Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Golf Tournament
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
August 17, 2017
On Thursday August 17th, the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter were invited, for the second time, to the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) annual golf tournament held at Ruggles Golf Tournament located at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The event started at 6:30 a.m. when Maryland Gold Star President/Chaplain Janice Chance, Sergeant at Arms Yvonne J. Green, Parliamentarian Rosemarie Ceo and GS Mom Donna Robinson, along with Gold Star Wife Raina Taylor, President of the D.C. Chapter Gold Star Wives, arrived for duty. The Moms and Mrs. Taylor were at attention to receive the golfers at 7:00 a.m. registration so they could tee off at 8:00 a.m. It was yet another successful tournament for AUSA.
National Prayer Luncheon
Aberdeen Proving Ground
August 14, 2017
On August 14, 2017, the Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Base Chaplain Corps (Aberdeen, MD) held their annual National Prayer Luncheon at the Top of the Bay Restaurant. COL William Sean Lee, Joint Force Headquarters Chaplain, Maryland National Guard was the guest Speaker. Music was provided by the Rhema Praise Group and several Chaplain’s prayed during the program for the following: Prayer for Our Nation, Armed Forces, Command and the Community. The new Garrison Commander MG Randy Taylor CECOM and Installation gave the opening remarks. The luncheon was well attended by the APG family and citizens from the community. Gold Star family members were invited as their special guests. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter and several Gold Star wives were also in attendance. The food was delicious, the fellowship was wonderful, the music was great, and the message was inspiring.
Medical Musical Group (MMG) Chorale and Symphony Orchestra Concert
Schlesinger Concert Hall
August 13, 2017
The Medical Musical Group Chorale and Symphony Orchestra organization held their annual Concert on August 13, 2017. The concert leadership team invited as their special guests, Veterans, active duty service members, Gold Star mothers and their families. The concert’s title theme was “Music You Cannot Refuse”. The concert was held in commemoration of the 72nd Anniversary of the end of WWII. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter and Raina Taylor and Regina McCoy represented the Gold Star Wives Capitol View Chapter. The Veterans and Active Duty Service Members received a special salute. During the singing and playing of the Veterans Hymn, Donna and Janice participated in the “vacant chair dramatization.” Several of the guest speakers, and other attendees shared how deeply touched they were as they watched the dramatization. It served as a strong visual reminder that freedom is not free and that there is a family member connected to every fallen hero. During the second half of the concert there were thematic segments of integrated dramatic readings and music performed by several distinguished guests including Tony Lo Bianco, Hiliary Fordwich, Darryl Haley and Deana Martin. Mrs. Deana Martin sang two of the popular songs that are often requested by military audiences. Some musical arrangements included songs from the popular movie, “The Godfather”. The audience was surprised when D’ Alyse, Lo Bianco, Deana Martin, Dr. Marc Shepanek and a member of the chorus did the Waltz to one of the God Father songs. The concert was directed by “Doctor Maestro”, Victor Wahby, M.D. The concert was well attended and the Gold Star Family mothers and wives had the honor to meet and thank several of our Heroes, orchestra and choir members. They also met and took pictures with distinguished guests. It was an honor to be among so many heroes, to hear such beautiful inspiring music and dramatic readings.
Warrior Events Nitro Circus
Navy Marine Corps Stadium
July 23, 2017
The Warrior Event organization leaders, Mr. John O’ Leary and Mr. Bob Saunders, invited the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members to volunteer at their tailgating event prior to the very first Nitro Circus event to be performed in Annapolis. The following moms assisted with the set up and the serving of the food and a few other duties as required: Regina Barnhurst, Janice Chance, Elsheba Khan, Donna Robinson, Joyce Goode, two of her family members and Johnnie Pearson, a Blue Star mom. The tailgating social was held on the front lawn of the Navy Marine Stadium near the main entrance. The moms and families were also invited to attend the nitro circus after the tailgating social. The social was well attended and the attendees raved about the delicious food that was donated by several local businesses. Travis Pastrana, the main Nitro Circus performer and other members of his team, took time to mingle with the guests, especially with the wounded warriors and their families. They autographed pictures and also took pictures with the wounded warriors and other guests. Travis also took time to greet and take a group photo with the Gold Star mothers and the Warrior Event leaders and staff. There was much excitement and celebrating because Travis who is a resident of Annapolis was performing for the first time in the place where he grew up. Even though there was a brief rain shower prior to the circus, Travis and his team were able to perform as scheduled. It was a day that many will not forget. The Maryland chapter members considered it an honor to serve and are looking forward to volunteering at future events.
Care Packages for our Troops
American Legion Post 60
June 28, 2017
Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst, and Theresa Mills went shopping for two deployed units of Heroes on Wednesday. They collected toiletries, candies and other goodies for our service members. Many thanks to the American Legion Post 60 in Laurel for providing the space to package the goodies and special assistance in loading the boxes in our cars. This year, we have supported eight deployed units by sending care packages expressing our love and gratitude for their courage and sacrifice in serving our country.
