 2016
The American Gold Star Mothers held their 80th Commemorative Ceremony and program on September 25, 2016 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Gold Star Mothers Sunday was recognized with a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and was followed by a reception at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA). The keynote speaker was General Mark A. Milley, 39th Chief of Staff of the Army.
Gold Star Mothers Day Recognition Breakfast
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
September 25, 2016
MG General Bruce Crawford (APG), along with Janice Chance, Maryland Chapter President addressed Gold Star Moms, Dads, families and attendees during the lovely breakfast served by the men of the Parish Council of North Protestant Church followed by a wonderful worship service and message given by CH Mueller titled “Forget about it”. We were also greeted by Ms. Diane Crawford (General Crawford’s wife in green suit). Pictured left to right: Wandie, Rosemarie Toni Ceo, Diane Crawford, Janice Chance, Linda Willey and Yvonne Green.
Maryland Gold Star Mothers 4th Annual Crab Feast and Bull Roast Fundraiser
American Legion Post 60
September 18, 2016
Over 200 people attended our annual crab feast and bull roast at American Legion Post 60 in Laurel, Maryland. We also had a great group of people from Leidos who volunteered their time to help serve food as well as coordinate silent auction and the 50/50 raffle. There were many service organizations as well as family and friends who helped raise over $9,000 which will be used to help support our active duty, Veterans and their families. The highlight of the afternoon was the slide show presentation, which was compiled by Ronald Coleman, that displayed pictures of our fallen children and the events that we have supported in the past year. We also enjoyed music provided by DJ Char Lee and a special thank you to Commander Lee Luby and her team at the American Legion Post 60 who provided the hall, the projector and bartenders for this event and continued support.
Hope and Peace Foundation
9/11 Weekend Ceremonies
Various Locations in Maryland
September 9-11, 2016
Gold Star Mothers Michelle Murphy and Rosemarie Ceo volunteered with the Hope and Peace Foundation to honor and remember everyone who lost their lives on 911, including all Marylanders who made the ultimate sacrifice post 911. On Friday, September 9th, volunteers laid 2,977 flags with the name of each person who lost their life on 911 along Putty Hill Rd. On Saturday, September 10th, Gold Star Mothers Rosemarie and Michelle, along with her two daughters, Kennisha and Kenda rode with 400 motorcycle riders to take a ride in honor of the lives lost. On Sunday, September 11th, The Hope and Peace Foundation dedicated and unveiled Maryland’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial. This is Maryland’s first and only 9/11 rolling memorial and is in remembrance and honor of the 69 Marylanders killed on Tuesday September 11th 2001 and the 141 who have made the supreme sacrifice in the war on terror since 9/11. The memorial will not only be used for 9/11 events, but will also be showcased in local and state parades and taken to schools, scout meetings, and community events to be used as a teaching tool. To round off the weekend, on 9/11, the mothers, Michelle Murphy, Yvonne Green, Rosemarie Ceo, Tracy Miller, and some of our Gold Star Dads – Kenmore Murphy, Garry Green, and Charlton Chance joined Chuck Ritz with the Hope and Peace Foundation at a solemn candle light vigil by reading the names of the fallen. To find out more information about this organization, please visit their website at:Hope and Peace Foundation
Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) Luncheon
American Legion Post 60
September 10, 2016
On September 10th, Maryland Gold Star Mothers, Elsheba Khan and Lauren Seidler and Lauren’s sister, Andrea Masek volunteered together at the MCVET Luncheon Event sponsored by and held at the American Legion Laurel Post 60. We were warmly greeted and welcomed by all including Post 60 Commander Lee Luby. We arrived at 9 am to help set up and prepare the food for the day’s festivities. We were eager to help wherever needed and assisted with slicing the roast beef, cutting cake, filling ice bins and preparing the tables among other things. Elsheba and Lauren were honored to be able to participate in holding flags to welcome the Veterans when they arrived at the Post. Well over a hundred Veterans were in attendance and all seemed to really enjoy the delicious food. There were Bingo games and baseball was being played outdoors. Many items such as blankets, clothing, and filled goodie bags had been donated for the Veterans to take with them. It was a very poignant moment, when we all went outside to hear the choir sing The Star Spangled Banner. It was truly an honor to meet and be of service to this group of men and women who served our country. For more information about this organization, please visit their website at Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training
