Military Bowl Parade
December 31, 2018
It was a great day to welcome in the last day of 2018 as Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to join Lynne and Scott Mallary of Truckin 4 Troops at the Military Bowl parade in Annapolis, Maryland. Janice Chance, Yvonne Green, Garry Green and Theresa Mills rode in one of their F650 trucks prior to the parade and then Janice, Yvonne and Theresa walked with our Gold Star banner from downtown Annapolis to the Navy Marine Corps Stadium. Chuck Ritz had the Maryland’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial trailer on the back of the Mallary’s truck. Chuck also walked along and rung the bell in memory of our fallen heroes. Jeanette Middleton-Sudano was also in the parade as her family walked beside her son’s A1C Nathanial McDavitt’s memorial float. Prior to the parade, we were pleasantly surprised to see and talk to Governor Larry Hogan as well as being greeted with a warm welcome from the Hogs and Heroes Foundation motorcycle group who led the parade. Some of these members have escorted fallen heroes to their final resting sites. We were also surprised to see Bob Saunders, John O’Leary, Tina and Coleen from Warrior Events at their tailgate fundraiser that was held at the stadium. It was an honor to be able to walk in the parade not only to represent our organization and children, but to bring awareness to our local military service organizations. As we all support our active duty, wounded and military families.
Shared by Tracy Miller – GSM of Cpl. Nicholas Lee Ziolkowski, USMC
Moms and Gold Star Families – Tracy Miller shared this book dedication with us – Stephen Hunter is an author who lives in Baltimore Maryland. Game of Snipers is due out in July 2019!
VA Medical Health Care Center (Greene Street)
Delivery of Christmas Holiday Gifts
December 24, 2018
On Christmas Eve, Janice Chance, a regular VA Medical Center Volunteer, joined other VA volunteers, and VA staff to deliver Christmas gifts to inpatients at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Janice represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter. The 78th Army band from Fort Dix, NJ once again provided holiday music on each unit as gifts were being distributed. Patients and staff expressed their appreciation to the band members and volunteers. The duffel bag gifts included a fleece blanket monogrammed with the words “Proud Veteran”, a water bottle, $5.00 canteen gift coupon book, an adult coloring book, pack of Air Force Thunderbird playing cards, and a perpetual calendar. It was truly an honor to deliver Christmas gifts to some of our nation’s Heroes that probably would not be home in time for Christmas. It was a blessing to spend time talking with them, watching their faces light up, and to receive warm handshakes and hugs. These were gifts that money cannot buy. Many Veteran Service Organizations, which included the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, and other individuals donated money which enabled the gifts to be purchased and delivered to patients at all of the Maryland VA Healthcare Centers. We are looking forward to continuing to serve and support our Heroes and their families all year long, not just during the holiday season. We Honor and Salute them!
Charlotte Hall Veterans Home
Charlotte Hall, Maryland
December 22, 2018
On Saturday December 22, 2018, Maryland Gold Star Moms Janice Chance and Kelly Swanson went to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Janice and Kelly presented Ashley Radano, Director of Recreational Services a check for $1,000 from the Gold Star Mother’s Maryland Chapter. The donation will go to their Veterans Assistance Fund. Janice and Kelly spent their time eating lunch and mingling with our Veteran heroes. It was truly an honor. The stories and emotions they shared were a sweet testimony of not only their service to our country, but to their lives. Some didn’t want to talk with us, while others were more than eager to share their stories. Janice and Kelly’s hero of the day was Harvey, an Army Drill Sargent. We shared many laughs with him! Then there was the wife whose husband (Tom) is in his last stages of Alzheimer’s. We were also able to give some of our challenge coins to some Vietnam Veterans. And each of the residents that was visited received our Gold Star Moms salute.
Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
Major General Harry Greene, Aberdeen Chapter
Donation to Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc.
Aberdeen Proving Ground “Top of the Bay”
December 18, 2018
Jim Costigan, President of AUSA Major General Greene Aberdeen Chapter, presented a donation check for the amount of $2,500 to Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. Janice Chance, Chapter President & Chaplain accepted the donation on behalf of the Chapter. The check was presented during the AUSA’s Professional Development Luncheon meeting held at the Top of The Bay. The mission of AUSA is to support our Soldiers and the civilians and families who work alongside them in the local community. They have and continue to be huge supporters of Gold Star Mothers and families. Maryland Chapter members have been serving as volunteers at the AUSA Annual Golf Tournament fundraiser since 2016. Not only do members attend other AUSA sponsored events, Janice attends several of their monthly professional luncheon meetings throughout the year. The Maryland Chapter is truly grateful for their generous donation as we will use these funds to purchase care package items for some of our deployed units of Heroes and gifts for our Veterans.
Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET)
Annual Christmas Dinner
December 17, 2018
On Monday December 17, 2018, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Gloria Crothers, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance were invited to serve as volunteers at the annual MCVET’s Christmas dinner. There were several members of the following organizations who also volunteered to serve dinner: Eastern Stars, Toyota Financial, Exelon, and the Baltimore City Firefighters Union. The event started off with a welcome and thank you message from Mr. Jeffrey Kendrick, Executive Director MCVET followed by special remarks from Mrs. Evelyn Gaines, President of the MCVET Board. Mr. Clarence Williams, Chairman of the Baltimore City Veterans Commission gave remarks on behalf of Mayor Catherine Pugh and the Maryland Veterans Commission. After several groups made their presentations of gifts, on behalf of the Maryland Chapter, Janice, Donna and Gloria presented Mr. Jeffrey Kendrick gift cards from Bath and Body Works for six female residents, and a $500 check to purchase gifts for the male residents. Janice also thanked the Veterans and each Mom proudly shared the name, date and place where their Hero made the ultimate sacrifice. After dinner was served to the residents, staff and other guests, Janice, Donna and Gloria had the opportunity to eat and fellowship with some of our Heroes. The annual MCVET event brings much joy, not only to the residents but also to the staff, family members of the residents, and of course the Gold Star Moms. During this giving time of year, it does a heart good to see the love poured out on our Heroes who need our support and encouragement. The Maryland Chapter members are committed to supporting them as they continue to work toward their goal of completing the program that will enable them to transition back into their community as productive citizens. We Honor and Salute them.
Wreaths Across America
Arlington National Cemetery
December 15, 2018
Wreaths Across America’s (WAA) annual events were held at Veterans cemeteries throughout the United States thanks to the WAA founders Morrill & Karen Worcester. The WAA leaders, WAA team, and volunteers started their journey from Lubec, Maine on December 8, 2018 and ended their journey on December 15th at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). Several executive officers of the National American Gold Star Mothers organization and other Gold Star family members from across America joined the WAA team on their journey. Janice Chance, Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, President & Chaplain and her husband Gold Star Step Dad Charlton Chance, joined the WAA convoy in Bath, Maine on Sunday, December 9th. The convoy stopped to attend special ceremonies at several schools including a fire station, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in New Jersey, and the Chapel of Four Chaplains in Pennsylvania. The convoy was escorted from Maine all the way to ANC. Janine Roberts, Chief Westbrook Police coordinated and led the convoy. As the convoy entered each state, a group of police officers from that state joined the convoy. As the convoy arrived at each location. the convoy participants received a heart-warming reception. The sidewalks were lined with students, teachers, and many other people cheering and waving flags. The children at each school gave an outstanding tribute in memory of our Heroes. They even made donations toward the purchase of wreaths for 2019. On Friday December 14th, there was a special ceremony held at the Pentagon. After the ceremony, a large wreath was placed at the front of the gate and 184 wreaths were placed on the fence surrounding a portion of the Pentagon. Janice was given the honor of hanging two wreaths in memory of two Heroes who were killed during the 9/11/2001 Pentagon attack. Several Washington, DC and Virginia TV station reporters interviewed the WAA founders and several Gold Star Mothers, which included Janice.
Although it was raining on December 16th, the WAA trucks and convoy of vehicles drove to Arlington National Cemetery. The streets were not lined with hundreds of people cheering as in previous years due to the inclement weather. However, the WAA opening ceremony was still held in spite of the rain. Thousands arrived throughout the morning to assist with the placement of wreaths on the graves of our Heroes. Gold Star Maryland Chapter Moms Regina Barnhurst, Theresa Mills, Paula Davis, and Cindy Lohman were also present at ANC to lay a wreath on the grave of their fallen Hero. They also laid wreaths on the grave of other Gold Star Mothers sons and a daughter. Other Gold Star Mothers participated in wreath laying ceremonies and assisted with placing wreaths at their Heroes’ graves at their local Veterans cemeteries. Mrs. Jeanette Middleton Sudano participated at Crownsville Cemetery and Marie Moudry participated at Dulaney Valley Memorial Cemetery’s 2nd Annual WAA wreath laying ceremony. Several military leaders, Active Duty Service members and Veterans also participated and visited with families. Regina Barnhurst, Paula Davis and a few Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) members set up a table near Section 60 to provide complimentary snacks. They also provided materials to make tree ornaments that included handwritten notes with the name of their Hero. These special ornaments were placed on a holly tree located in Section 60. Maryland Gold Star Mothers are grateful that we were able to participate and to Honor and Remember all of the Heroes that are interred at ANC and other Maryland Veterans Cemeteries. We look forward to participating again in next year’s annual WAA event.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Holiday Reception
Joint Base Myer, Virginia
December 13, 2018
Several Members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter were invited to attend a Special Holiday Reception that was hosted by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph & Mrs. Ellyn Dunford Jr. and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul & Mrs. Ricki Selva at the Chairman’s residence. Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance and Paula Davis represented the Maryland Chapter along with Gold Star dad Charlton Chance. Also in attendance was Scott Mallary, Founder and President of the Truckin4Troops organization. He transported the Chances to the reception in one of his big trucks that is decorated with Patriotic pictures and phrases.
Also in attendance were members of the Chairman’s staff, members of several veterans, military and survivor support service organizations. Generals Dunford and Selva both expressed their thanks to their staff and invited guests for their service, support and for attending the reception. It was an honor and privilege to spend time in a relaxing and intimate setting that afforded us the opportunity to spend quality time talking with Generals Dunford, Selva, their wives and the other guests. The fellowship was wonderful, the food was delicious and guests were entertained by one of the United States Army male quintets who sang a variety of our favorite Christmas Carols.
The house was beautifully decorated with festive Christmas trees, including one that was decorated with mostly Marine Corps ornaments and replica ornaments of the base’s “Generals’ Row”. Generals Row has housed former Joint Chiefs of Staff, and entertained many foreign dignitaries, celebrities and senior government officials. The house, which was built in 1908, is located on Fort Myer’s ridge, and overlooks a scenic view of the Washington Monument, Capital and our beloved Heroes that are laid to rest on the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. It truly was another memorable evening.
Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) Toy Drive
December 3, 2018
On December 3, 2018, Janice Chance, President and Chaplain of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter Inc., presented a sponsorship check in the amount of $500 on behalf of the Maryland Chapter to Dowan Jones-Reid, Executive Administrative Assistant and MCVET Children Christmas Event Coordinator to purchase toys for the children of MCVET residents. The Christmas party was scheduled on December 15th the same day as the National Wreaths Across America day. Unfortunately the moms were already committed to participating in WAA events so we were not able to volunteer at the party. However, the Maryland Chapter members were committed to bringing some Christmas cheer to the children and the MCVET residents.
