Mother Goose Speaks Out

I’m just a goose! How do I find myself in these amazing places with such wonderful people? I’m baffled and honking about it!

M.Goose addressing Marine families at the Park Ridge VFW Post.

Once upon a time, Mother Goose was a regular mother with just the barest notion that our nation was at war. Whilst soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen fought valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mother Goose turned her beak in the other direction. In fact, she buried her head in the sand. You may have called her Lady Ostrich in those days.

And then the impossible happened — my twin sons enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and my ostrich life came to a screeching halt. Even though they are still stateside, training for a highly technical and difficult position onboard nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, to this goose, military family life has already begun. Of course, when they eventually get deployed and head out to sea to see the world, Mother Goose will probably have a nervous breakdown. Maybe a double, twin-sized nervous breakdown…

Last evening, Mother Goose and her ever-supportive gander attended a wonderful meeting of Marine families in a nearby suburb of Chicago. Let me just tell you right now, these are some of the bravest, kindest and most gracious moms and dads that I have ever met.

As the sharing time progressed around the room, several parents reported that their sons had returned from active duty around the world, including combat action in Afghanistan. Two families had just experienced the gut-wrenching days of knowing their sons were now “boots on the ground” in the hot war zones of Helmand Province. Some were active and stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. There was a new “poolie” present with his family — just freshly enlisted and in preparation mode for boot camp next summer. All stages of U.S. Marine life were shared — hugs and tears and common wisdom were served up as easily as the delicious potluck dinner.

I was there at the meeting because I wanted to speak to the group about Blue Star Banners, an American tradition dating back to WWI. Military families are encouraged to hang the banners in their front windows to inform the neighborhood and the community that one of their sons or daughters is serving in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces during a time of war or hostility. Each star on the banner represents one soldier or sailor — of course, Mother Goose is proud to fly a banner with two blue stars.

We left the meeting humbled by the patriotic hearts, the faith and the love of these U.S. Marine Corps families. We will return to their next get-together to present Blue Star Banners to these amazing moms and dads. Now it’s time for Mother Goose to get to work. Honk! Time to buy more gold fringe at the JoAnn Fabric Store to glue to my banners.

I buy my banners from the American Legion online store. Then Mother Goose attaches the gold fringe to the banners — it makes them look extra special.

P.S. Do you know of a military family in your neighborhood? Please let them know about this wonderful old tradition. Please visit my Facebook page to see pictures of Blue Star Banners in the windows as well as pictures of our many friends’ sons and daughters in the service. Feel free to “like” our page if you are so inclined and share it with your friends. And, of course, please continue to pray for the troops — until they’re all safely back home with their families.

Pizzas 4 Patriots

Mother Goose and her Blue Star Mothers friends were whole-heartedly proud to participate in an event to support the troops in Afghanistan last week.

An organization called Pizzas4Patriots worked together with worldwide delivery logistics experts, DHL Express, to deliver 30,000 pizzas to our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and women who are in harm’s way. Yes, thanks to this GREAT project, our men and women will be eating pizza on the 4th of July.

30,000 pizzas! Delivered to one of the hottest places on the planet! YES, it can be done! Thanks DHL! Thanks Pizzas4Patriots! Thanks Blue Star Mothers! But especially thanks to all of our sons, daughter, husbands and wives, friends and family who have sacrificed their time for the sake of freedom.

Be safe over there, and hurry home!

Boxes of pizzas being loaded to the DHL truck via “bucket brigade” mode.

Passing those pizzas down the line.

Yes!! They had Chicago police department bagpipers!

Joyce Carrasco, president of our Blue Star Mothers group, praying with other parents of servicemen and women.

Blue Star moms Beth and Pat supporting the great event.

DHL warehouse and BIG truck in Franklin Park, Illinois

Mother Goose and Blue Star mom friend, Cathy

Oh, and here’s just a little footnote:

The REAL pizzas were loaded during the night whilst the temperatures were cooler than 95 degrees, so this was a staged demonstration for media and promotion purposes… Mother Goose is all in favor of publicity for pizza and supporting the troops! I know those guys and gals are going to have a GRAND pizza party all over Afghanistan.

Love, Mother Goose

P.S. Happy 4th of July! Be safe — drink lots of water!

In Honor of a Hero

Today my heart is heavy. Though I didn’t know Marine Corporal Conner Thomas Lowry, I feel his mother’s pain. Though I haven’t lost a son or daughter or a husband to a desert war in a faraway place, my tears fall for families who know that kind of loss. This Marine was killed in Afghanistan on March 1st; he was a gunner on a humvee during combat operations in Kajaki District. He was 24 years old, and had planned to be home in June.

This morning, he arrived at Midway Airport in Chicago. They’ll carry him to his family and they’ll carry him to a visitation service. They’ll carry him to funeral mass and they’ll carry him to his final resting place. And God will carry his family and friends.

I have many questions: how does a mother cope with this kind of loss? Will her son’s ultimate sacrifice be remembered by this nation in weeks to come? When will the troops come home for good? Will there every be a good and believable reason for this war?

We honor you, Corporal Conner Lowry. We pray for your beloved family and friends and fellow Marines. Someday, we’ll be able to throw our arms around you and shake your hand and thank you properly for your service to the United States of America. We don’t say “goodbye” because you’ll be with us. Blessings to you.

Marine Corporal Conner Thomas Lowry, rest in peace.

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