Johanniter Order & Order of Malta Pre Independence Day Dinner
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
June 25, 2017
Mr . Peter Guen, Knight of Justice for the Johanniter Order, invited members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. to assist with serving at the Johanniter Order and the Order of the Malta’s 10th Annual Pre Independence Day dinner. It is sponsored for the wounded warriors, active duty service members, their families and staff. The dinner was served in the Warrior Cafe in Building 62 on Wednesday June 25, 2017. Lauren Seidler, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance assisted with the set up and serving. It was well attended and many of the attendees expressed their appreciation for the service, food, music, and fellowship. It was an honor to serve some of our heroes, their families and staff. It was also a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the children as their participated in activities that was organized for them. The fellowship was wonderful, the food was delicious and the music was great. It was truly a memorable event. We are looking forward to serving again at one of their events. Special thanks to Peter and his team for their continued support of Gold Star Mothers and our families.
United States Army Twilight Tattoo Parade
June 21, 2017
On Wednesday June 21st, Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance and Gina Barnhurst attended the United States Army Twilight Tattoo parade at Fort Meyer parade field in Arlington Virginia. The June 21st parade honored Vietnam Veterans. Before the parade the Vietnam Veterans were asked to stand and be recognized by the audience. Gold Star families were also asked to stand to be recognized.
The Twilight Parade is a military pageant which gives the history of our military through music and dramatic performances. The parade features The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, as well as performances by The U.S. Army Blues, The U.S. Army Band Down Range, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the U.S. Army Drill Team. Janice and Gina had the pleasure of meeting General Brown after the performance and getting our picture taken with him and some of the military performers. It was a wonderful evening!
Captain John Odber Warfighters Motorcycle Club Polka Run Fundraiser
& Fallen Hero Honor Ride
June 3, 2017
On June 3, 2017, Captain John Odber WarFighters’ Motorcycle Club held their Polka Run Fundraiser and Fallen Hero Honor Ride. Most of the members of the club are Iraq and/or Afghanistan Veterans, but a few of them are also active duty military. Their Mission was to raise money to support the Patriot House homeless shelter and honor five Maryland fallen heroes. The Maryland Gold Star Mothers Chapter was asked to provide the names of mothers who lived close to their scheduled ride stops. At each stop, the riders recognized the fallen hero at their assigned designated slot. There was a write up about each fallen hero along with their picture. The State of Maryland has loss 144 Military members to the war on Global Terrorism. The goal of the Warfighters MC is to honor each fallen hero each year until all 144 Heroes are honored. The pictures of the fallen they have honored are hung in their clubhouse.
[Picture: Lauren and Marc Seidler participated, but were not included in the picture.]
The following heroes were recognized:
PFC Justin Davis, USA
Gold Star Family Member: Paula Davis | Mother
Capt Jesse Melton III, USMC
Gold Star Family Member: Janice Chance | Mother & Charlton Chance | Husband | Joshua Melton | Brother and friends
A1C Mathew Seidler, USAF
Gold Star Family Member: Lauren Seidler | Mother | Marc Seidler | Father
LCpl Eric Herzberg, USMC
Gold Star Family Member: Regina Barnhurst | Mother
Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, USA
Gold Star Family Member: Elsheba Khan | Mother
Annapolis Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis
Navy Marine Corps Stadium
June 3, 2017
Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter recently supported the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by donating $500 to the Jennifer’s Journey Team at the annual Annapolis Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis. Janice Chance joined the team along with Bob Saunders (Warrior Events) and Bob’s daughter Jennifer, who suffers from this debilitating disease. This was a fun, family-oriented event with a healthy 5K walk, children’s activities, food and festivities. Each year, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to support the Foundation’s mission to cure cystic fibrosis and raise awareness for this rare, genetic, life-shortening disease that makes it difficult to breathe. As of this posting date, they have raised $318,168 with Jennifer’s Journey being the top team who raised $74,100. Good job Jennifer’s Journey and Janice for participating!
Memorial Day Ceremony at Holly Hills Memorial Cemetery
Middle River, Maryland
May 29, 2017
On Monday May 29th, Gold Star mothers and families were invited by Mr. Keith Roberts Chairman and the Lamky, Luther, Whitehead Veterans Memorial committee to attend the annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony held at the Holly Hills Memorial Gardens. Janice Chance and Rosemarie Ceo represented the Maryland Chapter Gold Star mothers, there were also several other Gold Star family members that attended the ceremony. Prior to the ceremony, there was a short parade that started from the Holly Hills Memorial Gardens office down to the memorial where the ceremony was held. Several veteran service organizations, scouts from the Chesapeake District of the Boy Scouts, members of the Civil Air Patrol, local elected officials and many citizens from the community were in attendance. The women’s Auxiliary from the Veterans of Foreign War Post 6506 placed carnations as they read the names of each fallen hero who were listed on the memorials. The Gold Star mothers were presented with a yellow rose and other gifts from one of the Boy Scout troops. Three new names of fallen heroes were added to the memorials. Captain Jesse Melton III, USMC, Killed in Action on 9/9/2008, the son of Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mother Janice Chance, was one of the names that was added to the Afghanistan Memorial along with SSgt Mark De Alencar who was killed in action on 4/8/2017. The name of Patrick Differ was added to the Korean War Memorial. Rosemarie and Janice were blessed to meet and thank many Veterans, active duty service members, their families and other attendees. One of the special guests that they also had the pleasure to meet and talk with was Pastor James Lane, US Army, WWIII Veteran that served under General George S. Patton US Army. It was a wonderful ceremony.
Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony
May 27, 2017
The 29th Division Association & Business Advocates for Veterans, Dr. Lorraine Fulton Ed.D, President and staff of Gerstell Academy, Representatives from many local Veteran Service organizations, Janice Chance Gold Star Maryland Chapter member, Carroll County Veterans Service Council, Carroll County Hospital, library and other representatives and community business leaders worked together to organize several events leading up to the 2017 Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony. Many other individuals within the community made financial contributions and volunteered time to assist in making the events happen. On Friday, May 26th 9,000 flags that were placed on the front lawn of the Gerstell Academy located in Finksburg, Maryland. They represented and Honored Maryland Heroes that died during military service or that are missing in action. Janice chance, Alison Malachowski and a friend, Mon Lisa Johnson joined a large number of volunteers with the placement of the flags. On Saturday May 27th, the ceremony had to be moved indoors due to the rain. However, the ceremony was wonderful. Maryland Chapter members Donna Robinson and Janice Chance, Sandy Seidel, Pennsylvania Gold Star Mother, other Gold Star family members, many other patriotic citizens, veterans, active duty service members, local Veteran organization members and Government officials attended. Former Governor Robert Ehrlich gave a heart-warming message. The events ended with a Memorial Day parade in Westminster on May 29th and the flags were on display through the end of Memorial Day.
Iraqi Children’s Foundation 5th Annual 5K Run/Walk
May 20, 2017
On May 20, 2017, Maryland Gold Star Mothers Kelly Swanson, Janice Chance and Donna Robinson joined with Virginia Gold Star Mothers Cynthia Ozbat and Ruth Eileen Os molski at the US Patent Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA. They, along with 388 supporters, participated in the Iraqi Children Foundation’s (ICF) 5th annual 5k run/walk to benefit Iraqi orphans, street children, and children displaced. While Donna assisted with various activities inside, the rest of the team walked and proudly finished the 5k! This year, the event included three young Iraqi Ambassadors: 15 year old Teeba, who was in a bombing as a baby, 14 year old Humoody, who was shot in the face, and 22 year old Al a’ a, who was abandoned as a little boy because of his cerebral palsy. It is always a great honor for the Maryland Gold Star Mothers to support and attend this wonderful event.
Hope and Peace Foundation
2nd Annual Memorial Day ROCKFest
May 20, 2017
On May 20, 2017, Chuck and Hope Ritz founders of the Hope and Peace Foundation held their 2nd Annual Memorial Day ROCK Fest. They have been and continue to be faithful supporters of Gold Star families, Veterans, active duty service members and citizens within the community. Chuck Created and dedicated Maryland’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial to REMEMBER & HONOR the lives lost on 9/11 and in the war on terror since that horrific day. Chuck and Mr. Nic Shah, the owner of McAvoy’s restaurant, hosted the event again this year. Mr. Shah is also a Faithful Supporter with a Heart of Gold. He is always a Gracious and Generous Host. Gold Star Families were invited to attend and participate in this special fundraiser event. Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers. She was given the opportunity to share about her fallen hero Captain Jesse Melton III USMC, the Maryland Gold Star Mothers organization and the Maryland Chapter’s 5th Annual Crab Feast & Bull Roast. This event that is scheduled to be held on September 17, 2017 at the American Legion Post 60, located in Laurel, Maryland. Mrs. Peggy Marchanti, Gold Star wife shared about her fallen Hero husband Major Robert Marchanti U.S. Maryland National Guard and about the Towson University memorial scholarship fundraiser event for her husband that is scheduled for July 2017. There were several bands that performed: Bristol Blue, Stolen Identity, That Which Remains, NO Nelsons. They truly rocked the place. Chuck Ritz made a surprise announcement that the funds raised were going to be donated to the following Gold Star organizations and foundations: Maryland Gold Star Mothers, Major Robert Marchanti Memorial Scholarship Fund, Catch A Lift and the Anderson-Snyder Fund. Heartfelt Thanks to Chuck and Hope, Mr. Shah and all of the participants and supporters.
Carroll County Marine Corps League Golf Tournament Fundraiser
South Hills Golf Club
May 19, 2017
Mr. Daniel Turner, Commandant of the Carroll County Marine Corps League Detachment 896, invited Gold Star Mothers to volunteer at their annual golf tournament fundraiser. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance served as volunteers during the event and The Maryland Chapter members were honored to be able to sponsor two Veteran teams. Organizations that donated sponsorships included personalized signs at designated holes throughout the golf course. The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter sign was posted at the 9th hole, which was a par 4. It was great to serve alongside of some of our Nation’s Heroes and to explore opportunities to partner and serve during upcoming events. The Carroll County Marine Corp League’s mission is to support Veterans and to incubate a transgenerational culture by mentoring the Carroll County Young Marines and by encouraging the relevance of Elder Marine participation. It was a successful event and the Maryland Chapter is looking forward to participating again next year.