Ground Breaking Ceremony for Maryland’s Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
August 15, 2016
On August 15, 2016, several members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc., Gold Star Fathers, other Gold Star family members, Survivor Outreach Service Coordinators from Fort Meade, the Navy Gold Star program, community supporters, Veterans, and other distinguished guests gathered to witness this historic event. The ceremony was held in Annapolis adjacent to the WWII and Pearl Harbor Memorial Monuments. Mr. Hershel “Woody” Williams WWII Medal of Honor recipient whose vision is to have a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument (GSFMM) placed in every state was one of the distinguished speakers. Other speakers included Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Mr. George Owings III, Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Mr. David Scheffenacker, Jr., President of Preston Scheffenacker Properties, Janice Chance, President of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc., Dennis Brant, VP Business Development /Sponsorships, Positive -Strides – GSFMM committee member and Mr. Chase Savage, honorary board member of the Hershel Williams Medal of Honor Foundation. Gold Star family members joined the speakers and GSFMM committee members in lifting shovels of dirt from the future site to mark the area in which the monument will be erected. Special Thanks goes to Mr. Chase Savage, Iraq Veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He initiated the process to have a Gold Star Families Memorial built and placed in Annapolis and to Mr. Hershel Williams and his team for assisting with the process. Fundraising started prior to the ground breaking ceremony. Mr.Scheffenacker, donated $10,000 prior to the ceremony and Mr. Williams and Brent Casey, Executive Director presented a $5,000 check on behalf of the Hershel Williams Medal of Honor Foundation during the ceremony. Plans are being made to hold the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument dedication ceremony this fall.
Maryland Patriot Guard BBQ at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home
Charlotte Hall, Maryland
August 20, 2016
Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Kelly Swanson, Regina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Donna Robinson, and Mary O’King participated in the Maryland Patriot Guard BBQ, held at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. After serving our guests, we were able to sit and talk to many of the residents. It was a wonderful time of meeting and honoring these men and women. The Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers also honored the Vietnam Veterans by presenting them with Challenge Coins made especially for the 50 year anniversary of the Vietnam war. The recipients were very appreciative. Handmade fleece blankets were also delivered. Before they were given out, many Vets had the blankets reserved for them! It was a wonderful day spent with the Maryland Patriot Guard (MDPG) and the residents and staff from Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The Gold Star Mothers thanks the MDPG for asking us to assist them, and we look forward to next year.
Association of the United States Army (AUSA) MG Harry Greene, Aberdeen Chapter
August 18, 2016
On August 18, 2016, Maryland Chapter members volunteered to help with the registration/check in at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Golf Fundraiser Tournament held at the Ruggles Golf Course in Aberdeen, MD. The following Moms served as volunteers: Yvonne Green, Donna Robinson, Janice Chance and Michelle Murphy. The Moms arrived at 6:30 am to prepare for the participants who began checking in at 7:30 am. The Moms, in addition to registering and checking in, provided directions and other required information. We also kept the registration table stocked with the items that were provided as give aways, sun glasses and hand towels. After an announcement was made that the women at the registration table were the mothers of fallen heroes, many of the golfers stopped by to thank us for our service and to spend a few minutes to talk with us. It not only provided more time for Moms to gather in fellowship, but to also have some fun while continuing the legacy of our children’s service and fulfilling our mission, simply put to “HONOR THROUGH SERVICE”.