Tis the Season of Giving – Maryland Gold Star Mothers are honored to help a Veteran in need pay for his mortgage during this giving season. #Momsonamission
Manhattans Martinis & Mistletoe
American Freedom Fund
December 5, 2018
The first Wednesday in December is always “a night to remember” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. It is the grand location where the Annual Manhattans Martinis & Mistletoe event is hosted by the American Freedom Fund (AFF) for their annual Veterans Service Organization Fundraiser. The mission of American Freedom Fund is to empower Veterans through their athletic, educational, and advocacy programs in Washington, D.C. and across America. This year marked their fifth year of recognizing organizations who serve and support veterans, active duty service members, and honor and remember service members who made the ultimate sacrifice through service. The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter was one of three organizations that was selected to receive the 2018 AFF PATRIOT HEROES Award sponsored by Heroes Vodka. It was an unexpected surprise and honor. Joyce Goode who served as the Gold Star Mothers Representative on the Committee for the annual event accepted the award on behalf of the Maryland Chapter. The Maryland Chapter Moms have been given the honor to serve as volunteers at the event for the past few years. The following Moms greeted and checked in the guests: Janice Chance, President and Chaplain; Paula Davis, 1st Vice president; Donna Robinson, Sergeant at Arms; Michelle Murphy and Yvonne Green. The event was well attended and was another memorable event. Special transportation was donated and provided by Gary Mangum owner of Blue Bay Charter. Once again Mike Mallett was our driver who provided us outstanding service to and from the event. Mr. Mangum, thank you for your continued support to Maryland Gold Star Mothers and families.
Army vs Navy Game
Liberty Financial Field
December 8, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to join the Warrior Events organization and Travis Manion Foundation as guests to the Army vs. Navy game on December 8, 2018. Janice Chance, Theresa Karlson, Paula Davis, Donna Robinson, Edith Hines and Gold Star niece Peatoria Perdue was given the honor to ride up the game on a bus with wounded warriors, veterans, their families and other patriots. When the buses arrived at the Philadelphia Welcome Center we were pleasantly surprised to see a team of Philadelphia State Police who welcomed us and informed us that they would be escorting us to the stadium. After we arrived at the stadium, Warrior Events took a group photo and then all participated in the Travis Manion Foundation tailgate party. After the tailgate party, the group was guided to their designated club suite. A variety of food, snacks and beverages were provided. We enjoyed the delicious food, and fellowship as we watched the game. After half time, we were surprised and honored when General James Mattis, USMC (retired), Secretary of Defense walked into the suite. He greeted and spent time talking with our Heroes, their families, Gold Star mothers and other patriots. He congratulated and gave special recognition to Adam Keys the Wounded Warrior who successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He also willingly agreed to allow us to take pictures with him. America’s game ended with the score 17 to 10 – Army once again beat Navy. Even though this is a traditional, healthy rivalry, in the end, they are all winners because they are all committed service members of the United States Armed Forces.
Care Packages for Deployed Troops
American Legion Post 60
November 29 & December 1, 2018
Gold Star Moms Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Paula Davis, Theresa Karlson and VA volunteer Natasha Johnson joined with the Auxiliary Post 60 – Evelina Krosel, Edie Vasco, Nancy Phillips, Brenda Kearns and Janice Gray to package toiletries, goodies and socks for five deployed troops who are currently serving in Afghanistan. Over 15 boxes were shipped out on Friday and Saturday – November 30th and December 1st in hopes that our troops receive these goodies before Christmas. We will Never Forget that “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE” and that “WE LIVE IN THE HOME OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE”. We can never thank them enough for their Selfless Service and Sacrifice. We HONOR AND SALUTE THEM!!
Honor Flight Nevada Visits Maryland Gold Star Families Memorial
December 1, 2018
Gold Star Moms Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Theresa Karlson, Dede McMahon, Synthia Carter, and Jeanette Middleton Sudano welcomed the Nevada Honor Flight and Gold Star Families to the Maryland Gold Star Families Memorial on Saturday, December 1st. Veterans and Gold Star family members were honored to be able to see this wonderful memorial that was dedicated on November 11, 2016. Gold Star families had the opportunity to share their Hero’s names in front of the group as they stood in front of the memorial and they were also given yellow roses tinted in red to be placed at the memorial. Naval Academy midshipmen, active duty Navy and Marines were also at the site to welcome our special guests. Nevada is currently working on dedicating their memorial in May.
It was an honor to spend time with our heroes, their families and our Gold Star Family Members. It was a time of bonding as we remembered the love and celebrated the life of our Fallen Heroes. It was an emotional time. Our heroes and Gold Star Family members expressed their gratitude to the MD Chapter moms for coming out to join them at the Memorial that we pray we continue to serve as a timeless visual reminder that there is a family member connected to every fallen Hero. Janice was asked to share with the group because she served on the committee that worked together with Hershel Williams, Medal of Honor Recipient, members of his Foundation , George Owings , MD Secretary of Veterans affairs, Chase Savage US Marine Corp Veteran, Dennis Branch. She stressed gratitude for the support of Governor Hogan whose support resulted in the placement of the Memorial.
Honor Flight & Gold Star Families
November 28, 2018
Gold Star Moms Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Jeanette Middleton Sudano, her family and Theresa Karlson joined with the Honor Flight Team, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy service members at BWI to greet Korean, Vietnam War Veterans and Gold Star Families from Reno, Nevada. The Veterans and Gold Star families expressed their appreciation as we received several hugs and saw many tears as our Heroes were being greeted by the team. It was truly an honor to support our American Heroes and to welcome our fellow Gold Star families to Maryland. As part of their weekend itinerary, the group will be visiting the Maryland Gold Star Families Memorial on Saturday, December 1st and several Maryland Gold Star Moms will be attending as well. It truly was a heart-warming experience that none of us will never forget.
Shopping for Care Packages for our Troops
Walmart, Laurel, Maryland
November 27, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Deirdre McMahon, Donna Robinson, Janice Chance and VA Medical Center volunteer Natasha Johnson met at Walmart in Laurel, Maryland to purchase goodies to be mailed to five deployed units. We collected eight full carts that included a combination of toiletries, socks, and goodies. Plastic candy cane holders filled with candy were also purchased along with other holiday candy that will be included in the care packages. Care packages will be assembled and shipped before the end of November in order for them to be received before Christmas. The moms spent hours shopping and were able to share about our mission with several shoppers that asked why we were purchasing so many items. We even met a mom whose son is scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan shortly. Chaplain Janice and Donna Robinson were able to minister to the mom and another family member. The mom expressed her appreciation and promised to follow up. Her son and his team will hopefully be one of the units that we will mail care packages to after he is deployed.
Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training Annual Community (MCVET)
Pre Thanksgiving Dinner
November 19, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to assist with serve dinner to the residents and staff at the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) Homeless Shelter. Donna Robinson, Janice Chance, Jeanette Middleton Sudano and her twins Olivia and Harris represented the Chapter. Prior to the meal, Mr. Jeffrey Kendricks, Executive Director recognized all of the MCVET supporters and invited them to speak. Mrs. Evelyn Gaines Chairman of the board gave opening remarks that included words of encouragement for the residents and also gave thanks to MCVET supporters. In attendance were several special guests: Clarence Davis, Chairman of the Baltimore City Veterans Commission, Richard Lane, Maryland Veterans Commission, a Representative from the Towson Elks lodge, a team of service members of the 313th Movement Control Battalion of Maryland (MCB) and other special guest. Baltimore Mayor Katherine Pugh made a surprise visit. She congratulated the staff and residents for their accomplishments and reassured them of her continued support. Janice was asked to speak on behalf of the Maryland Chapter. It was a Blessing not only to serve alongside some of our military heroes, but to also dine and spend time talking with and thanking our heroes for their selfless service. Several of the residents remembered us from recent past events. It was great to see the smiles on their faces and to hear their laughter. The residents and staff expressed their appreciation for the Maryland Chapter’s continued support and are looking forward to members returning to participate in their Christmas dinner scheduled for December 17, 2018. We are looking forward to continuing to serve and support our Heroes.
Fourth Annual Military Appreciation Day
November 17, 2018
Towson University (TU) President Kim Schatzel and the Towson University Athletics Department honored several Gold Star mothers at Towson’s Fourth Annual Military Appreciation Day football game. Prior to the scheduled football game, a luncheon was held in honor of Command Sergeant Major U.S. Army Wardell Turner who played football for TU. He made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan and a scholarship has been established in his memory. Mrs. Katherine Turner, the wife of CSM Wardell Turner, received special honors. After the luncheon, Gold Star family members attended the football game as the Towson Tigers hosted the James Madison Dukes. Gold Star Families received the VIP treatment as the TU ROTC cadets escorted each of us throughout our entire time at the event. Chapter president Janice Chance, First VP Paula Davis, Tracy Miller, Sheba Khan and Donna Robinson were accompanied onto the field by President Schatzel and athletic Director Tim Leonard during the first quarter of the game where we received special recognition. TU Leadership is committed to supporting the military, Gold Star families and keeping the legacy of fallen Heroes alive. Even though the Tigers lost to the Dukes, we had a wonderful day of remembrance and fellowship.
“IN THE BAG IX”
Silent Auction & Luncheon
Hilton McLean Tysons Corner
November 16, 2018
The “IN THE BAG” Annual Charity Silent Auction and Luncheon fundraiser event was started in 2010 by Mrs. Brenda Blisk, CFP Founder, CEO, & Wealth Manager to benefit the American Red Cross in the National Capitol Region. The mission of the American Red Cross is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Janice Chance served on the “IN THE BAG” steering committee once again as the Maryland Chapter representative. The steering committee is comprised of local business professionals and leaders from VA, DC and MD.
The steering committee members volunteer their time, talents and resources. Members donate purses, serve on special sub committees to encourage individuals and businesses to attend the luncheon and/or donate purses, solicit sponsors, etc. A variety of items are raffled during the event and purses are also raffled on line. In addition to the purse silent auction, a delicious lunch is provided. The guest speaker this year was Lynda Ellis, President, CEO, Owner of Washington, DC based Capitol Concierge. She gave an inspirational message encouraging others to contribute and be persistent in serving others. After her speech, a video was shown that featured Ms. Moon. Ms. Moon shared her story about how the American Red Cross provided critical services after a recent house fire and expressed her gratitude. It was a confirmation of one of the many ways that the Red Cross is fulling its mission.
This year two of Janice’s daughters attended the fundraiser as Gold Star Siblings to support the Red Cross. They both were able to win their silent auction bid for the purse that they wanted. The event was well attended, there was much excitement, laughter and smiles as the ladies were able to fellowship while eating lunch, bidding on purses and purchasing raffle tickets. It was another successful event. The event grossed over $ 200 thousand dollars.