40th Annual Military Appreciation Luncheon
May 18, 2017
The Harford County Chamber of Commerce and local businesses sponsored their 40th Annual Military Appreciation luncheon on May 18, 2017. The event was organized by the Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee. The luncheon is held annually to honor members of the United States Armed Forces and civilian workforce of Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) for their service, sacrifice and contributions to the Nation, abroad and within the community. Mr. Michael Farlow, Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator and Maryland Gold Star Mothers Donna Robinson, Yvonne Green, Rosemarie Ceo and Janice Chance were invited to this special event. The mothers were recognized and presented with a bouquet of flowers by officers and members of the Women in Defense Mid-Atlantic Chapter organization. Mr. David Craig, Executive Director of the Maryland World War I Commission was the Key Note Speaker. He gave a great history lesson about Aberdeen Proving Ground and shared stories about several American Heroes that served during WWI. The mothers were blessed to be able to meet and thank many of our service members and their families. Awards were given to the Soldier of The Year, Non Commissioned Officer of the Year and the Military Family of the Year. Two of the recipients this year were woman. Yeah! It was a great turn out again this year. Approximately 350 people attended the luncheon and the majority were active duty service members, their families and Veterans. There were also several elected officials, APG leadership staff, representatives of local businesses and other supporters. It was truly a memorable event.
HELP Veterans Village Groundbreaking Ceremony
Perry Point VA Medical Center
Perry Point, Maryland
May 13, 2017
On Saturday May 13, 2017 a groundbreaking ceremony for the “HELP Veterans Village” was held at the Perry Point VA Medical Center. 75 homes will be constructed for at risk and formerly homeless veterans. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance, Maryland Chapter members, joined a large group of members from a variety of Veteran Service organizations and other community stakeholders for the historic occasion. Governor Hogan was the main guest speaker. David Cleghorn, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development at HELP USA, Dr. Adam Robinson, Director of VA Medical Healthcare System, several VA leaders, elected officials, staff members and volunteers were also in attendance. Governor Hogan expressed his appreciation to everyone who has been working to make the HELP project possible. He stressed the importance of our community and legislators continuing to honor and take care of our Veterans. Mr Cleghorn commented that “In a few short months, homeless veterans will start moving into brand new homes on this beautiful site”. Mr. Malcolm Bell, an Air Force Veteran and Perry Point Resident, also spoke. He shared a heart-warming message that is now posted on Facebook. There was much excitement and celebrating among the attendees.
Gold Star Proclamation Signing Ceremony
Navy Museum Washington Navy Yard
May 11, 2017
On May 11, 2017, Rear Admiral Charles Rock, Commandant Naval District and the Navy Gold Star Program staff hosted a Gold Star Awareness Month Proclamation Ceremony. It was held at the Navy Museum Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. 18 Gold Star family members attended, including Donna Robinson, Kelly Swanson and Janice Chance of the Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers organization. We enjoyed music that was provided by members of U.S Navy Band. They played several patriotic songs in addition to the National Anthem. RDML Rock gave a heart-warming welcome and message. He then read and signed the Gold Star Awareness Month Proclamation. RDML Rock read the proclamation with passion, especially the last few lines: “NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles Rock, Regional Commandant Naval District do HEREBY proclaim the Month of May 2017 as: GOLD STAR AWARENESS MONTH. I HEREBY call upon All members of our Navy Family to recognize May as Gold Star Awareness month, Honor the Memory of the Fallen and Pledge to Support Gold Star Families. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand on this 11th day of May 2017”. After the ceremony, there was a cake and punch reception followed by a white glove tour of the Museum that was conducted by Museum Curator Jim Bruns. It was a blessing to meet and spend time with other Gold Star family members. It was truly a memorable event.
US Marine Corps VIP Reception and Evening Parade
Marine Corps Barracks – 8th & I Streets
May 5, 2017
On Friday, May 5, 2017, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers were invited to attend a VIP Reception and Evening Parade located at the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC by the Assistant Commandant of the United States Marine Corp General Glen and Mrs. Gail Walters. Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Regina Barnhurst, Paula Davis and Theresa Mills attended. They were recognized during the reception prior to the parade and were able to talk with and thank many of the Heroes for their Selfless Service and Sacrifice. Although the parade ended early due to rain, we enjoyed our time with our hosts, dignitaries and many Marines. The guest speaker was a former Marine and decorated Vietnam War Veteran Colonel Paul Cook. Col. Cook represents California’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. After the parade, we were escorted to the NCO club by US Marine GySgt William Dixon (Ret) who served as the USMC band leader for Janice’s son during his burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in 2008. We were able to meet, spend time with and take pictures with “Chesty”, the Marine Barrack’s faithful mascot. We were warmly greeted by Chesty and the Marines. Janice was surprised when she was presented with the NCO’s Marine’s special guest Certificate of Appreciation for her attendance and outstanding service. It was truly a memorable evening.