Medical Musical Group Chorale and Symphony Orchestra Concert
August 14, 2016
The Medical Musical Group Chorale and Symphony Orchestra organization invited Veterans, active duty service members, Gold Star mothers and families to attend their concert – “Star Wars & Shakespeare”. There were many other people within the surrounding communities who also attended the concert. The concert was held to benefit homeless veterans. Mary O King and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter. Janice was given the honor to participate in the “vacant chair dramatization” during the concert. Many expressed how they were deeply moved seeing Janice standing behind the empty chair that represented our “fallen heroes” as the orchestra played the American Veterans Hymn. Mrs. Deana Martin sang two of the popular songs that are often requested by military audiences. As Mrs. Martin gave a wonderful performance.
During the second half of the concert there were thematic segments of integrated dramatic readings and music performed by several distinguished guests. Darth Vader even made a few appearances during the concert. It was a pleasant surprise. Veterans advocate Amber Smith was one of the narrators. Amber is a combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, where she served as a helicopter pilot and air mission commander, 101st Airborne. Amber joined the Medical Musical Group’s stellar lineup: Michael York, Deana Martin, ABC’s Hilary Fordwich, former New England Patriot Darryl Haley, USO’s Steve Tomlin, and many others. The concert was directed by “Doctor Maestro”, Victor Wahby, MD. It was a blessing to attend a concert knowing that the funds raised would be given to support homeless veterans. It was an honor to be among so many heroes and to hear such beautiful and inspiring music and dramatic readings.
Maryland Patriot Guard Annual BBQ
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
July 30, 2016
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Michelle Murphy and Theresa Mills assisted the Maryland Patriot Guard (MDPG) leaders Ted and Ann Nettles and their team of volunteers in serving our wounded warriors, active duty service members and their families at the Walter Reed Medical Center USO facility. Also assisting were Gold Star Dad, Ken Murphy and Karalyn Mulligan, a friend of Theresa. Prior to serving our guests, Janice did the opening prayer and William Johnston led the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a well-attended event as we served approximately 250 people. Maryland Chapter Mothers not only served, but also donated money toward the purchase of food, in addition to providing fleece blankets made by our members. They were a “big hit” because of the patriotic flag design. Several wounded warriors and service members were the recipients of these handmade blankets. There was plenty of good food, wonderful fellowship and we received many “thank yous” from our Heroes, USO staff, other civilian employees. Additionally, after requesting everyone’s attention, Command Chief Tyrone Williams expressed his sincere appreciation and thanks to the MDPG leaders and every volunteer for their sacrifice, providing plenty of delicious food, service, gifts and continued support of our service members and their families. As always it was an honor to meet and serve some of the Heroes who have and continue to serve and protect us.
Order of Malta 8th Annual BBQ
Walter Reed Medical Center
June 26, 2016
On Sunday, June 26, 2016, Maryland Gold Star Mothers, Regina Barnhurst and Paula Davis volunteered with the Order of Malta at the 8th Annual Walter Reed BBQ held at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. The Order of Malta ’s Mission is: Upholding human dignity and caring for people in need. A lay religious order of the Catholic Church since 1113 and a subject of international law, the Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union, and permanent observer status at the United Nations.
The group and volunteers served over 650 Wounded Warriors, their families and caregivers. The event was truly a celebration of the service and sacrifices of our soldiers and their families.
