Autumn is already on the mind of the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina. The group, with more than 80 members from much of the central Myrtle Beach area, reaching into Conway and Murrells Inlet, will have a “Blue Star Family Night” 4-8 p.m. Thursday at the Bob Evans restaurant off S.C. 544, near U.S. 17 Bypass and Socastee.
Grateful for 15 percent of the food sales receipts in these four hours, this group of parents of troops in the armed forces will use the funds to help fill its “hero box” mailings to deployed personnel.
Anne Leimbach, president of this Blue Star chapter, said it has “grown by leaps and bounds” since its chartering in October 2008, and “amazing hardworking, dedicated women” and some supportive fathers, as well, keep a shared positive spirit for all of their children who serve or have served in the military.
“You might join for your kid,” said Leimbach, whose son, in Army infantry, has done tours in Afghanistan and Germany, “but you stay for everything else.”
These boxes cost $15 apiece to mail, and the U.S. Postal Service gives us a $2 break on postage. That’s why we have to have fundraisers, to fill these boxes.
Oct. 6 at the American Legion in Murrells Inlet. we will be packing boxes. You want to get your socks knocked off, watch us pack. We’ll get 150 boxes together; we’re like ants on a hill. ... We have to go to storage ... and haul all the stuff there, and mailing addresses have to be done. ...
You get into this because of whatever reason, and stay in it because it’s the right thing to do. And you don’t stop being a Blue Star mom when your kids are out of the service; we have a number of people whose kids are veterans and they still show up.
When we’re collecting in front of stores, they bring us a box of mac-and-cheese or a box of granola bars. A lot of them will get their kids to do it, and they’ll say “This is for the soldiers.” This instills patriotism, too.
Deployment means different things to different people. Some members become more active when their warriors are deployed; others kind of lay low till their child comes home. When people ask me how I sleep with my son in harm’s way, I tell them it’s very much like the first time the car pulled out of the driveway and you weren’t in it, only much, much bigger. I say my prayers like always, put my head on the pillow and sleep. If there is something I need to know, I’ll hear.
Also, just because the phone rings at 2 a.m. when your child is away, it isn’t always bad news. Usually it means he got his hands on a phone and you were the voice he wanted to hear. When they are away, they have little idea of what time it is back home.