No Person Left Behind/Operation Second Chance
Timonium Fair Grounds, Maryland
April 30, 2017
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Mary Wiley, Joy Goode and Sheba Khan assisted military service organization No Person Left Behind/Operation Second Chance (NPLB/OSC) during their annual fundraiser – bull roast. NPLB/OSC continue their mission to support wounded warriors by inviting them on outdoor hunting and fishing trips. The sacrifice that our Veterans have given to our country will never be forgotten. Visit their website to view all the great events that they organize for our wounded Veterans. Operation Second Chance – No Person Left Behind
Care Packages For Our Troops
American Legion Post 60
April 26, 2017
Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst, and Theresa Mills went shopping for two deployed units of Heroes on Wednesday. They collected toiletries, candies and other goodies for our service members. Many thanks to the American Legion Post 60 in Laurel for providing the space to package the goodies and special assistance in loading the boxes in our cars.
Warrior Events Army vs. Navy Lacrosse Game Tailgate Fundraiser
April 15, 2017
Warrior Events invited Maryland Gold Star Mothers to help with their Annual Spring Tailgate for the Troops fundraiser at the Army Vs. Navy Lacrosse Game that was held at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Mothers included Janice Chance, President; Michelle Murphy, 1st Vice President; Gina Barnhurst, Secretary; Theresa Mills, Treasurer; Donna Robinson and Deborah Higgins Tucker. Guests and donors were treated to a variety of food and drinks that were donated by local businesses, as well as being entertained with music from a live band. There were also large television screens in the covered tent that broadcasted the game. Warrior Events’ mission is to provide opportunities for interaction, enjoyment and camaraderie for wounded warriors and to raise awareness and appreciation among the public. Their sole purpose is to enrich the lives of those wounded. We are thankful to help and support this wonderful service organization! The final score of the game was Navy 10, Army 6. Congratulations Midshipmen!
Change of Command Ceremony for Major General Bruce T. Crawford
Aberdeen Proving Ground
April 13, 2017
A Change of Command ceremony was held for Major General (MG) Bruce T. Crawford at the C4ISR Campus on the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) Army Installation. After 35 months of serving as the Commander of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronic Command (CECOM) Commanding General & Senior Commander, Major General Bruce T. Crawford’s position and services were concluded. The command of leadership was officially passed onto Major General Randy S. Taylor. Donna Robinson, Yvonne Green and Janice Chance represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. MG Crawford has been reassigned to serve at the pentagon. General Gustave F. Perna, the 19th Commander of the U.S. Army Material Command, served as the officiate for the ceremony. Several family members and friends of MG Crawford and MG Taylor were in attendance along with several Generals, service members, veterans, elected officials, community leaders, APG civilian senior leaders and APG civilian employees. MG and Mrs. Crawford will truly be missed because they developed a wonderful relationship with Gold Star Mothers and families. Mrs. Crawford, throughout her APG assignment, consistently reached out to and included Gold Star Mothers through special fellowships in her home. MG Crawford ensured that Gold Star Mothers and families were invited to special events and that our fallen heroes were honored and remembered at special designated events.
Farewell Dinner for MG Bruce & Mrs. Dianne Crawford
Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Installation
April 11, 2017
Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers were invited to attend the Farewell Dinner for Major General (MG) Bruce & Mrs. Dianne Crawford. MG Crawford served as the 14th Commander of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronic Command (CECOM) Commanding General & Senior Commander -Aberdeen Proving Ground for approximately 35 months. He will be serving in a new position at the Pentagon. Janice Chance, President and Chaplain made a presentation on behalf of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter to both MG Bruce and Mrs. Crawford. Janice gave a brief speech and presented MG Crawford with a Certificate of Appreciation for his unwavering support of Gold Star Mothers and families in addition to a special World Globe. Mrs. Crawford was also thanked for her support and service. She was presented with a Musical Prayer Globe. MG and Mrs. Crawford expressed their sincere thanks and reiterated their intent to continue to ensure that Gold Star Mothers and families are treated as APG family members and that our fallen heroes sacrifice will be honored and remembered at APG. The dinner was well attended by military service members, veterans, local elected officials and community business representatives. MG and Mrs. Crawford received many Certificates of Appreciation, gifts and expressions of thanks for their exceptional leadership, service and support. It was truly a memorable evening.
VFW Post 521 Annual Community Children’s Easter Party
Owings Mills, Maryland
April 8, 2017
On April 8, 2017 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 picture frames. It was a great turn out. There was much laughter and the children had to search for the Easter eggs that had been hidden outside on the front lawn area. After the Easter Egg hunt, the children were pleasantly surprised when the Easter Bunny showed up and gave out goodies and also took pictures with them. The children left with prizes, the crafts that they made and their baskets full of goodies. It was great to volunteer at an event provides opportunities for children to meet other children and to have fun.