Maryland Public Television (MPT) Inaugural Salute to Vietnam Veterans
June 18-19, 2016
Vietnam Veteran signs memory book
L/R: Tracy, Vietnam Veteran, Janice, Regina present challenge coin
L/R: Joyce, Tracy, Janice and Yvonne
Delores Snyder, Vietnam Mom, presented with Challenge Coin in Honor of her son with
Janice, Lauren and Regina
L/R: Janice, Vietnam Veteran and Regina
L/R: Lauren, Janice, Command Sergeant Major Rodwell Forbes (US Army) and his wife Patricia, and Regina
Secretary Owens signs memory book
L/R: Tracy, George W. Owings III (Vietnam Veteran – Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs), and Janice present challenge coin
L/R: Lauren, Janice and Regina
The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter Inc. participated in the MPT Inaugural Salute to Vietnam Veterans. This event was planned specifically to honor, and recognize the contributions of the Vietnam Veterans. This event was held at the Timonium Fair Grounds in Timonium, MD. As one of the approved US Department of Defense Commemorative Partners, permission was granted for the Chapter to set up a display table. We were blessed to meet, and interact with some of our nation’s Heroes who served in Vietnam, but did not receive a Hero’s welcome upon their return home. The following moms represented the chapter at the event: Tracy Miller, Yvonne Green, Regina Barnhurst, Lauren Seidler, Joyce Goode and Janice Chance. It was an honor to spend time talking with our Heroes, listening to their stories that often made us feel sad as they shared about their mistreatment, but we were proud to hear stories about how they were able to overcome the adversity and rise above their circumstances. After Thanking each Hero we rendered a “Mom’s Hand Salute” and presented them with a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Challenge Coin that we had made especially for them. A few of the Veterans shed tears as they were saluted and presented with a challenge coin. Funds were donated to the Chapter by the Dog Tag Brewing Organization in honor of LCPL Eric Herzberg USMC knowing that the intent was to use the funds to defray the cost of the special commemorative challenge coins. Special pens were also purchased and given to our Vietnam Veterans, their families and to other Veterans and attendees. One of the highlights was witnessing one of our moms, Mrs. Delores Snyder, mother of fallen Hero SPC Rodger C. Snyder US Army who was killed while serving in Vietnam on 7 February 1967, receive recognition during a special ceremony. After the ceremony we presented her with a challenge coin in honor of her son. Unfortunately, two of our other Maryland Chapter Vietnam Moms were not able to attend, but they also will be presented with a challenge coin at a later date. They are as follows: Mrs. Edith Canapp, son CPL Gary Edward Canapp US Army, KIA 8 May 1968, and Mrs. Viola King son, E4 Larry Monroe Clark US Army KIA 2 February 1968. It was a memorable weekend.
Maryland Patriot Guard “Wares for Warriors” Collection Event
June 11, 2016
The Maryland Patriot Guard organization held a “Wares for Warriors” collection event on June 11, 2016. Annually they hold an event to collect items needed for our recovering heroes and their families who are receiving services at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, and for veterans receiving care at local VA Medical Centers . Personal care items, cleaning supplies, home goods, paper products, food, snacks, gift cards, etc were collected. Hot dogs and T shirts were also sold to raise money to purchase additional needed items. Ann and Ted Nettles leaders for the group invited Maryland Gold Star Mothers to assist their team and other volunteers during the event. Janice Chance served as the Maryland Chapter volunteer. It was a successful collection event.
Memorial Day Events
May 23 – 31, 2016
Memorial Day Prayer Breakfast at Fort Detrick, Maryland
May 23, 2016
Gold Star Survivors were invited by Mrs. Antoinetta Saunders-Gauth Survivor Outreach Service/Mobilization and Deployment to the Memorial Day breakfast at Fort Detrick. Donna Robinson, Michelle Murphy, Janice Chance and Paula Davis represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter. COL Robert & Mrs Obrien, active duty service members and civilian employees also attended the breakfast. Chaplain Michael Jeffries delivered a heart warming Memorial Day message followed by Janice Chance who shared what Memorial Day means to her and about her son Captain Jesse Melton III USMC, who was killed in Afghanistan while supporting combat operations on 9/9/2008. Several of the attendees approached the Moms after the event and expressed their appreciation for their fallen heroes service and requested more information about the Gold Star Mothers organization.
