Local Blue Star Mothers prepare for trip to Walter Reed

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The St. Joe Valley Blue Star Mothers are gearing up for their annual trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center next month by putting together goody bags and donations for the wounded soldiers they'll be visiting.

The group will leave for Bethesda, Md. on April 2 to deliver clothes, toiletries and household items to wounded and ill military members staying at the medical center.

This will be our third trip out there," said the group's president, Sandra Boldt. "So it's something that as long as there are people there that need some help -- we'll be there to assist them."

Boldt says it's the everyday items that the soldiers appreciate the most.

"The people we deal with are living in a small apartment at the hospital during their rehab time so they need daily household items, toiletries, shampoo, razors, deodorant, towels, dish towels," Boldt said. "Those types of things, because they already have a house set up somewhere and it's very costly to try to set up another one."

Boldt, like other Blue Star Mothers, has a son who served his country, which makes the mission all the more important.

"When you meet and talk to these men and women who have put their lives on the line it helps to motivate that we need to do more to help as well," Boldt said.

Another member, Miriam Leapman, has been a military daughter, wife and mother during the course of her life.

"My son wanted to continue with our family's service to the country," Leapman said. "He was five years old when 9-11 happened and we lived a couple of hours away and it never left him. That's why it's so important to thank your veterans when you see them."

It's not too late to donate items for the soldiers or to make monetary donations towards their care. Those interested should call 574-315-5484 or email bluestarmom@sbcglobal.net to make arrangements.

"If you're able to help us, that's fantastic, but also thank your veterans, thank your military members," Boldt said.

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