Annual Gold Star Spouses Prayer Breakfast
Fort Detrick, Maryland
April 5, 2017
Gold Star Survivors were invited by Jeffrey Duncan, PhD, who is the Army Volunteer Corps Program Manager at the Army Community Service/Soldier and Family Assistance Center, to attend the Annual Gold Star Prayer Breakfast at Fort Detrick. Maryland Chapter members Donna Robinson and Janice Chance attended the breakfast to support the Gold Star Spouses and to thank our active duty service members, and veterans for their selfless service and sacrifice. Several other Gold Star Survivors, COL and Mrs. Michele O’ Brien, many active duty service members and civilian employees also attended the breakfast. MG Barbara Holcomb, Commanding General for Operations, U.S Army Medical Command Chief, U.S Army Nurse Corp gave a short, heart-warming message and provided information about Gold Star Families. Chaplain Michael Jeffries did the invocation and shared a brief inspirational message. After breakfast, Mrs. Marian Frankenhauser, Gold Star Wife, and a Retired LTC U.S Army Nurse was the keynote speaker. She delivered a beautiful message and encouraged the married attendees to value their spouses, especially the men. After the event, several attendees expressed their appreciation to Mrs. Frankenhauser’s for her message and also took time to talk with the Maryland Chapter Moms and other Gold Star Survivors. A few of the attendees also explored volunteer opportunities and inquired about ways that they can support Gold Star Survivors.
Month of the Military Child “Read to the Children”
Aberdeen Proving Ground Edgewood Child Development Center
April 4, 2017
Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter Members were invited to read a book to the children at the Child Development Center located at the Edgewood Center located at the Main APG installation. Maryland Chapter Mother, Janice Chance had the pleasure to read to children at the Edgewood Center. She read a book entitled “Green Eggs and Ham,” by Dr. Seuss. The children, especially the 4 -5 years of age, were familiar with the story so at times they joined Janice as she read some of the lines. The teachers and administrators expressed with their hands and invited Janice to come back to read to the children again. Most Gold Star members have to work during the week which prevents them from participating in the read to the children events.
Month of the Military Child “Tell Me A Story” Kick Off
Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG)
March 30, 2017
The Military Child Education Coalition Volunteer Elizabeth Groover, Survivor Outreach Services Director Michael Farlow, and Stacie Umbarger, School Liaison Officer coordinated a making connections through literature kick-off event for the Month of the Military Child activities. Baltimore Ravens tight-end football player, Benjamin Watson participated in the “Tell Me A Story” event. He read a book entitled “The Remarkable Farkle McBride” written by John Lithgow. Gold Star Survivors were invited to attend this event. Janice Chance represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter and she set up a display table that provided information to parents and other participants about the GSM organization. MG and Mrs Vollmecke, COL Davis and other APG leaders participated in the event. After Mr. Benjamin Watson finished reading the story to an excited group of children, Janice spoke to the children and parents on the topic “PERSEVERANCE”. There were also many organizations that came out to participate in this special event. William Huff, Towson State University’s (TU) Deputy Athletic Director, two members of TU women’s basketball team, APG Spouses Club, Maryland Conservatory of Music, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, just to name a few. These organizations also set up displays and gave gifts to the children. The children were also excited to be able to interact with a robot that would roll around the area. Mr. Watson autographed a copy of the book that he read for all of the children.
Retirement Ceremony for Lieutenant General Robert S. Ferrell
Army Chief Information Officer
Fort Meyer, VA
March 31, 2017
On March 31, 2017, Janice Chance was given the honor to represent the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. at the retirement ceremony for Lieutenant General Robert S. Ferrell, Army Chief Information Officer G-6 at Fort Meyer. Prior to his promotion General Ferrell served as Commanding General, Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM). LTG Robert and Mrs. Monique are huge supporters of Gold Star Mothers and families. He did all that he was able to ensure that that Gold Star families were included in special events and were treated like members of the APG family. LTG Ferrell retired after 37 years of military service. He earned many service medals and awards throughout his career. Janice expressed Congratulations and gave thanks to LTG Ferrell and Mrs. Ferrell for their Selfless Service, Sacrifice and for their unwavering support of Gold Star Mothers and families.
Memorial Dedication Ceremony & Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Luncheon
Ocean City, Maryland
March 30, 2017
Vietnam Veterans of America Ocean City Maryland Chapter President Nelson Kelly invited Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers to attend and participate in the Memorial Dedication Ceremony for Private First Class Barry Howard Berger and the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Luncheon. PFC Berger was the only Ocean City Native born armed service member to be killed in action during combat operations in Vietnam. PFC Berger was KIA on January 10, 1971, but left a great legacy of service. The ceremony was held in the courtyard in front of City Hall that used to be the school building where PFC Berger attended. A beautiful black granite Memorial bench and a bronze Memorial plaque were dedicated in his honor. Janice Chance and Antoinette Coffland represented the Maryland Chapter. Janice was one of the guest speakers and after her message, she presented the nephew of PFC Berger with one of the Vietnam Veterans 50th Anniversary Commemorative challenge coins that the Maryland Chapter had specially made to give to Vietnam Veterans as a token of our appreciation for their selfless service and sacrifice. PFC Berger’s family members and many Ocean City residents attended the ceremony along with Veterans, elected officials, business owners and other visitors. It was a wonderful ceremony. Janice and Antoinette provided the memorial coins to other Vietnam Veterans at the luncheon.