L/R Donna, Michelle, Janice (not pictured Paula Davis)
Friday – May 27, 2016
Mindful Memorial Day Dinner at Women’s War Memorial Building Arlington National Cemetery
Candle light Vigil at the Vietnam Wall
Saturday – May 28, 2016
Rolling Thunder Dinner
Sunday – May 29, 2016
Rolling Thunder Honor Ride Pentagon Parking lot
Ground Breaking Ceremony
Baltimore County, Maryland
Memorial Day Concert Capital Lawn
Paula’s Son’s – Justin Davis’s Story as read by S. Epatha Merkerson
Monday – Memorial Day – May 31, 2016
Breakfast at White House
Memorial Day Ceremony ANC
National Memorial Day Parade – This was the first time that the American Gold Star Mothers marched in this parade
39th Annual Military Appreciation Luncheon
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
May 19, 2016
The Harford County Chamber of Commerce and local businesses sponsored a Military Appreciation luncheon on May 19, 2016. The event was organized by the Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee. It is held annually to salute the men and women of the military and civilian workforce of Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) for their service, sacrifice and contributions to the Nation, abroad and within the community. Maryland Gold Star Mothers Donna Robinson and Janice Chance were also invited and honored. They were presented with a bouquet of flowers by Ms. Sharon Jacobs, President and other officers and members of the Women in Defense Mid-Atlantic Chapter organization. Janice and Donna had the honor of meeting and thanking many of the Heroes. Awards were given to the Soldier of The Year, Non Commissioned Officer of the Year and the Military Family of the Year. The keynote speakers were Mr. Ken Day, Executive Producer, who is responsible for producing a three-hour documentary entitled Maryland Vietnam War Stories for Maryland Public Television (MPT) and Mr. Fred Shinbur Vietnam Veteran, Project Coordinator for the documentary. A group of Vietnam Veterans who were selected to share their stories for the MPT documentary also received special recognition. A few short video clips were shown during the event. Many shared that they were deeply touched as they watched the video clips. Approximately 400 people attended the luncheon with the majority being active duty service members, their families and Veterans. It was a GREAT event!
Pictured L/R: Sarah Lobos Vice President, Sharon Jacobs President, Women in Defense(WID) Donna, Sue Manning Co chair of Military Affairs Committee, Janice, Michael Farlow Survivor Outreach Coordinator APG, and Anissa Roberts Treasurer (WID)
Rebuilding Together Baltimore County Project with
Travis Manion Foundation Team
April 30, 2016
Gold star mothers (GSMs) Michelle Murphy, Janice Chance and Gold Star dad Kenmore Murphy joined a team of volunteers from the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) on the Rebuilding Together Baltimore County project in Dundalk, Maryland on April 30, 2016. The TMF team was headed by Amber Baum Program Coordinator, Survivor Services. Our team was assigned to the Turner Station Community Gardens. We performed a variety of duties: weed removal, trimming bushes, planting new bushes, mulching, and touching up the sign at the entrance to the garden. The team of volunteers consisted of Gold Star family members, Veterans, and members of other organizations. It was great to work on a project that will benefit the residents living in the Turner Station Community.
Month of the Military Child “Read to Me Day”
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
April 18th and 27th, 2016
Mr. Michael Farlow, the Survivor Outreach Coordinator at Aberdeen Proving
(APG), invited and arranged for Gold Star Survivors to participate in the Month of the Military Child” Read to Me Day” festivities at the Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Installation(APG). 0n April 18, 2016, Yvonne Green MD Chapter Gold Star Mother (GSM) read to children at the APG South (Edgewood) Child Development Center and on April 27, 2016, Michelle Murphy(GSM),Janice Chance (GSM),Carmelita Johnson(GS Wife), and Amber Baum (GS Wife) read to the children at the APG North Child Development Center during “Read to Me Day” as part of the Military Child Festivities. Reading to the children provided us the honor of interacting with the children of our Heroes and civilians who work at the APG Installation. It was a great way to demonstrate our support and thanks. It was a Blessing to be in the presence of precious little children. Although it was cloudy and chilly outside, the sun was shining in our hearts because of the “little Angels” who expressed their thanks after each reading session. Some even gave us Hugs! It was an Unforgettable Day! We were even invited back to read and volunteer. We are looking forward to spending time again with our ” little Angels”!