Warrior Events Inaugural Veterans Day Scramble Golf Tournament
Crofton Country Club
November 12, 2018
We can’t express our gratitude enough to everyone who made this day so special. Crofton Country Club, our Sponsors, Gold Star Mom’s Janice Chance, Donna Robinson & Deirdre MacMahon for volunteering their time, Veteran Tony Acevedo of Kicked Up Fitness & Tom & Javier with Maryland Parachute Team for starting off the day with an inspiring skydive in of our Nations flag, Pasha Palanker for your heartfelt words of what Warrior Events has meant to you, and of course everyone who came out in support of our Warriors at the Inaugural Veterans Day Scramble Golf Tournament, you all made this day possible. This event was a fun and inspiring day for all and we can’t wait to do it again next year!!!
Article and Photos provided by Warrior Events Ambassador Tina Tozzi
Colonial Baptist Church Veterans Day Service and Luncheon
November 11, 2018
Members of the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. were invited to attend the Veterans Day Service and to participate in the luncheon at the Colonial Baptist Church (CBC) on November 11, 2018. The following mothers attended: Deirdre McMahon, Synthia Carter, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance. A video tribute was created and shown to Honor our Heroes during the service. All of the veterans and their families received recognition. Veterans stood when their branch of service song was played and received a hearty round of applause. Several Veterans and reservists wore their uniforms and/or other military apparel and medals that identified them as being a veteran. Pastor Robert J. Anderson, JR gave special remarks and expressed his Gratitude for their selfless service and sacrifice, followed by an inspirational message about the importance of loving others as commanded by God. After the service, a luncheon was held in honor of the Veterans and their families.
All of the veterans received a Flag lapel pin as a gift during the luncheon. Veteran Billy Eberhart served as the Master of Ceremony for the luncheon. The Veterans and their families were once again recognized. We were blessed to have three WWII Veterans; Two male and one female in attendance.
Members of the Woodlawn NJROTC presented the Colors and joined in the Veterans Day Celebration. A quartet of CBC veterans sang a rendition of the song “Days of Elijah,” that was followed by a second inspirational message given by Chaplain LTC Lonny Wortham, Maryland Army National Guard.
The Maryland Chapter Moms thanked all of the veterans, but gave special recognition to the Vietnam Veterans who did not receive a Heroes welcome when they returned home but rather to hostile communities. They were presented with a special 50th Anniversary Commemorative Challenge coin that the Maryland Chapter had specially made for Vietnam Veterans. The Moms also rendered their special “Mom’s hand salute”. The Vietnam Veterans expressed their sincere appreciation and it was a blessing to be provided with another opportunity to spend time in the presence of our Heroes and their families.
Mission BBQ donated most of the food, Fresh Bakery donated two large sheet cakes decorated with a Patriotic theme, and door prizes were donated by Life way Christian book store.
The U.S. Department of Veteran (VA) Affairs Center for Women Veterans provided informational pamphlets on the broad range of benefits and services available through the VA to include programs focused on women and minority veterans. The Center for Women Veterans also provided promotional items to market the VA’s services which included a nap-sack, coffee mug, emergency safety whistle, silicone mobile pouch, pen and note pad.
The committee extended an invitation for the Moms to participate again next year.
Marine Corps Birthday Gift Distribution
VA Medical Center Greene Street Location
November 10, 2018
On November 10, 2018, Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members Donna Robinson, Janice Chance, Jeanette Middleton Sudano, and her daughter Olivia Sudano teamed up with two members of the Marine Corps League Baltimore detachment Earl Ruff, and Ray Vaughn to visit the Marines on the day of the official Marine Corps 243rd Birthday. We spent time talking with them, thanking them for their selfless service and sacrifice. We also gave them a special customized Thermos with the Marine Insignia, a flag, a card that wished them a Happy Marine Corps Birthday and an early Happy Veterans Day. All of the Marines and a family member that was present expressed their thanks for our visit. We also seized the opportunity to visit with other hospitalized heroes to also thank them, wish them a Happy Veterans Day and to also render a hand salute. It was a Blessing to demonstrate to our Heroes by our presence that their fellow service members and Gold Star Mothers did not forget about them. It was truly a memorable day. We are looking forward to future visits.
Veteran’s Appreciation Event
November 8, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to NewDay USA’s 2nd annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event on November 8, 2018. Janice Chance, Charlton Chance, Donna Robinson, Paula Davis and Theresa Karlson attended on behalf of the chapter. There was much food, beverages, fellowship and opportunities to meet and thank veterans. The opening remarks were made by MCPO-CG Vince Patton. He reminded everyone in attendance that “Every day is Veteran’s Day” and that we are fortunate to live in a country where the freedoms we enjoy are possible because of the sacrifice of the fallen, veterans and those currently serving. The keynote speaker was Captain Joseph Stewart, USN (retired) a 1973 USNA graduate. His address included his personal account of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on 9/11/2001 where he was working at the time. It was an emotional tale about his co-workers and how that day brought them even closer during this tragic event. Rob Posner, NewDay, CEO, also acknowledged and thanked veterans and Gold Star families. He emphasized the role NewDay plays in providing mortgages and financial services to Veterans and their families; as well as, offer Gold Star scholarships to children whose parents or guardians have made the ultimate sacrifice, or sustained severe and complete disability in combat. They ended the ceremony by acknowledging all service members in the audience and invited all to review the Book of Remembrance that includes all the names of the Maryland fallen heroes post 9/11.
Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake – Veterans Build
Sandtown Community of Baltimore, Maryland
November 9, 2018
Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers were invited to participate in the Annual Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake Veterans Build by Ms. Leslie Clark, Events and Marketing Manager. Gold Star moms Donna Robinson, Deirdre McMahon, Synthia Carter, and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter and we were joined by Gold Star cousin Peatoria Perdue. Ms. Clark and the Habitat Volunteer team also invited Veterans from various organizations around Baltimore City and a group of active duty service members from Fort Meade to volunteer to work on homes in the Sandtown area of Baltimore. Reverend Rodriguez, a military veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force for ten years started the day off with prayer. Rev. Rodriguez, while attending seminary and working at the Pentagon, survived the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. He thanked the Habitat Staff, fellow veterans, other volunteers and Gold star mothers. He also gave a brief message of encouragement. The Maryland Chapter also provided a $15.00 Starbucks Gift Card for each of the volunteer builders. The 2018 Habitat Veteran Build was another successful event.
After lunch, Janice shared with the volunteers the history of the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. organization and about the service and support that the Maryland Chapter members are continuing to provide to our heroes, their families as well as our service within the community. Each Mom shared briefly their fallen hero and was given the opportunity to spend time talking and thanking our heroes for their selfless service and sacrifice. The mothers rendered a “moms hand salute”. The volunteers and the Habitat Staff expressed their appreciation. Peatoria went live on Facebook during the lunch break as she shared information about the veteran build, interviewed some of the veterans that resulted in many expressions of gratitude and individuals watching live also made positive comments. The Maryland Chapter also provided a $15.00 Starbucks Gift Card for each of the volunteer builders. The 2018 Habitat Veteran Build was another successful event.
Honoring Our Veterans & Police Officers 2018
American Legion Post 31
November 7, 2018
The Business Advocates for Veterans hosted their Seventh Annual Luncheon event to honor Veterans and Police officers on 11/7/2018. It was held at the American Legion Post 31 in Westminster, Maryland. The business advocates for Veterans is a non-profit corporation that includes a network of businesses assembled for the purpose of assisting veterans to find employment and promoting the hiring of veterans. The luncheon was sponsored by Todd Mitchell, Senior VP Wealth Management Branch Manager Baltimore/Westminister Janney Montgomery Scott LLC and was served by several women of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to the luncheon and Janice Chance and Donna Robinson attended. Janice gave the invocation and also made a few remarks on behalf of the Chapter. The event was supported by several Veteran service organizations, local legislators and other businesses. Robert Finn, Deputy Secretary Maryland Veterans Affairs was also in attendance to support and thank our heroes and their families. All Veterans and their families were recognized. Every veteran stood and gave their name, branch of service and years that they served. There were several WWII Veterans in attendance, a few Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans along with other Veterans that served during various conflicts.
Corporal Michael Fitzgerald received the Carroll County Police Officer of the Year. He served in the US Navy for over 21 years before joining the police force. Landon Becker, SSG US Army (Ret) received the Carroll County Veteran of the Year Award. SSG Becker served 22 years. After his military service he began serving his fellow veterans in the community. SSG Becker served two years as the VFW Post 10076 Commander and Post Service Officer. Koons Toyota in Westminister was awarded the Veteran Friendly Employer of the Year award.
Vietnam Veteran Second Lieutenant Michael Yaggy US Marine Corps was the guest speaker. He served three years and received many awards including the Bronze Star with a Combat “V” for Valor and a Purple Heart for wounds received from a land mine. After returning from Vietnam he attended and graduated from the University of North Carolina Law School and has had a very successful career as an attorney. Second Lieutenant Yaggy is also a Gold Star Father. He shared the sad news that his son Major David Yaggy, US Marine Corps, served as a pilot. He was killed in a training accident after having served two tours in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan. Second Lieutenant Yaggy gave an inspirational message that many attendees shared had deeply touched their hearts. It was truly a memorable event and it’s always an honor to support our heroes and their families.
America’s VetDogs “Yappy Hour”
White Marsh, Maryland
October 19, 2018
Friday October 19, 2018 was a night that truly went to the Dogs. Literally. America’s VetDogs organization held their “Yappy Hour” fundraiser in White Marsh on the Avenue from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Their mission is to help those who have served our country honorably with dignity and independence. There were a variety of dogs at the event who were vying for the Best Costume prize. Yappy Hour was co-sponsored by WBAL Channel 11 whose organization works closely with Vet dogs and advocates on behalf of dogs who need to be adopted. Gold Star Moms Yvonne J. Green and Rosemarie Ceo attended this tail of an event and were privileged to have met U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans (retired). As an injured Veteran, CSM Evans experienced a severely damaged eardrum due to an explosion in Afghanistan. CSM Evans realized after this horrific experience while jogging one day that she needed a service dog which she now has through America’s VetDogs and who goes by the name of Aura. CSM Evans’ story can be found on YouTube. Pictured is Gold Star Moms Yvonne and Rosemarie with CSM Evans and Aura and Channel 11’s mascot Camden. CSM Evans was also the keynote speaker for the night. The Maryland Chapter learned of the organization through America’s VetDogs representative Lisa Yambrick who attended the Chapter’s recent meeting. In addition to providing general information about the America’s VetDogs organization, information was also provided about their April 2019 5K Fundraiser that is scheduled to be held in the white marsh area, and how a member and/or the Maryland Chapter as a group could raise funds to have a dog named in honor of our fallen heroes. Chapter members are committed to participating in the April Fundraiser.
