D-DAY JUNE 6, 2019
Museums Nationwide Participate in Tenth Summer of Blue Star Museums
Program Will Run May 18-September 2, 2019
Celebrating the tenth summer of Blue Star Museums, the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families announce that museums nationwide have signed on to provide free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families this summer. The 2019 program will begin earlier than in past years, starting on Saturday, May 18, 2019, Armed Forces Day, and end on Monday, September 2, 2019, Labor Day. Military can find the list of participating museums at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.
We offer a safe place to share thoughts, concerns, and any personal stories that are kept solely within the group.
I am a military mom, one of many elite women. I stand beside my child with courage, strength and dignity. While I am not on the battlefield or in the foxhole, I am in the heart, mind and the character of my soldier sons and daughters.I support the Band of Mothers, who know just how I feel. Sharing encouragement, stories, laughter and tears for days or months or years.
Our sons and daughters were called to duty. (Listen)
We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6 pm at the Beacon Mutual Insurance Company- One Beacon Centre, Warwick, RI 02886 (off of Kilvert St.)
I am a soldier’s mother; I sometimes march alone
And yet I stand with many, trying to be strong.
You may not recognize me as you pass me on the street; I may look like any other that you by chance might meet.
Like any mother, in a lot of ways I still remain,
But watching my son become a soldier brought a forever change.
For deep down inside where you cannot see
My own battle rages that’s as real as it can be.
It starts with feeling pride in all he has become,
But often worry creeps in before the day is done.
Then there is his absence that never will seem right –
The days without a word that causes many sleepless nights.
And at the sight of another soldier, my heart skips a beat,
For it reminds me of my own, and that face I’d love to see.
And I have a deeper sense of the sacrifices our heroes make;
I can see the hardships on the families – the loneliness, the heartache.
But in spite of all that’s raging, this mother’s love holds strong
As I’m wrapped in God’s peace and comfort and given strength to go on.
© Cynthia Gibbs
Who We Are
The Rhode Island Blue Star Moms is a military support group specially dedicated to supporting our Veterans, troops and assisting the mothers and families who have children who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
A chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, the RI Blue Star Moms provide military family support throughout the state of RI. Throughout the year, we create and send military care packages to show our loved ones that they are our heroes, that we appreciate their service and that we continue to support them while they are away from home.We share our concerns, our support, our pride and our devotion for our loved ones serving in the United States Armed Forces. Through various events and activities, we support fellow Blue Star Moms, associate members, our children serving in the military, our veterans and our community. We provide military family support to benefit our members and their families and we promote causes that will benefit military personnel through a military advocacy program.The RI Blue Star Moms is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-discriminatory and non-profit organization. Our mission is to support fellow Blue Star members, their sons, daughters and any other family members who are currently serving or have served in the United States military. The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.
Join Operation Stand Down RI for our 2nd Annual Gold Star Gala. The Gala, to be held at Twin River Casino on Friday, May 18, 2018 is a night to honor Rhode Island’s Gold Star Families post 9/11. The term “Gold Star” refers to a family member who had a loved one killed in action during a war time in a foreign country while serving their nation. On this night, we honor the families left behind, remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and to raise money for the Boots on The Ground for Heroes Memorial.
This year the Gala is honored to announce our keynote speaker: Lt. Colonel Justin Constantine, USMC, Retired. Our speaker, Justin Constantine joined the U.S. Marine Corps while in law school at the University of Denver School of Law and served as a JAG officer for six years. As a reservist, Justin deployed to Iraq in 2006, serving as a Civil Affairs Team Leader while attached to an infantry battalion. During a combat patrol, Justin was shot in the head by a sniper. For his service in Iraq, Justin earned the Purple Heart Combat Action Ribbon and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal. Justin retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of Lt. Colonel. He is now an inspirational speaker and veteran advocate.
The Gold Star Gala will be the official kick off to OSDRI’s presentation of the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial at Roger Williams Park, Memorial Day Weekend. In 2016, OSDRI launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial with the widely acclaimed and dramatic display of nearly 7,000 military boots adorned with name placards and flags representing each American service member killed in the Global War on Terror. The first of its kind, the display garnered local and national news coverage for the past two years and continues to grow
On a comfortable Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting with Karen Dalton at her Dare to Dream Ranch on Snagwood road in Foster, RI.
When you arrive at the ranch you are met by 2 super friendly dogs, Bear and Bella, who wag themselves silly while the 3 goats, Frick, Frack & Frank, are also bleating their hello’s. As we walked through the barn with the fresh smell of shavings and hay Karen explained her vision for converting the barn into a woodworking workshop when they build their indoor riding arena with attached barn that would have a loft apartment above for a qualified veteran to stay for free as the caretaker for the property.
We arrived at the first paddock where a gorgeous Percheron/Gypsy Vanner Draft cross named Seargent Xander and his sidekick Corporal Buzz. Xander sometimes is a bit skiddish with his own trust issues. So a slow approach and soft voice is the best approach for making friends with this beautiful huge horse. Next door is Captain Blue, named for his beautiful brilliant blue eye. He is as friendly as Seargent Xander is reserved. He was having fun moving the miniature horses , Freedom and Spirit, out of the way so he could their hay. Spirit enjoyed trying to nibble my hair through the fence while I was petting her and Blue. Hard not to relax and just chat with so much peace surrounding you. We visited the 2 senior, yet still very noble, Arabians names Ishrab and Tabitha.
I had the pleasure of watching Steve Frye, 2x Iraq Combat Vet, not only riding Sgt. Xander, but also learning to train him. Steve only began riding and working with horses 4 months ago! I was impressed to watch Steve’s ease of haltering Sgt. Xander in the paddock, saddling him and especially riding him! 4 months is not a long time for someone to learn to ride, build trust with a horse who has trust issues and build your own confidence in the saddle. I was able to watch Steve achieve all of this and with such confidence and pride!
As Karen & I strolled through the wooded paths listening to the quiet we discussed her dreams for future expansion of the facility, the paddocks, the rings and the trails. She shared some of the positive results of Veterans, and their families, who have already visited the Ranch for equine therapy (equine assisted coaching/ground therapy) , yoga, horticulture therapy and nutrition education, woodworking, and fly tying/fishing.
On a quiet, sunny Friday afternoon we both Dared to Dream of our hopes for Veterans and their families who will visit in the future.
Rhonda Ziehl, USAF,
RI Blue Star Moms