Hoboken Homeless Shelter
Serving with the Travis Manion Foundation
Hoboken, New Jersey
April 14, 2016
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Michelle Murphy and Janice Chance joined the Travis Manion Foundation on April 14th,to assist with preparing and serving lunch at the Hoboken Homeless Shelter in Hoboken NJ, and boat tour to the 9/11 memorial and museum. There were eight volunteers from the Johnson and Johnson Veteran’s Leadership Council and 11 surviving family members of the fallen. Lt. Colonel Al Ponenti, Commanding Officer of the NJ Regional Operations Intelligence Center, was also present to assist with our travel to and from the shelter and boat tour to the 9/11 Memorial.
Care Packages for Deployed Troops & Fleece Blankets for Veterans
American Legion Post #60
April 9, 2016
A group of Maryland Chapter members met at the American Legion Post 60 located in Laurel , MD on April 9, 2016 for our regular business meeting. After the meeting Mary Wiley, Michelle Murphy, Regina Barnhurst, Elsheba Khan, Yvonne Green, Donna Robinson, Rosemarie Ceo and Janice Chance packed care packages filled with goodies for three deployed service members that will be shared with members of their unit. The team also worked together to make fleece blankets that will be given as gifts to hospitalized veterans at the VA Medical Center in Baltimore, wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, and residents at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. It was a wonderful day of service. Special Thanks to Commander Lee Luby, the Post 60 leadership team and members for allowing us the use of their hall and for their continued support.
Operation Second Chance & Gold Star Mothers MD Chapter
Assemble Care Packages for Heroes
April 7, 2016
Cindy McGrew Founder and President of Operation Second Chance (OSC) invited the Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers to assist her and two of her staff members, Ms. Vanessa Toner and Chris Enders, to pack care packages for our Heroes. The following gold star mothers assisted: Michelle Murphy, Donna Robinson, Janice Chance, Elsheba Khan and Mary Wiley. The team spent several hours working together to fill the large number of requests for care packages. However, the time seemed to go by quickly because everyone was focused on bringing joy to our Heroes. The team did whatever was necessary to make sure that the care packages were completed. Some of the boxes were packed with special requested items and the others with a variety of snacks and/or toiletries. It was truly a labor of Love for our Heroes. OSC and the Gold Star Moms will continue to work together to serve and support our Heroes and their families.
VA Medical Center
Distribution of Gifts to the Hospitalized Vietnam Veterans
March 29, 2016
The Voluntary Services leadership team invited members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter to assist with the distribution of gifts to hospitalized Vietnam Veterans as part of their 50th year Commemoration of the Vietnam War. They joined Mr. Dallas Renninger and David Sevensky, Voluntary Service Specialist’s as they visited and distributed special hats that had Vietnam Veteran printed on the front, Vietnam War 50 year Commemoration Challenge coins, and toiletry item gifts packs that the Gold Star Mothers packed for the Veterans. Each patient and their families who were present were thanked and were rendered a “Gold Star Mothers Hand Salute”. It was a blessing to have another opportunity to thank our Vietnam Heroes who had not received a warm Hero’s Welcome Home Celebration when they returned to the U.S. after their selfless service and sacrifice during the Vietnam War. Seeing the big smiles on their faces and hearing them say how much they appreciated the visit and gifts warmed our hearts. Maryland Chapter Mothers will continue to “HONOR OUR HEROES THROUGH SERVICE”.
VFW Post 521 Annual Community Children’s Easter Party
Owings Mills, Maryland
March 19, 2016
On March 19, 2016, Gold Star Mothers were invited to assist with the VFW Post 521 Annual Community Easter Party. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance, who are also members of the VFW Auxiliary, served at one of the craft table stations assisting the children with making bunny door hangers. It was a well-attended event and a great turn out. Although the children had to search for the Easter eggs inside of the building due to the rain, that did not seem to stop them from having fun looking for the eggs. Then the children were pleasantly surprised when the Easter Bunny showed up and gave out goodies and also took pictures with the children. The children left with prizes, the crafts that they made and their baskets full of goodies.