2nd Annual Travis Manion Foundation
9/11 Heroes Run
September 30, 2018
Over 200 runners ran in the 2nd Annual Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) 9/11 Heroes Run in Baltimore, Maryland on September 30th. Janice Chance, Donna Robinson and Theresa Karlson (formerly Mills), attended, spoke and volunteered at this event that honors the sacrifices of those heroes from September 11th and the wars since, to include veterans, active duty, first responders and families of the fallen. Janice spoke to the crowd and provided information about gold star families and the history behind the special date of September 30th and Gold Star Mothers. Janice ended her speech by reading the names of the fallen heroes as Chuck Ritz from the Hope & Peace Foundation rang the bell that is mounted on his Maryland’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial. Families of the fallen were also surprised by a special procession of their Hero’s pictures held by a group of cub scouts. TMF sponsored and hosted this race as one of 50 race locations that they coordinate throughout the nation. This was Theresa’s second time entering her team in this event – Team Gene – which is named in memory of her son, LCpl Eugene Mills III, USMC. She recruited seven members who helped fundraise up to $640 for TMF. It was a beautiful day and everyone enjoyed running the course throughout downtown Baltimore.
Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA)
Sixth Annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) Charitable Gala
Crystal Gateway Marriott
September 26, 2018
The Truckload Carriers Association President Mr. John Lybolt, TCA Committee Members, Morrill Worcester, Founder of Wreaths Across America, and his wife Karen Worcester, Executive Director, invited Gold Star Mothers, Dads, wives and other family members to attend their Annual Truckload Carriers Association & Wreaths Across America Charitable Gala that was held on September 26, 2018. As a part of this year’s gala, Wreaths Across America hosted a live broadcast across WAA’s social media channels. The 2018 Virtual Convoy provided opportunities for sponsors and trucking partners to share their stories. TCA also provided a variety of auction packages for attendees to select from to raise additional funds. The following Maryland Chapter Moms and Dad attended: Donna Robinson, Stephanie White, Basmattie Kundrat, Janice Chance, Jeanette Middleton Sudano & Gold Star dad Sam Sudano. Also in attendance were Becky Christmas, National President American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.; Mona Gunn, 1st Vice President; Lorna Harris, Sgt Arms; and several other members of the American Gold Star Mothers National Executive board. After the Worcester’s addressed the attendees they recognized all of the Gold Star Family Members in attendance. Every family member was given the honor to walk across the stage and say the name of their loved one. Ms. Jill Stephenson, Gold Star Mother, was one of the Guest speakers. She shared about her son Corporal Benjamin Kopp U.S Army that died July 18, 2009 from injuries sustained in a firefight in Afghanistan. The Keynote Speaker was Sgt. Sammy Davis (U.S. Army Ret.) who was awarded the Medal of Honor for Valor while serving in Vietnam. Sgt Davis ended his speech by sharing the story about a harmonica that he received from his mother while serving, that he taught himself to play. He also shared why his commander and brothers at arms liked to hear him play the song “Shenandoah.” It was truly a memorable evening.
GOLD STAR MOTHER’S AND FAMILY’S DAY
U.S Army Aberdeen Proving Ground
September 23, 2018
On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother’s Day, a holiday that has been observed each year by presidential proclamation. In 2009, President Barack Obama amended the day to “Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day”. Consistent with the tradition, President Donald J. Trump proclaimed September 30, 2018 as Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day to pay homage to our nation’s hero that “have given their last full measure of devotion in defense of our country and our freedom”. The sacrifices of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia Gold Star Mother’s and Families were honored on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at a Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day Brunch. This event took place at The Top of the Bay; hosted by Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) Senior Commander Major General Randy S. Taylor. The featured key note speaker was Dr. Jill Biden, former Second Lady of the United State 2009 – 2017. This event was the largest gathering of Gold Star Mothers and Families at APG; the idea of having this event originated with Major General Randy S. Taylor, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command & Senior Commander. Several Mothers from the Maryland Gold Star Mothers Chapter and their families were in attendance – President & Chaplain, Janice & Charlton Chance and Family, Yvonne & Garry Green, Michelle & Kenmore Murphy and Family, Donna Robinson, Rosemarie Ceo, Elsheba Khan, Marie Moudry, Synthia Carter, Beverly & Norman Fabri, Cindy Lohman, Carolyn Miller and Basmattie Bishundat. There was also a DE Mother in attendance Judith Faunce in addition to several Gold Star Spouses and other Gold Star Family members.
MG General Randy S. Taylor, was also instrumental in leading the team that created a Living Legacy Forest, a living monument, to honor Gold Star Families. Each tree planted around the memorial will have a permanent marker to represent a fallen hero. The living forest represents the Army’s commitment to support Gold Star Mothers and Families. Unfortunately, the unveiling was postponed due to inclement weather and a modified tribute was conducted in doors for attendees. The first 14 people to seek assistance through the Survivor Outreach Service at APG were presented with memorial stones with the name of their loved one by members of the Audie Murphy club that will be placed on the grounds of the monument. Among those honored were Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Cindy Lohman and Marie Moudry. The remaining Gold Star Mother’s assigned to APG will have stones dedicated to their fallen hero once additional funding is secured.
Janice Chance had the honor of introducing Dr. Jill Biden at the event. She provided a brief overview of Dr. Biden’s work and personal history. She also highlighted former Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Biden’s commitment to Gold Star families through their work with the Biden foundation. Chance closed her introduction by introducing Dr. Biden as “The Captain of the Vice Squad” – a title she affectionately called herself while on staff at the White House. Dr. Biden chuckled and warmly embraced Chance before her speech. Dr. Biden stated “our grieving families serve in their own ways and time doesn’t ever quite erase the suffering – that’s why we must continue to wrap our arms around them”. Dr. Biden later stated she and her husband promise to never forget Gold Star families or the loved one(s) they lost. Dr. Biden closed by challenging the audience to use their skills, talents and resources – big or small – to support our military community. This is a commendable and honorable idea that all Americans should support to show their appreciation for our armed forces and fallen heroes. – Author, Jenine M. Melton (Gold Star Sibling)
Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)
4th Annual Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day Observance Butterfly Release
Fort George G. Meade, MD
September 22, 2018
The Fort Meade Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) organized their 4th Annual “Butterfly Release” event. Mrs. Voncile Farmer, The Fort Meade Survivor Outreach Coordinator, invited Gold Star Families to their annual event. This event is held in recognition of the National Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day that is observed the last Sunday in September. It is held at the Burba Lake Pavilion. This annual event provides an opportunity for Gold Star Mothers and other Gold Star Family members that share the common bond of the loss of a loved one, to meet and in many cases to reconnect with their fellow Gold Star family members.
Donna Robinson and Janice Chance of the Maryland Chapter Moms attended the event. The Fort George G. Meade Garrison Commander, COL Erich & Mrs. Spragg, Chaplain LTC Stephen Pratel, members from a variety of Local community organizations, Veterans, active duty service members and APG civilian employees were in attendance.
After the singing of the National Anthem by Miss Emily Bourdon, USA National Miss Maryland Preteen 2018, Chaplain Pratel gave the Invocation. COL Spragg shared information about the American Gold Star organization and about Gold Star Mothers and Family’s Day. He gave a heartwarming message. COL Spragg assured Gold Star Families that they can depend on him, and the Fort Meade family to continue their service and support. The selfless service and sacrifice of our loved ones will Never Be Forgotten! Ms. Janice Chance, Gold Star Mothers MD Chapter President and Chaplain, shared about the significance of the Butterfly release and every Gold Star participant was provided the opportunity to share memories about their hero.
A poem entitled “Butterfly Wings” was read by Ms. Elizabeth Dague, SOS Coordinator, USAG Fort Detrick, Maryland. The program was concluded by Miss Bourdon who sang another beautiful heartwarming song, Hallelujah. Afterwards the Gold Star family members and participants received the boxes that contained a butterfly. The Gold Star family members, followed by other guests walked down to Burba Lake and released a butterfly to “Honor and Remember” their loved ones and also released butterflies on behalf of other Gold Star family members that were not able to attend the event. It was yet another memorable event.
The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) MG Greene Chapter’s
14th Annual Fisher House Gala Fundraiser
September 22, 2018
On September 22, 2018, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Donna Robinson, Synthia Carter, Janice Chance and Gold Star Dad Charlton Chance attended the AUSA 14th Annual Fisher House Gala fundraiser along with Raina Taylor, President Gold Star Wives of America Inc. Capitol View Chapter. It was held at Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp, Maryland. The Fisher House Foundation raises funds that enables homes to be built that are placed near major military and VA medical centers nationwide. For 27 years, the Fisher House has provided housing for military and veteran’s families to stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving critical care. Since Inception, the program has saved military and veterans families over $ 407 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. The AUSA Fundraiser committee selected “Star Spangled Salute” as their theme; therefore, many of the attendees wore patriotic colors, red, white, blue or a combination of these colors. SFC Joseph Conway US Army (Ret) had on the most colorful patriotic outfit. He wore a blue jacket with white stars, a white shirt with a red tie, red pants and white tennis shoes with a red stripe. There was a variety of delicious foods, desserts and great music. Mr. David Coker, President of the Fisher House Foundation, accepted the check for $ 116,000.00 that was presented by Jim Costigan, AUSA President and other members of fundraiser committee. The money raised will be used towards building a Fisher house on or near the Perry Point VA Medical Center located in Northeast Maryland. Attending the fundraiser was a wonderful way to support our heroes and their families.
2018 Lone Sailor Annual Awards Dinner
September 20, 2018
On September 20, 2018, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Donna Robinson, Paula Davis, Gloria Crothers & Gold Star Dad James Scarborough, Janice Chance & Gold Star Dad Charlton Chance, and Gold Star Wives; Rainia Taylor, President, and Elizabeth Williams, Vice President/Chaplain – Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. – Capitol View Chapter Maryland/DC attended the United States Navy Memorial organization’s 2018 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner held in Washington, DC.
New Day USA sponsored a table for Gold Star Mothers, Wives and
Dads. Mike Ouster, VP of Underwriting for New Day USA leadership team staff representative served as the host.
This annual celebration exemplifies the United States Navy Memorial’s mission to Honor, Recognize, and Celebrate the men and women of the Sea Services, past, present and future; and to inform the public about their service.
The distinguished 2018 recipients of the prestigious Lone Sailor Award were Harvey C. “Barney” Barnum Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Marine Corp and William J. “Bill” Hannigan, and Former CEO of AT&T, U.S. Navy Veteran.
Maryland Gold Star Mothers 6th Annual Crab Feast and Bull Roast Fundraiser
American Legion Post 60
September 16, 2018
Our annual crab feast and bull roast fundraiser was very popular this year. Approximately 318 were in attendance at the American Legion Post 60 hall and it was filled with tables of family, friends, residents from MCVETs and other service organizations. We also had a great group of people from Leidos and Navy Federal Credit Union who volunteered their time to help check-in, clean-up, serve food as well as coordinate the 50/50 raffle. We are very grateful to them for helping us make our event enjoyable and a success.
We were blessed to have Deputy Secretary of the MD Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Finn in attendance who thanked the MD Chapter for serving and supporting veterans, members of our armed forces and working within our communities. He thanked the veterans and active duty members and families in attendance. We also had a surprise guest Adam Keys, one of our nation’s wounded warriors, who is a triple amputee stop by to thank the MD Chapter moms for supporting him. He will be fulfilling a dream to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund a non-profit organization that assists wound veterans in all branches of the United States Armed Forces and Warrior Events, a veterans service organization located in Annapolis, Maryland.
The MD Chapter moms also surprised our Treasurer, newlywed Mrs. Theresa Karlson and her husband Bill Karlson for requesting that their invited guests donate money to the MD Chapter in lieu of wedding gifts. They were presented with a Gold Star engraved paper weight for their generosity.
