RIBSM is a group of women; MOMS who are proud of their sons who decided to serve their country by joining the Military. It started in R.I. by a group of courageous women who met and bonded because their soldiers were heading out to war together. Some of them, babies in some of our eyes, may have never been out of R.I. except for their training to join the military. Now they were being deployed to serve in the Iraq war in 2006.
Everyone knows someone who either is in the military or who has served in the military. You see, we also know someone, it is our child.
We attended the FRG meetings with all of the families from our soldiers unit. In these meetings, most everything was directed to the wives of those being deployed. Some of the meetings we were told, we were not allowed to attend since they were for the contact person only. We felt how lucky these wives were to have such a strong support group to rely on.
We thought support group! That is what we needed. Many of our soldiers began to introduce us to other moms who were going to be experiencing the same journey as we were. They would be the ones having the same feelings of doubt, fear or some feelings they may not have even known what to call them.
We needed each other. Who would be better to know what we were going through other than another Mom! We needed another Mother of a soldier being deployed who would understand our feelings. To cry, laugh, comfort each other and share our fear, doubts, good days and bad. Who better to connect with than someone else who was going through the same experience!
So a few mother’s got together to see what could be done. What were the resources? A small group of dedicated moms, about 8, would meet to brainstorm and research. They found that there was a national organization called Blue Star Moms of America. At that time R. I. did not have a chapter. So we asked, why can’t we have a chapter? As most of us know moms can do almost anything and the RIBSM Chapter was born. The original founders were Donna Ponte, Joyce Courtney, Sue Lavoie, Lisa Normandin, Marcia Buehner, Lynn Sampson, Mary Ellen Cimino and Rennie Simmons.
We started to have small meetings. The first meetings were held in restaurants as we would elect officers. We kept moving forward. Our soldiers were always on our minds and hearts. By forming the RIBSM chapter we were able to give moms a safe haven. Any mom who had a son or daughter currently serving or who has served in the past had a place to, if they chose, to let their guard down. To know they were not alone. To know other Moms understood what they were going through.
Since the RIBSM chapter has been in existence, we have expanded in size and have all branches of the military represented. We welcome all who have a relative in the Military family including but not limited to wives, aunts, grandmothers etc.
We do hope in the event you need the RIBSM group at anytime, please reach out. Some one will reach back.