Maryland Patriot Guard Fundraiser
March 25, 2017
On March 25th Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Lauren Seidler, Paula Davis, Michelle Murphy and Gina Barnhurst supported the Maryland Patriot Guard by attending their fundraiser at Vanessa’s Corner Pub in Westminster, Maryland. Our Chapter donated four gift baskets worth $500.00 to help the Patriot Guard raise funds. Our Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mother Lauren Seidler put together the baskets and Janice, our President sold over $800 worth of raffle tickets for the basket portion of the fundraiser. Janice was also blessed to win a homemade banner which has the quote “Land of the Free because of the Brave” on an American Flag background. Paula Davis, another Gold Star Mom, won a coffee/chocolate lovers basket. We all enjoyed a fun evening supporting our Patriot Guard friends.
Care Packages for Deployed Troops
American Legion Post 60
April 1, 2017
Maryland Chapter American Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Gina Barnhurst and Mary Wiley put together care packages for a deployed Army unit. The packages were packed with love in honor of all our member’s sons and daughters who died while serving our country. We sent a note with each package expressing our gratitude for the unit’s courage and sacrifice in serving our country.
Towson University Military Appreciation Day
Towson Tigers Vs. Denver Pioneers Men’s Lacrosse
March 25, 2017
The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. is an official partner of the Towson University (TU) Athletics program. On March 25, 2017, members were invited by the TU Athletics’ Leadership Team to attend the Men’s Lacrosse game. In addition, our Chapter was invited to set up a table in the stadium along with other military organizations to give out information about our organization.
During halftime, the following Gold Star mothers were led onto the field by William Huff, Towson’s Athletic director, to be recognized and have our Fallen Heroes recognized: Janice Chance- President, Paula Davis and Gina Barnhurst – Secretary. Despite a valiant come back after the first half the Towson Tigers lost to Denver 12 to 11; however, we all enjoyed a beautiful day watching the Tigers play and talking to people about our Gold Star Mothers organization and our Fallen Heroes.
VFW Post 521 Ladies Auxiliary
Fashion Show & Tea
Owings Mills, Maryland
March 11, 2017
The VFW Post 521 Ladies Auxiliary in Owings Mills, Maryland held their Fashion Show and Tea on March 11, 2017. President Mrs. Evelyn Gaines and the Auxiliary members invited Maryland Chapter Moms to attend the event. Janice Chance, Theresa Mills and Donna Robinson attended in support of this fundraiser to raise money for the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET). Speaker and Honorary Tea Pourer, Betty Strahm, who is also the President of the VFW Auxiliary Department of Maryland, opened the event with a strong message that our Veterans, who have given so much for our Country, should never be homeless. She commended MCVETs for their continued support to housing as well as providing valuable resources to our Veterans in order for them to lead productive lives in our society. 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.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 5, 2017
The Luck of the Irish came out in full force at Annapolis’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 5th. Warrior Events invited the Maryland Gold Star Mothers Chapter members to participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade with wounded warriors and their families. This was our second time participating and every year, we are honored to be part of this event. Gold Star Mothers Michelle Murphy, Theresa Mills, Donna Robinson and Rosemarie Ceo were also joined by Ken Murphy (Gold Star Father), Mary Gerity (Gold Star Sister of PFC Charles S. Walsh, USMC), and Rosemarie’s sister, Dorcina Moulden (Gold Star Aunt of Army Spc. Bernard Ceo). After the parade, Gold Star family members were invited to lunch at Armadillos and enjoyed listening to the band, Dublin 5. Maryland Gold Star Mothers would like to thank Bob Saunders, John O’Leary and Warrior Events for coordinating and planning this successful parade every year.
Beltsville Lions Club
March 1, 2017
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Theresa Mills and Michelle Murphy were invited to speak at the Beltsville Lions Club’s monthly meeting located at the Old Line Spirits and Bistro in Beltsville, Maryland. Michelle and Theresa were treated to dinner and shared stories about their children as well as the history of the American Gold Star Mothers. Several Veterans, who are members, were also in attendance. After Michelle and Theresa finished speaking, the Lions Club presented a check for $250 as a donation to help us continue our mission to Honor through Service for our active-duty service members, Veterans and their families. We are truly thankful for their support, friendship and fellowship to serve.
National Salute to Veterans Week
Baltimore VA Medical Center
February 12, 2017
Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Janice Chance and Lauren Seidler prepare to give out Valentines balloons, knit hats, puzzle books and toiletries to our Veterans at the Baltimore VA Medical Center as part of The National Salute to Veterans week February 12th to February 19th.
Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Janice Chance and Lauren Seidler give a Gold Star Mothers Hand salute to the Veterans at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, Greene Street as part of National Salute to Veterans week.
Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Janice Chance and Lauren Seidler get a picture with Dolline the relative of one of the Veterans at the Baltimore VA Medical Center located on Greene Street who received a Valentine balloon, puzzle books and other gifts from our Chapter.