There were many donors as well as family and friends who helped raise money that will be used to continue our mission to serve and support our active duty Veterans and their families. The highlight of the afternoon was the slide show presentation, which was compiled by Ronald Coleman, who displayed pictures of our fallen children and the events that we have supported in the past year. We also enjoyed music provided by the DJ Queen, Gwen Butler 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.
The Medal of Honor Society Memorial Service
United States Navy Academy Chapel
September 15, 2018
Melvin Morris, Congressional MOH Recipient
The Medal of Honor Society held its Annual Memorial Service in the Naval Academy Chapel on September 15, 2018. The ceremony began with a beautiful organ prelude. The music filled the air and created a solemn atmosphere during the procession of the family members of Medal of Honor recipients who have departed this life as of September 7, 2018. Drew Dix, President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient gave welcoming remarks. The opening prayer was done by LCDR Timothy J. Miller, CHC, USN and the scripture reading was done by Hershel Williams, Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Homily and reflections on the departed Medal of Honor Recipients was given by Gary Beikirich, Chaplain, Congressional Medal of Honor Society. The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus sang three heart-warming songs throughout the ceremony. The Medal of Honor Society Convention Committee selected Janice Chance to ring the bell during the “Roll Call of Remembrance”. It was a historic moment because she was the first female given the honor to ring the bell during a Medal of Honor Memorial Service. After the roll call of remembrance, the Navy Ceremonial Guard gave the 21 Gun Salute that was followed by the playing of Taps by the United States Naval Academy Band bugler. The chaplain ended the service with a benediction and closing prayer and Drew Dix gave the closing remarks. It was a very touching and heart-warming ceremony for Janice. The service truly honored our departed Medal of Honor Recipient Heroes.
Congressional Medal of Honor Society Patriot Award Gala
Dahlgren Hall, United States Naval Academy
September 14, 2018
MOH Recipient Edward C. Byers, Jr. & Janice
Maryland Governor & Mrs. Larry Hogan & Janice
Colonel & Mrs. Jeffrey Smitherman, USMC, Janice and Charlton
Jay Leno, Janice & Maryland Governor Hogan
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society (MOH) held its annual convention for the first time in Maryland and for the first time convention events were held at the Naval Academy. On September 14, 2018 the MOH Patriot Award Gala was held at Dahlgren Hall. Janice Chance and spouse Charlton Chance were invited by Mr. Robert J. Monahan, Jr., President and CEO, Co-chairs Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Phoebe Novakovik and other members of the 2018 convention committee to attend the Gala. Janice represented the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter, Inc. Norah O’ Donnell, Co-host of CBS This Morning and contributor to 60 Minutes, was the EMCEE for the Gala. The 2018 Convention committee and the MOH recipients honored four extraordinary Patriots. Senator Susan Collins, was awarded the Distinguished Citizens Award; Chris Wallace, “Tex” McCrary Award for Journalism; Jay Leno, Bob Hope Award for Entertainment; and General James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, received the Patriot Award. Janice had the honor to meet one of the MOH recipients, Edward Byers, Jr., who assisted with the presentation of an award to one of the honorees. The speeches given by the recipients were very inspirational. They also paid tribute to all who served our country and to Gold Star families. Governor Lawrence and Mrs. Yumi Hogan were in attendance along with several other legislators, members of our Armed Forces, Government officials, community leaders, representatives of Veterans Service Organizations, etc. Dahlgren Hall was beautifully decorated, the fellowship was amazing the food was delicious, and the music was great. The United States Naval Academy Glee Club closed the program by singing two patriotic songs – America the Beautiful & God Bless America. It was truly an honor to be present at an occasion that highlighted the bedrock values of Service, Courage, and Patriotism.
American Legion Post 60
September 8, 2018
Janice, Gina and Donna on the Flag Line
The American Legion Post 60 invited the Maryland Gold Star Mothers to their annual luncheon that hosted over 100 Veterans and staff of the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) facility. MCVET helps veterans with homelessness and substance abuse get back on their feet to a more productive and fulfilling life style. Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst and Donna Robinson had a fun time serving our Veterans and greeting them in the flag line as they arrived and were escorted by the American Legion Riders. One service member told us with tears of joy that “This is one of the happiest days that I have had in a long time!” Veterans were also encouraged to participate in Bingo. Prizes for the Bingo game were donated by the American Legion and trays of food from Mission BBQ were supplied by the Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter. This will be the fifth year that we have participated in this event and we look forward to serving next year.
9/11 Path and Field of Honor Event
September 7, 2018
Gold Star families were invited by Chuck Ritz, Founder of the Hope and Peace Foundation to participate in his foundations remembrance of the 17th Anniversary of 9/11 and the war on terror. The Annual Path and Field of Honor event was held in Northeast Baltimore County along Putty Hill Road. Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers Donna Robinson, Janice Chance, Gold Star Mother Robyn, and Dad Norm Anderson joined Chuck and 151 PROUD Patriotic Americans, including 104 cadets from the Loyola and Towson Universities ROTC programs.
2,977 Flags were placed along Putty Hill Road to represent our fellow Americans that were killed during the 9/11 attacks. Flags were also placed on a hill located in the Putty Hill shopping center in honor of the 149 Maryland Service Member Heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice since the start of our country’s “War on Terror”. It was truly an Honor to participate in this special event of remembrance. One of the heart-warming moments during the event was when each Gold Star Family member was given the honor to place a flag in memory of each family’s fallen Hero. We are Grateful to Chuck for his efforts in ensuring that US citizens will NEVER FORGET TO HONOR & REMEMBER our Fallen Heroes and their families.
Help Veterans Village Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Perry Point VA Medical Center
Perry Point, Maryland
August 23, 2018
On August 23, 2018 Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance-President and Gina Barnhurst-Secretary attended the Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Help Veterans Village. The village consists of 75 renovated or newly constructed energy efficient homes for homeless or near homeless Veterans nestled where the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna rivers converge. The homes are located on the beautiful grounds of the Perry Point VA Medical Center.
Among those in attendance were some of the main organizers and contributors to The Help Veterans Village project: Larry Hogan Governor of Maryland, Kenneth C. Holt Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Thomas Hameline, Ph.D. President & CEO, Help USA, Adam M. Robinson. Jr. M.D. Director, VA Maryland Health Care System, Kevin B. Hornberger, Maryland State Delegate District 35A, Paul C. Macpherson, CPM, Director, Enhanced-Use Lease Program Department of Veterans Affairs and Carol Bryant Payne, Field Office Director, Department of Housing and Urban Development. Also in attendance were several of our veteran heroes and their families, members of several veteran service organizations, other elected officials, community stake holders and many other supporters. Governor Hogan’s made the following statements during his remarks “The brave men and women who will be served by this community have earned the very best care and support and that is exactly what they will receive at HELP Veterans Village of Perry Point. This is a shining example of what can be accomplished when the state, local and federal governments work together with nonprofits in the private sector, and it is just one more way that together we are changing Maryland for the better.”
10th Annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
Warrior Support Golf Tournament
Ruggles Golf Course
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
August 16, 2018
On Thursday August 16, 2018, Ruggles Gold Course at Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Base was host once again for the 10th Annual AUSA Warrior Support Golf Outing Tournament. This year the tour was enjoyed by 140 golfers but the main attraction is that every year the Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers get to participate in the annual event by handling registration and assisting with the 50/50 and raffle tickets. Moms Janice Chance, Synthia Wooden Carter and Yvonne J. Green were honored to serve with “Uncle Sam”.
Medical Musical Group Chorale and Symphony Orchestra Concert
Rachel Schlesinger Concert Hall
August 12, 2018
Donna, Janice, and Stephanie with Civil Air Patrol Cadets
LtCol Tony Shaffer & Hiliary Forwich
L/R Darryl Haley, Janice, Deana Martin, Donna, Stephanie, John Griffeth ( Deana’s spouse)
Care Packages for Troops
American Legion Post 60
August 4, 2018
On Saturday August 4th, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Theresa Mills, Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Rosemarie Ceo, Yvonne Green, Synthia Carter, Mary Jane Walton, Donna Robinson, Kelly Swanson, Deirdre McMahon and Melinda Conway wife of SFC Joseph Conway US Army retired from Aberdeen Proving Ground gathered after our bi-monthly meeting to pack Care Packages for our Troops overseas. Navy Federal Credit Union and Janney graciously collected items to be put in the care packages and our Chapter bought additional items for the packages. We packed and shipped items to 7 units deployed overseas. A total of 29 boxes were shipped to our Troops! We continue to honor our sons and daughters by serving our military men and women and Veterans. As Janice Chance our Chapter President said “This was a labor of love from us to our deployed Troops”. We also want to thank the American Legion Post 60 for always allowing us to use their space as our Foreword Operating Base (FBO) to assemble and package these items. A special thank you to the members at the American Legion for helping us move the boxes into our vehicles!
Shopping for Care Packages for our Troops
Walmart, Laurel, Maryland
Friday July 27, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst and Stephanie White met at Walmart in Laurel, Maryland to purchase goodies to be mailed to six deployed units. We collected three full carts full of goodies to be added to items donated by Navy Federal Credit Union and Janney to be used for the Care Packages. We will be packing the Care Packages after our Chapter Meeting on Saturday August 4th, 2018.
Faces of Valor USA 10th Annual Fundraiser
Annapolis Elks Lodge 622
June 24, 2018
The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter Mothers and family members were invited by Mr. Teddy Levitt Founder& President of the Faces of Valor USA organization to attend their 10th Annual Fundraiser on June 24, 2018 in support of our Heroes and their families. The Faces of Valor is a nonprofit organization that raises money to provide scholarships and financial assistance to service members or first responders injured, or to children of service members that were killed during their military service. Ms. Donna Robinson, Mother of SSGT Damion Campbell represented the MD Chapter. She was joined by Captain Jenine Melton, US Army Iraq Veteran and Joshua Melton, siblings of Capt Jesse Melton III USMC and children of Gold Star MD Chapter member Janice Chance.
The organization sponsored three separate fundraiser events on the same day. They began with a motorcycle ride, followed by a Classic Car show and the day ended with their family picnic. Each year, Faces of Valor honors an individual and/or a veteran support organization for their service and preservation of our great Nation. This year the organization honored Retired Police Officer Darryl A. Jones Sr., who was injured in the line of duty. He was gifted with a power wheelchair to assist him with mobility. Additionally, Faces of Valor recognized 15 Word War II and Vietnam Veterans (age range 80 – 89) that are residents at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. They also donated to Charlotte Hall several emergency crash carts that are used during the performance of CPR and flat screen televisions.
During the event, the Faces of Valor Mr. Teddy Levitt and his wife, Beth also highlighted and acknowledged the Gold Star Mothers MD Chapter for their service and support of our veterans, active duty service members, their families and for their community service to honor and preserve the legacy of their fallen hero. Mr. Levitt invited Ms. Robinson to share about the MD Chapters mission and her son. Donna stated that she was proud of her son’s service and that she is also proud to be a member of the MD Chapter. Jenine Melton, also shared that she and Joshua are also proud of their fallen hero’s selfless Service and Sacrifice and different the ways that they are continuing his legacy. It was emphasized that honoring through service is foundational to the Gold Star Mothers organization. After speaking, the families received a standing ovation from the audience in recognition of their loved ones service and sacrifice. It was truly a memorable event. Mr. & Mrs. Levitt expressed their desire for Gold Star families to attend and participate again next year.
Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
Concord Point Lighthouse
Havre de Grace, Maryland
June 17 2018
In partnership with the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, the City of Havre de Grace, community businesses and individual supporters, erected a special monument in honor of Gold Star Families and their Heroes. The site located in Havre de Grace, Maryland was chosen by the committee who was chaired by Craig Reeling and Johnny Boker. This site also honors Havre de Graces’ First Keeper of the Concord Point Light Station, John O’Neill. O’Neill maintained the light and defended Havre de Grace during the War of 1812.
Janice Chance, Theresa Mills, Donna Robinson, Synthia Carter, Gloria Carothers and Martina Berger attended this beautiful ceremony and represented the Maryland Gold Star Mothers organization. Janice was one of the guest speakers. She delivered a heart-felt speech about her personal Heroes and stressed the fact that “There is a family member connected to every Hero that made the ultimate sacrifice.” Janice also stated “it is my prayer that the Gold Star Families Memorial monument will serve as a timeless symbol to remind all who visit, of the Sacrifice of our Fallen Heroes and their families. Abraham Lincoln said “A nation that does not honor its Heroes will not long endure.” We must always honor and remember our Heroes and their families.
The main speaker, Medal of Honor recipient and supporter of the monument, Hershel “Woody” Williams, also provided these words honoring the families. “Let me say, right up front, this is not about me this is about them,” Williams said, gesturing to the Gold Star survivors. “The reason we’re all here is because of them, to pay them a tribute and honor them.”
The monument was funded by donations by the City of Havre de Grace and Harford County for the initial construction. The monument still needs lights, concrete walkways and bronze plaques for donors. MD Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti after her moving speech presented Mr. Boker and Craig Reeling with a $ 1000.00 check in memory of her deceased grandfather who is one of our nation’s Heroes to help cover the cost required to complete the project.
The Concord Lighthouse area attracts over 5,000 people as noted by the museum counter and overlooks the Susquehanna River. Hopefully, now people who visit this hallowed ground will learn about Gold Star Families and the true meaning behind the quote that is often quoted at these type of special ceremonies “That FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”!!
Carroll County Marine Corps League Golf Tournament Fundraiser
South Hills Golf Club
June 16, 2018
Mr. Daniel Turner, Commandant and members of the Carroll County Marine Corps League Detachment 896 (MCL), invited Gold Star Mothers once again to volunteer at their annual golf tournament fundraiser. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter. They assisted with greeting, checking in participants and selling raffle tickets. The Maryland Chapter members were able to sponsor two Wounded Warrior Veteran teams at the Colonel Level ( $1,000.00) The MCL had personalized signs made for each sponsoring organization and individuals. The signs were displayed in the registration area and also at designated holes throughout the golf course. The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter sign was posted at the 10th hole, which was a par 4. It was a blessing to meet and interact with the wounded warrior teams that the Chapter sponsored and to also serve alongside members of MCL. The Carroll County MCL’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 great turn out and a fun filled day. The Maryland Chapter is looking forward to participating again next year.
Treats for Troops
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
June 13, 2018
On Wednesday June 13, 2018, the Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers along with USO Metro were asked to participate in the Treats for Troops reception hosted by Jamie Fungard of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC at the beautiful Marriott Waterfront in downtown Inner Harbor. The conference guests feasted on an excellent meal prepared by the Marriott then it was onto business. Mr. Shawn Sabia of USO Metro along with Gold Star Mother Yvonne J Green were asked to share with attendees perspective on their organizations.Yvonne solicited Mom Donna to assist her when asked to share. Guests were divided into groups for the main event of the night and were tasked to prepare 650 packages to be sent to our troops overseas. The night was a success for all. Moms also in attendance were Paula Davis 1st Vice President, Gina Barnhurst Secretary, Donna Robinson Sgt at Arms, Sheba Gsm and Jeannette Middleton Sudano and her husband and twins.
Maryland Patriot Guard Annual BBQ
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
June 9, 2018
On Saturday, June 9, 2018, Maryland Gold Star Mothers Regina Barnhurst, Donna Robinson, Paula Davis and Gold Star Sibling Jenine Melton (Iraq Veteran) volunteered with the Maryland Patriot Guard (MDPG) leaders Ted and Ann Nettles and their team of volunteers in serving our service members and their families at their Annual BBQ for our Heroes and their families at Walter Reed Medical Center. Many thanks to the MDPG leaders and every volunteer for their sacrifice, providing plenty of delicious food and continued support of our service members and their families. As always it was an honor to meet some of the Heroes who have and continue to serve and protect us.
Special Collection for Our Troops
Navy Federal Credit Union
Glen Arden, Maryland
June 8, 2018
Janice Chance and Deirdre McMahon volunteered to drive their vehicles to Navy Federal Credit Union in Glen Arden, Maryland on June 8th. Michelle Bunn, Branch Manager contacted Janice to let her know that their employees from their seven Maryland Branches donated 14 boxes of goodies and toiletries for our deployed troops. They had so many items, that we had to load up both SUV’s. Yeah!! Ms. Bunn also shared that Navy Federal employees also expressed their commitment to volunteering at the Maryland Chapter’s annual crab feast and bull roast fundraiser on September 16th. Terrie Clark, Assistant Manager and Theo Carter also helped to load the cars.
Special thanks to Mr. Steve Romano, Executive Vice President, Navy Feral Credit Union, Ms. Coleen Collins, Navy Federal Regional Manager Mid Atlantic East and the NFCU leadership team for selecting the Maryland Chapter in February 2018 to be the recipient of their $1,000.00 donation that they award to an organization that supports our heroes and their families whenever they open a new Navy Federal Credit Union Branch. The donation was received in March.
There are approximately 180,000 troops deployed abroad so it is important that we continue to support them and their families while they serve. The NFCU employees were grateful for the opportunity to help the Maryland Gold Star Mothers send “boxes of love” by donating items. The NFCU mission is “We Serve Where You Serve.” The Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members thank our new NFCU family from the bottom of our hearts.
Change of Responsibility Ceremony
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
June 6, 2018
Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Janice Chance, Donna Robinson, Synthia Carter and Yvonne J. Green attended another Change of Responsibility ceremony on June 6, 2018 at the U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland. While we understand that change and growth are good and necessary in life, having to send off families that you have come to love and appreciate does tug at one’s heartstrings. But the Moms rejoice that CSM Toese Tia, Jr along with his lovely wife Mineretta are being reassigned to Germany for three years. CSM Torre and Mineretta have four beautiful children: Palaie, Torre III (Cadet – USNA), Ana Malae (Cadet – The Citadel) and Malae. The ceremony was truly one of pomp and circumstance with remarks given by CSM Tia and Colonel Robert L. Phillips (Garrison Commander) whose lovely wife Lynn also attended.
Annual Prayer Luncheon
Top of the Bay Restaurant
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
May 29, 2018
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 was a very special day at the Top of the Bay Restaurant at Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Base. It was their annual National Prayer Luncheon. To most a prayer luncheon is something that is done out of tradition but it really has an interesting beginning. In 1952 when Eisenhower was on the campaign trail, he confided in Senator Carlson that during the war he had a “spiritual experience “. He not only felt the hand of God on him but he also felt His presence. After being elected and a few days shy of being sworn in, President Eisenhower invited Senator Carlson over and stated how lonely he was to which Senator Carlson invited him to his prayer group. After attending the first combined prayer breakfast for both houses of Congress a precedent was set for the annual event. Military commands and installations followed the Commander-in-Chief’s traditional prayer breakfast, which leads us to this year’s event. The keynote speaker was the Reverend Leroy Gilbert who is a native of Albany, Georgia. Reverend Gilbert received a commission as a Chaplain in 1969 with the United States Navy and he retired from the Navy Chaplain Corps in 2002. Reverend Gilbert gave a soul searching message titled: What do you do when you strike out and are broken? Reverend Gilbert encouraged us to stay in the game as he did when he experienced a serious medical problem and was unable to walk. Standing on his Faith, his health was restored and he is stronger today for it. Pictured with the Reverend are l-r: CH (LTC) Michael King Garrison Chaplain APG; Gold Star Mom Donna Robinson Parishioners of Reverend Gilbert, First Lady Sharon Gilbert Rev. Gilbert, Gold Star Mom Yvonne J .Green (back), Gold Star Mom Janice Chance and Gold Star Spouse Erica Rivers. Reverend Gilbert, Ph.D. presides over the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
Memorial Day Ceremony
May 24, 2018
On Thursday May 24, 2018, HUD held its annual Memorial Day Ceremony to Honor our Fallen Heroes at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. The ceremony opened with the Welcome from HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. After the Welcome, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos along with keynote speaker 9TH Command Sergeant Major – U S. Army. Michele S. Jones presented the Gold Star families with their Certificates of Remembrance. The ceremony continued with three power packed female speakers: Laurie Sayles – President & CEO of Civility Management Solutions and Veteran U.S.M.C.; Janice Chance – President, Chaplain of Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers (Mother of Capt. Jesse Melton III U.S.M.C.); and CSM Michele S. Jones: Retired United States Army. CSM Jones has served during every major contingency operation including- Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Restore Hope, Provide Comfort, Joint Endeavor, Nobel Eagle, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. She retired on March 1, 2007 after 25 years of service in both the active and reserve component. All ladies delivered soul stirring messages. Also in attendance were Gold Star Moms Donna Robinson, Rosemarie Ceo and Yvonne J Green, as well as Gold Star Dads Charlton Chance and Garry M. Green.
Memorial Day Ceremony
Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens Ceremony
May 28, 2018
On Monday, May 28th, Gold Star Mothers and Fathers, families, and the community were invited to attend the Memorial Day ceremony at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. Janice Chance and Marie Moudry represented the Maryland Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter. Gold Star Mother, Mrs. Jeanette Middleton-Sudano, mother of Airman First Class Nathaniel H. McDavitt, EOW 4/15/16, provided a memorial address as the family speaker. Other participants included keynote speaker, Colonel William Sean Lee, Chaplain, Joint Force Headquarters, Maryland National Guard; Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger; and Lisa Yambrick, volunteer for Americas VetDogs. Music included the 229th Army Band, Maryland Sings, violinist MSG Laura Knutson (retired), and bagpiper Robert McCurdy. The opening procession included the Maryland National Guard Honor Guard Color Team, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion USMC, Historic Elkridge Young Marines, Boy Scout Troop #340, and the Knights of Columbus O’Neill Council #4011. Alan Walden served as MC.