APG Surviving Families Luncheon
Top of the Bay
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
March 9, 2016
Thirty-nine survivors in attendance received information about upcoming events and post services. APG leadership including APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford, Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew D. McCoy, with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, APG Garrison Commander Col. James Davis and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams attended the event to show their support. The goal of the event was to provide an opportunity for surviving family members to fellowship, receive and share information about upcoming events, as well as build on their relationship with APG leadership. Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Yvette Green, Marie Moudry, Paula Davis, Rosemarie Ceo, Elsheba Khan and Gold Star Father – Garry Green enjoyed meeting APG leadership and other surviving families.
Warrior Events – St. Patrick’s Day Hooley Fundraiser and Parade
March 5-6, 2016
Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, two Gold Star Fathers, some of our Wounded Warrior Heroes and their families were invited by the Warrior Events organization to attend their 2nd Annual Annapolis St. Patrick’s Hooley (an Irish lively party) Fundraiser Event on March 5th at the Loews Hotel and to also participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 6th. The Warrior Events’ Leadership team, including John O’ Leary, Bob Saunders, and Jacqui Sands, did an outstanding job as usual. Parade Picture: Paula Davis, Regina Barnhurst, Elsheba Khan, Theresa Mills, Michelle Murphy, and Janice Chance. Not pictured GS Dad Kenmore Murphy who carried the Gold Star Fallen Heroes Banner, GS Mom Donna Robinson and GS Dad Charlton Chance who rode on the Fire Truck along with our Wounded Warrior Heroes.
Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 521 Auxiliary
Fashion Show & Tea Fundraiser
Owings Mills, Maryland
March 5, 2016
The VFW Auxiliary Post 521 held their First Fashion Show & Tea Fundraiser on March 5, 2016. President Mrs. Evelyn Gaines and the Auxiliary members invited Maryland Chapter Moms to attend the event. Joyce Goode, Yvonne Green, Janice Chance, Elsheba Khan and Donna Robinson attended in support of this fundraiser to raise money for two Veterans service organizations – The VFW National Home for Children and The Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET). Some of the MCVET ladies participated as models as they proudly strutted down the runway to music that helped create an atmosphere of fun and excitement. Prior to the fashion show, Janice, who is the Maryland Chapter President and a member of the VFW Post 521 Auxiliary, was given the honor to provide information about the Gold Star Mothers organization. In addition, she also shared about how the death of her son, Captain Jess Melton III USMC, led to her decision to join several Veterans service organizations to enable her to carry on the legacy of his selfless service and Ultimate Sacrifice on 9/9/2008 in Afghanistan. The food and fellowship was also great, plus several attendees expressed an interest in doing more to support our Heroes.
Operation Second Chance/ Operation Patriot Support
Fun Shoot Fundraiser
February 18-21, 2016
Four Maryland Gold Star Mothers, Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Michelle Murphy and Theresa Mills, as well as Pennsylvania Gold Star Mother, Kathy Hanley were invited by Chase Savage and Operation Second Chance/Operation Patriot Support to their Third Annual Florida Fun Shoot benefitting our Veterans. The Fun Shoot was truly a memorable experience as we were part of four separate teams to compete in the clay shooting event. Even though this was our first time shooting a moving target with rifles, everyone made us feel very comfortable and welcomed. We were deeply moved by their presentation of our children’s framed photos and a mosaic gold star tile made by a Blue Star Mother. We were also fortunate to visit the Gold Star Families Memorial location in Tampa, Florida. This monument was a service project that was done by students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School. We were treated to a wonderful luncheon at Craig and Toni Gross’, (Tampa Gold Star President), barbeque restaurant which is dedicated to their son, CPL Frank R. Gross. We look forward to partnering with Operation Second Chance in the future.