Each year, the week of February 14th 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 everyday in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes. During the National Salute, the VA invites individuals, Veterans groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars are invited 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 year, four members of the Maryland Chapter, Paula Davis, Gina Barnhurst, Janice Chance and Lauren Seidler had the distinct honor to spend several hours 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, puzzle books, knit hats and toiletries to the patients at the VA Medical Center located on Greene Street in Baltimore MD. It was great to talk and spend time with our hospitalized Heroes and their family members.
Care Packages for the Troops
American Legion Post 60
February 4, 2017
Maryland Gold Star Mothers met for their first bi-monthly meeting for the new year and afterwards, Janice Chance, Michelle Murphy, Yvonne Green, Theresa Mills, Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Lauren Seidler, Mary Jane Walton and Kelly Swanson filled four large boxes of cookies, candy, chips, dip, licorice, and many toiletries for three deployed troops. All goodies, supplies and postage were purchased from monetary donations that we receive throughout the year from gracious donors. Before closing the boxes, we added a special hand-written note to let them know that we are proud and thankful for their service and sacrifice. It is always a pleasure to send our deployed troops treats from home.
Towson University Military Appreciation Day
Towson Tigers Vs. Northeastern University Huskies
January 14, 2017
The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. is an official partner of the Towson University (TU) Athletics program. On January 14, 2017, members were invited by the TU Athletics’ Leadership Team to attend a special luncheon in honor of Major Robert Marchanti and Towson’s Military Appreciation Day that featured the Towson Tigers basketball game against the Northeastern University Huskies. Major Robert Marchanti, US Army National Guard, who was a TU alumnus, made the ultimate sacrifice on February 25, 2012 while serving in Afghanistan. A special endowed scholarship was established in his honor.
During halftime, the following Gold Star mothers were recognized along with other family members at center court: Janice Chance (husband Charlton) Michelle Murphy (daughter Kendra – US Army Cadet), Donna Robinson, Tracy Miller and Theresa Mills.
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were also honored at the TU football game held on November 5, 2016, and have also been invited to participate at their March 25th Military Appreciation lacrosse game. Moms may bring up to three people to attend the games, and a fair-like atmosphere prevails at these events. It was truly a memorable day and we were all thrilled because Towson University’s Tigers won the game. Yeah!!
Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Day of Service’
American Red Cross and Aberdeen Fire Department
Martin Luther King Home Fire Campaign
January 16, 2017
In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as the first and only Federal holiday observed as a national day of service. On January 16, 2017, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter at the American Red Cross (ARC) Greater Chesapeake Region and the Aberdeen Fire Department’s Martin Luther King Day Home Fire Prevention Campaign Day of Service. They joined many volunteers who went out in teams to canvass at-risk neighborhoods in the Aberdeen Proving Ground community. The teams worked together to ensure that smoke detectors were installed in as many homes as possible and also provided fire safety education and materials. Janice served as one of the educators on team number seven. The two gentlemen on her team successfully installed and/ or tested existing smoke detectors to ensure that they were operating. A few of the smoked detectors that did work were so old that new ones were installed. Donna stayed at the Aberdeen Hall Cross Roads Elementary school that was the ARC campaign base. Donna assisted with registration and other duties. It was great to serve alongside so many friendly willing volunteers and to know that our service made a positive difference to the people in community. The residents expressed their appreciation and gave us their well wishes. Having working smoke detectors will hopefully prevent injuries and death due to house fires. The National ARC goal is a 25% reduction in home fire deaths over the next five years. The ARC will be organizing another Home Fire Campaign within the next two months in the Aberdeen area.
Why We Serve Ceremony
Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG)
January 11, 2017
Major General (MG) Bruce T. Crawford Commanding General CECOM invited Gold Star family members to their annual “Why We Serve” Ceremony. Michelle Murphy, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter. Michelle’s daughter Kendra Murphy, Cadet US Army, Gold Star wife Mrs. Tonya Armstead and one of the biggest Gold Star family supporters, Mr. Michael Farlow – APG’s Survivor Outreach Service coordinator, were also in attendance. Prior to his message, MG Crawford recognized and thanked the veterans and honored two WWII Veterans, in addition to recognizing Gold Star families. It was a pleasure and honor to attend and witness the Officers, Enlisted Service members, and Army Civilian Employees raise their right hand and take an oath signifying their allegiance and dedication to duty, etc. MG Leslie C Smith, Deputy Inspector General and Office of the Secretary of the Army was the keynote speaker. He surprised four active duty Heroes by asking them to stand and share what a specific Army value means to them. MG Smith also called on four service members to demonstrate the value of trust. One of the service members acted out the role of an injured team member that needed to be carried to safety. The other three members had to work as a team to lift and carry him to safety. MG Crawford and MG Smith both gave a powerful message reminding our active duty Heroes and civilian employees why they serve and thanked them for their invaluable service and commitment. MG Crawford also had the honor of swearing in a group of new recruits. Ms. Robinson and the special choir sang several patriotic songs that helped to set the mood for the ceremony. After the ceremony, the Gold Star family members were able to meet, thank and mingle with our Heroes, civilian employees, community leaders and citizens. It was truly a memorable event.