Families of those killed in action since last Memorial Day were presented with a replica of the memorial which depicts a woman embracing a folded flag. Those honored were: SSGT Mark R. De Alencar, SGT Eric M. Houck, PO1 Xavier A. Martin, PO1 Kevin S. Bushell, PO2 Timothy T. Eckels, Jr, and SFC Jeremiah W. Johnson. Gold Star Mothers Lisa Houck, Debbie Gannon and Gold Star Father Darrold Martin were also in attendance. Marie accepted on behalf of the Bushell family. Janice and Marie were blessed to meet and provide comfort to the families and friends of those honored this year. They also met with many veterans and active-duty service members and their families. It was a truly beautiful and moving ceremony.
Article written by Mary Auld, Public Relations/Events
Harford County Chamber of Commerce
Military Appreciation Week Luncheon
Richlin Catering and Events Center
May 17, 2018
For the past 41 years, the Harford County Chamber of Commerce have been commemorating Military Appreciation Month with their annual luncheon and this year at the Richlin Catering and Events Center in Edgewood, Maryland they did not disappoint. The Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms were shown love with flowers and gifts. The speaker of the day was Lieutenant General (LTG) Gwen Bingham Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. LTG Bingham graduated as an Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Alabama in 1981. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. She has received Masters degrees from Central Michigan University and the National Defense University. While LTG Bingham has many degrees and honors, she has been deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and has served in CONUS and overseas. Other distinguished guests at the luncheon were MG Randy S. Taylor: Commanding General (CECOM) Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Mayor Susan Burdette of Bel Air also attended the luncheon. Gold Star Moms Janice Chance, Yvonne Green, Donna Robinson and Rosemarie Ceo were sponsored by the Women in Defense Organization.
VA Maryland Health Care System Annual Volunteer Awards Banquet
Hilton Garden Inn, Nottinghham, Maryland
April 26, 2018
The VA Maryland Health Care System hosts an annual volunteer awards banquets for all three of their medical centers to honor their volunteers. This year’s Baltimore VA and Loch Raven VA awards banquet was held on Thursday, April 26 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Nottingham, MD. Volunteers were given pins to honor their achievement of reaching an hourly benchmark in fiscal year 2017. Volunteers of the quarter and group volunteer leaders were also honored and recognized during the event. Susan Kern, Program Manager Voluntary Service at the VA Maryland Health Care System, made the announcement that Janice Chance, a regular volunteer in the Baltimore VA emergency department and Volunteer of the Quarter for the 3rd Quarter of fiscal year 2017, was selected as the Baltimore VA Medical Center Volunteer of the Year 2017! Dr. Sandra Marshall, Acting Director for the VA Maryland Health Care System, presented Janice with her award. Janice dedicates so much of her time to serve Veterans at the VA Maryland Health Care System. Janice alerts her fellow Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter members about the needs of the Veterans in order to secure in-kind and / or monetary donations to meet the needs of the Veterans that they consistently serve and support. Additionally, to serving in the ER and participating in other events Janice coordinates the inpatient visits for her fellow Gold Star Mothers throughout the year. Especially during the National Salute to Veterans Week. The patients and their families consistently express their appreciation. Janice certainly deserves to be named Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations Janice!
Article written by Amanda Andrews Program Specialist, Voluntary Services
APG Volunteers Honored for Community Support
Top of the Bay
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
May 3, 2018
Congratulations to our president, Janice Chance for being recognized as the Family Member Volunteer of the Year at Aberdeen Proving Grounds! For the first time, there was a tie — as Melinda Conway and Janice each were recognized as family member winners. More than 50 volunteers were celebrated during the Army Community Service annual volunteer recognition ceremony. Janice was nominated by the ACS Survivor Outreach Services program. She was recognized for devoting more than 2,200 hours to her role as president of the Gold Star Mothers of Maryland. She also works with Veterans Affairs hospitals (VA medical centers), as well as Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion organizations. “Despite her busy schedule, she always responds to emails or text messages with a phone call,” her nomination states. “She believes in personal interaction and is always upbeat and positive.” Partial article as written in the APG Newsletter
VFW Post 521 Ladies Auxiliary
Fashion Show & Tea
Owings Mills, Maryland
April 21, 2018
Western Alumni Yolanda, Janice, Victoria and Melba
Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers were invited to attend the VFW Post 521 Auxiliary 3rd Annual Fashion Show and Tea. Every year a different Veterans service organization is selected to receive the funds made from the event. This year the National Home for Children was the selected recipient. Mr. Bill Miller, VFW Maryland State Commander and member of the VFW Post 521, was the guest speaker. Bill shared a brief history about the National home, his visit to the home and reaffirmed his commitment to continue to support this organization that benefits many of our Nation’s Heroes and their families during difficult times. After his message, a promotional video was also shown that featured a family who shared their story and expressed their gratitude for the support and service that they received while staying at the National Home. It was truly a heart-warming video. Janice Chance and Donna Robinson, who are also VFW Post members, represented the Maryland Chapter. Special thanks to Janice’s Western High School alumni Yolanda, Victoria and Melba for attending the event to support our Heroes. The post sold raffle tickets for several theme baskets, and the delicious food and tea was served by some of the VFW male members that were dressed like high-end restaurant waiters. The models this year included female VFW members, a few of their adult family members and several precious children that stole the hearts of the guests. They proudly strutted down the runway to music that helped create an atmosphere of fun and excitement. It was truly a memorable event. For more information about the National Home for Children and to donate, please visit their website at https://www.vfwnationalhome.org.
Baltimore Station’s 26th HOME RUN FOR RECOVERY Fundraiser
PBR Baltimore Power Plant Live
34 Market Place, Baltimore, Maryland
April 19, 2018
Todd, Janice, Kiera, Donna Baltimore Station Staff
Janice and Donna with one of our Wounded Warrior friend, Michael Cain an employee at the Baltimore Station
William Huff and Bria Towson State University Supporters
Mrs. DeNoyer Roman Kiera, Development Manager and Todd Troester, Volunteer Services Manager for the Baltimore Station invited Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers to volunteer and to attend their 26th Annual Fundraiser that was held at the PBR | Power Plant Live in Baltimore. The Baltimore Station is an innovative, therapeutic residential treatment program supporting Veterans and others who are transitioning to the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self – sufficiency. Annually, their event raises critical funds for the Baltimore Station. Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter. Donna and Janice were ready to volunteer, but they were informed that even though they signed up to volunteer, they were invited to just enjoy the evening. It was a great turn out and there were many supporters, as well as volunteers, which included some of the residents of this program. There was a variety of good food, beverages, great music as well as a silent and live auction. The atmosphere was full of excitement and the Moms were blessed to receive several invitations from other organizations to join them whenever possible. Additionally, several of the attendees stopped to ask the Moms to share about the Chapter. One business owner approached us and shared that she read about our chapter and expressed her gratefulness for the service that our members provide to our heroes. It was truly an enjoyable event and an opportunity to support a wonderful service organization. We look forward to serving at the shelter in the near future.
Hiram-Takoma Masons Lodge No. 10
Takoma Masonic Center
April 12, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Theresa Mills, Janice Chance, Donna Robinson and Paula Davis attended and spoke as special guests at the Hiram-Takoma Masons Lodge No. 10 meeting located in Washington, DC on April 12th. They were also treated to a wonderful spaghetti supper, as well as desserts including cannolis and cake. This special dinner was planned in honor of Theresa’s Fallen Hero, LCpl Eugene “Gino” Mills, USMC. At the end of the evening, we were also pleasantly surprised to receive a gracious donation of $100 from the Freemasons for our chapter, which will be used to continue our mission to serve our active military, Veterans, and their families. The Freemasons are the largest and oldest fraternity in the world. This fraternity of men join together to help make things better in the world and are deeply involved in helping people. The Maryland Gold Star Mothers would like to thank Scott Jacobs and Hiram-Takoma Lodge No. 10 of the District of Columbia for reaching out to our organization and honoring our Heroes. For more information about the Hiram-Takoma Masons, please visit their website at www.ht10.org or follow their Facebook page at “Hiram-Takoma Lodge No. 10”.
Maryland Patriot Guard Fundraiser
April 7, 2018
On April 7th, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Donna Robinson and Lauren Seidler 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 Mothers Lauren Seidler and Gina Barnhurst put together the baskets which were auctioned. Janice, our President, Donna and Lauren volunteered and helped to sell raffle tickets for the basket portion of the fundraiser. Music was provided by Gold Star Father, Marc Seidler’s band Twine Time, and The Grinders. We all enjoyed a fun afternoon making new friends and supporting our Patriot Guard friends. We thank the Maryland Patriot Guard for honoring our fallen heroes and all they do to support our veterans.
Living Legacy Forest Dedication
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland
April 6, 2018
On Friday April 6, 2018, Major General Randy S. Taylor – Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) Senior Commander, hosted The Living Legacy Forest Dedication Honoring Gold Star Spouses and Families. The event consisted of a tree planting ceremony along with monuments to convey the story of our troops. The collaboration for the event goes to Mike Farlow – SOS Coordinator, Aberdeen and Major General Randy S. Taylor – APG Senior Commander. Many Gold Star spouses and children along with Gold Star Mothers attended the event which ended with the family and friends of our “fallen heroes” enjoying a wonderful lunch at the Top of the Bay Restaurant. Maryland Chapter Mothers Janice Chance, Rosemarie Ceo, Donna Robinson and Yvonne J. Green attended this memorable event.
Operation No Person Left Behind Outdoors Fundraiser Banquet
Timonium Fair Grounds
March 25, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Theresa Mills, Janice Chance, Tracy Miller, Donna Robinson and Michelle Murphy volunteered by checking in guests for the Operation No Person Left Behind Outdoors (NPLB) fundraiser banquet at the Timonium Fair Grounds. Our organization also donated two silent auction baskets. Funds will be used to provide services and support of wounded, injured and ill combat Veterans and their families. “Operation NPLB aids in the recovery and rehabilitation of injured service members from all eras who must endure the lifelong sacrifices made for our country. NPLB supports injured Soldiers, Sailors, Coasties, Airman, and Marines by reintroducing them to hunting, fishing and life outdoors. Volunteers offer their time and skills to aid in the emotional recovery of our veterans through outdoor activities with fellowship and the encouragement to overcome any disability.” OSC/NPLB
Kelly and Gary Swanson, Gold Star parents, were also in attendance as they donated their Swanson Family Smokey Mountain cabin for a one-week stay for 8!
Military Appreciation BBQ Bay Area Community Church
March 24, 2018
Maryland Chapter Gold Star Mothers were invited to attend a military appreciation BBQ by Mary Mitchell, Morgan Lang and Nathan Gregory who are seniors at the Annapolis Area Christian School (AACS). Theresa Mills, Donna Robinson and Janice Chance represented the Maryland Chapter. The AACS Seniors were required to complete a senior project so Mary, Morgan and Nathan decided to perform research on issues and challenges that impact Veterans. After completing their research they decided to organize and host a BBQ for Veterans, military families, midshipmen, Gold Star Mothers and families of fallen heroes to thank us for all that we have done and sacrificed for our country. Mary shared that sponsoring the BBQ was one way that they could honor and support us. They organized games that provided an opportunity for guests to meet, spend time talking, enjoy good food (donated by Annapolis Mission BBQ) and experience wonderful fellowship. We were able to share about the Gold Star Mothers organization, our mission and about our fallen heroes. We also were given the opportunity to thank our heroes and their families and to also render our Gold Star Mothers Hand Salute. We are very grateful to Mary, Morgan and Nathan for inviting us to attend their very special event. We are looking forward to attending their final research presentations.