National Salute to Veterans Visit
VA Medical Center
February 14, 2016
The week of February 14th each year is your opportunity to say thank you to a special group of men and women. More than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services are cared for every day in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, outpatient clinics, domiciliaries, and nursing homes. During the National Salute, VA invites individuals, Veterans groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars to participate in a variety of activities at the VA medical centers. The activities and events include special ward visits and Valentines distributions; photo opportunities; school essay contests; special recreation activities and Veteran recognition programs. This special week always coincides with Valentine’s Day, which was the first day of this special week. This year, six members of the Maryland Chapter, Paula Davis, Regina Barnhurst, Janice Chance, Elsheba Khan, Donna Robinson and Mary Wiley had the distinct honor to spend several hours of Valentine’s Day with our Heroes and their family members to express our thanks for their selfless service and sacrifice to our country. We also rendered what we lovingly refer to as our “Gold Star Mothers Hand Salute” to each Hero. We distributed handmade Valentines cards from school children, balloons, bags of goodies and care packages to the patients at the VA Medical Center located on Greene Street in Baltimore Maryland. It was great to talk and spend time with our hospitalized Heroes and their family members. Our Heroes shared stories about their service and expressed their appreciation. Some of them took pictures of us after we expressed our thanks and gave them gifts. We also thanked the staff who provide healthcare services. The Maryland Chapter Moms are looking forward to the remainder of our planned events for 2016. We are so Grateful to God for enabling us to continue the Legacy of our Children’s Service.
Medical Musical Group Concert National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans
February 9, 2016
Gold Star Mothers Kelly Swanson, Michelle Murphy and Janice Chance attended the Medical Musical Group’s concert in Honor of Heroes. The concert was part of the “National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans” which is held annually the week of Valentine’s Day. It was sponsored by the House Veterans Affairs Committee and was held in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House building on Capitol Hill. Deana Martin, daughter of the famous singer Dean Martin and Sir Robert Worcester, were the hosts. There was a thematic segment of integrated readings during the concert performed by several distinguished guests, including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Eleanor Cliff, Darryl Haley former NFL football player for the New England Patriots, Debra Smyers, Steve Tomlin, Sir Robert Worcester and Deana Martin. It was a wonderful concert and a memorable experience.
Warrior Events Super Bowl Party
February 7, 2016
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to a Super Bowl party at Union Jack’s in Annapolis, Maryland that was sponsored by Warrior Events. We were also fortunate to meet some area wounded warriors and their families. The food, drink and conversations were a plus to another special evening with Chase Savage, Bob Saunders and Jacqui Sands.
Guest Speaker – Chuck Ritz
American Legion Post 60
February 6, 2016
Chuck Ritz from The Hope & Peace Foundation was our guest speaker at our Chapter meeting on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Chuck spoke to us about raising funds and awareness for the Maryland’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial. Maryland’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial will be dedicated to the 68 Marylanders killed on 9/11/01 and the 130 others who gave their all in the war on terror. Chuck and his wife, Hope began their foundation with the purpose of helping others and to continue to raise awareness against child sexual abuse and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our freedoms and safety. Maryland Gold Star Mothers are thankful for Chuck and Hope for their commitment to our communities and we look forward to helping them with their goal.
Care Packages for Deployed Troops
American Legion Post 60
February 6, 2016
After our Chapter meeting, Maryland Gold Star Mothers packed several goodie boxes for US deployed troops. We are proud to continue our mission to serve our active military Veterans and their families in honor of our children.
Loch Raven VA Community Living and Rehabilitation Center Visit
January 30, 2016
On January 30, 2016 nine members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter volunteered at the Loch Raven VA Community Living and Rehabilitation Center. Lee Ann, Lauren, Michelle, Mary, Elsheba, Regina, Yvonne, Janice, and Donna were honored to be able to serve some of our Heroes during their Bingo recreation activity. We not only served, but we also provided a variety of game prizes. The biggest hits were the oldies but goodies CD’s, Action DVD’s and Hershey’s candy bars. Their expressions of thanks and the smiles on their faces have been indelibly etched in our hearts and minds. We are looking forward to many more opportunities to serve and spend time with our Heroes. As it is written in the word of God, it is truly more Blessed to Give than to receive.