Navy Federal Credit Union
March 13, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance, Yvonne Green, Michelle Murphy, Rosemarie Ceo and Theresa Mills were welcomed to the Navy Federal Credit Union, Annapolis branch to receive a $1,000 donation from Coleen Collins the Regional Manager – Mid-Atlantic East. We shared our mission and stories about our children and events that we participate. Navy Federal continues to be the most preferred and trusted financial institution serving the military and their families. Thank you to @NavyFederal for your generosity. Your donation will go a long way to allow the Maryland Gold Star Mothers to continue our mission and we look forward to expanding our partnership!
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 11, 2018
There were Shamrocks, Leprechauns and Irish regalia everywhere you looked at the Annapolis St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 11th. 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 third time participating and every year, we are honored to be part of this event. Warrior events along with their sponsors Fence and Deck Connection treated us to donuts, power bars, breakfast sandwiches, beverages etc. as we waited for the parade to start. They also decked us out in Green Warrior Event scarves, Grey under armor windbreakers with Gold Stars and Irish hats necklaces etc. Gold Star Mothers Janice Chance. Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Michelle Murphy and Gold Star Father Kenneth Murphy participated in the parade. After the parade, Gold Star family members were invited to lunch at Armadillos in down town Annapolis.
Our Maryland Chapter Mothers would like to thank Bob Saunders, John O’Leary and Warrior Events for coordinating and planning this successful parade every year and for treating all of us with love, compassion and kindness.
Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Visit
Charlotte Hall, Maryland
March 10, 2018
Gold Star Mothers Gina Barnhurst, Paula Davis, Deirdre McMahon, Cindy Lohman, and Janice Chance went to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall, Maryland to visit with our heroes and their families on March 10, 2018. We were given the honor to spend time talking with the Veterans that came down to the cafeteria for lunch and we gifted them with a patriotic print fleece blanket as well as a large print word find puzzle book. Many of the Veterans freely shared about their military service and expressed their appreciation for our visit and gifts. Their families also expressed their appreciation. During our visit we were blessed to be able to join a family that came to surprise their loved one who turned 100 years of age. They allowed us to join their celebration and to present our Hero with a fleece blanket. His family expressed their appreciation and invited us to share about the Gold Star Mothers organization. During our visit we also had the pleasure and honor of meeting four of our nation’s Vietnam Veterans Heroes and presented them with a Vietnam Veterans 50th Anniversary Commemorative Challenge coin, which we had made special as a gift to our Vietnam Heroes who did not receive the Heroes welcome home celebration and appreciation that they deserved. We seize every opportunity to serve, support and thank our Veterans and their families for their selfless service and sacrifice. Before leaving, we rendered our special Gold Star Mothers hand salute to all of our Heroes.
American Legion Post 276
9th Annual Maryland Marathon Bluegrass Jam
Fisher House Foundation Fundraiser
February 24, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers, Janice Chance and Theresa Mills, as well as Gold Star family member Peatoria Purdue volunteered in shifts to help raise money for the Fisher House Foundation. We were invited to partner with the Team Leidos employees that was led by Amy Kriner. We assisted with various duties including baked goods and the money wheel. The Maryland Marathon Jam invites local bands to participate in 12 hours of non-stop bluegrass music. Since 2009, the recipient of this annual fundraiser has been the Fisher House Foundation, which is best known for building comfort homes where military and veterans families can stay free of charge, while a loved is in the hospital receiving medical treatment. This charity was chosen because of their excellent rating and for the services and support that they provide to our heroes and their families. It was a blessing to be able to participate in this event that provided another opportunity for us to “HONOR OUR HEROES THROUGH SERVICE”.
Loch Raven, Maryland
February 14, 2018
On Wednesday February 14th (Valentine’s Day), Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Janice Chance, Yvonne Green, Rosemarie Ceo, and Paula Davis along with Commandant Earl Ruff Jr, Marian James (Senior Vice Commandant Marine Corps League Baltimore Detatchment 565) and Betty Armstrong (Northeastern Post 285, American Legion Auxiliary) shared LOVE to our wounded warriors at the VA Hospital in Loch Raven, Maryland. The group distributed afghans to the veterans with a personalized note. Those who did not receive a afghan received a coupon book to be used at the VA Canteen. Candy was also placed in the outpatient clinic and fleece blankets were given to the oncology patients. It was truly a day of LOVE to all involved.
Horses Help Heroes 2nd “Hang With The Horses” Event
Great Escapes Stables
February 19, 2018
Dean Macy, Founder of the Horses Help Heroes (HHH) and his team held their second “Hang With The Horses” event of the year for military and gold Star families on Monday February 19, 2018. Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Gloria Carothers and Janice, along with military families from around the area, attended the event at the Great Escapes Stables located in Bowie, Maryland. There was a steady flow of Veterans and active duty service members and their families throughout the day. It was a pleasure and honor to meet and spend time with some of our heroes and their families. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children as they petted and rode on the horses warmed our hearts. We were able to assist with helping children get on and off the horses, interact with the horses, feeding one of the horses snacks, and we were also given the opportunity to ride the horses. Janice Chance actually had the pleasure to ride on the horse whose name is the same as her last name “Chance”. It was another successful event thanks to Dean, the Great Escapes Stables, Clarity Riding staff and volunteers that helped to make this an enjoyable day. Although it was raining the sun was shining in our hearts. We also thank the horses Milly, Sonny, Chance and the two ponies Rain and Bucky for providing the fun rides. We are looking forward to the volunteering at the stables and participating in some of the other upcoming scheduled events.
National Salute to Veterans Week
VA Medical Center
February 17, 2018
Annually, during the week of Valentine’s Day, we are provided with an 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 National Salute to Veterans week, 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. This year, five members of the Maryland Chapter, Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst, Lauren Seidler, Deirdre McMahon and Theresa Mills 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, socks and toiletries to the patients at the VA Medical Center located on Greene Street in Baltimore Maryland. It was great to spend time with our hospitalized Heroes and their family members. One patient expressed to us “This is just what I needed!” – No sir, this is what WE needed to honor our Heroes! It is truly an honor!
Shopping for the Troops
Walmart/American Legion Post 60
February 2 & 3, 2018
Lt. Tameka Collins, USNR and her friend, Lt. Brandi Parker, USNR helped the Maryland Gold Star Mothers shop for a total of 6 units/77 Heroes who are currently deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. Janice Chance, Theresa Mills, Paula Davis and Peatoria Perdue (gold star niece) also shopped for supplies including toiletries, food, and Maryland Old Bay seasoning as requested from a Maryland National Guard unit. They also purchased Valentines day treats with special cards that included our personal thanks and gratitude for their service and sacrifices. After our bi-monthly meeting on Saturday February 3rd, several Moms packaged up the goodies and shipped off a total of 17 boxes to our beloved Heroes!
Quarterly Volunteer Award
VA Maryland Health Care System
February 2, 2018
Janice Chance was awarded the VA Maryland Health Care System’s (VAMHCS) Volunteer of the Quarter for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 on Friday, February 2, 2018. The Voluntary Service staff surprised Janice during her shift to present her award surrounded by the staff she works with and the Veterans she serves. Janice received this award because despite being very active with the American Gold Star Mothers she still manages to put aside time to serve Veteran patients as a regularly scheduled volunteer. Janice works one day a week as an Emergency Department volunteer at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and participates in special events for our Heroes. She shows compassion and love for all the Veterans she serves and the staff in the Emergency Department has nothing but great things to say about her. The Volunteer of the Quarter award was presented by Susan Kern, Program Manager for Voluntary Service, in the presence of the Emergency Department staff, Voluntary Service staff, and fellow volunteers. Janice was awarded a certificate of appreciation, VAMHCS challenge coin, and the coveted “Volunteer of the Quarter” lapel pin. The celebration continued with cake for Janice and Emergency Department coworkers. Janice was shocked and very humbled by being selected for Volunteer of the Quarter.
– Article written by Mrs. Susan Kern Program Manager VAMHCS & Amanda Andrews Program Specialist VAMHCS.
Towson University Athletics
Military Appreciation Day
Men’s Basketball Game & Major Robert Marchanti Scholarship Kick Off
Towson University Vs Elon
January 27, 2018
Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to the Towson University (TU) Tiger Athletics Men’s Basketball game versus Elon in honor of Military Appreciation Day. Before the game and the announcement of the Major Robert Marchanti Endowment Scholarship, the Tiger Athletics Department held a luncheon for the Marchanti family, members of the military, Veterans service organizations and Gold Star family members. Mission BBQ provided the food for the luncheon. Major Robert Marchanti served in the Maryland Army National Guard and was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012. Major Marchanti graduated from TU in 1989.
Tracy Miller, her husband, Paul Arnest, Janice and Charlton Chance, Jeanette Middleton Sudano and her daughter, and Theresa Mills were recognized, along with their Heroes before half time.
Even though Elon beat Towson 83 to 76, it was a very exciting game.
Horses Help Heroes “Hang With The Horses” Event
Great Escapes Stables
January 15, 2018
On Monday January 15, 2018, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Janice Chance and Kelly Swanson, along with military families from around the area, attended the Horses Help Heroes (HHH) ”Hang With the Horses ” event hosted by Dean Macy, Founder of Horses Help Heroes at the Great Escape Stables in Bowie, Maryland. It is always a great time meeting, talking to, and hanging out with some of our military families. We are looking forward to attending and assisting Mr. Macy and HHH in future events. HHH is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of service connected disabled veterans, their families, and Gold Star Families. We were able to brush the horses, walk alongside the horses while children were riding them, and then we were able to actually ride the horses. Thank you, Dean, Great Escape Stables, and all the volunteers that helped to make this cold day a great success! And thank you to Milly, Sonny, and Chance for the fun rides!
Christmas Extravaganza Fundraiser for Maryland Patriot Guard
January 6, 2018
Gold Star Maryland Chapter members were invited by Ann and Ted Nettles, Maryland Patriot Guard leaders, to attend a Christmas Extravaganza Fundraiser that was held on January 6, 2018. Janice Chance, Maryland Chapter member attended this special event that was hosted by Doug Favorite and Don Keeney at their spacious beautifully decorated home. The event was held to raise funds in support of the Maryland Patriot Guard organization. It was an open house-style tour and dinner. The cost was $20.00 per person which included a full course buffet. Doug and Don decorated over 100 trees. The decorated theme trees ranged in size from 1.25 inches to 12.5 ft. and some of the themes included a Waterfall Tree (with working waterfalls), Train Tree (with working trains), Butterfly Tree (with moving butterflies), Patriot Tree and many more. Their front lawn was also decorated with trees and other Christmas decorations with many lights. Based on the smiles, laughter and positive comments, the guests enjoyed the sights, sounds, fellowship, delicious appetizers, variety of food, desserts and holiday drinks. Doug and Don even placed decorated trees in the bathrooms. Attending a fundraiser event in support of a great organization that provides services and support to our veterans, active duty military, their families and Gold Star Families was a great way to start the New Year. Doug and Don are planning to host another fundraiser event next year.