The Blue Star Mothers of Santa Clarita gathered for the third “Coffee and Camaraderie” breakfast on Sunday.
“It’s great to make new friends and there’s just a special bond between military mothers where you can say, ‘oh, you too?’”, said Joann Manzo, a Blue Star member.
The second Sunday of the month, Blue Star Mothers hosts an informal “Coffee and Camaraderie” breakfast at the American Legion Post 507 in Newhall, open to anyone military affiliated who feels they need support. The breakfasts are geared towards giving attendees a place where they can be surrounded by and talk with others who have had similar experiences.
Blue Star Mothers is a national organization founded in 1942 in Flint, Mich. to boost the morale of the large population of mothers whose children were serving in World War II. Santa Clarita’s local Blue Star Mothers chapter was founded last year by Sabina Fetter, who has one son in the military and one in a college ROTC program.
“The Legion kept getting calls from people who needed a place to just come and talk to others about their experiences, so we started the ‘Coffee and Camaraderie’ breakfasts in November,” Fetter said. “You don’t even have to talk. People can just come in and be around people and know that nothing they say will leave these walls. It’s breakfast and a support group without the 12 steps.”
Manzo and Christine Wing said they formed other friendships with other mothers with each gathering.
“It’s a really important support system to have,” said Wing, who discovered the group on Facebook. “Other friends don’t understand what it’s like to have a child in the military, but these women do.”
Legion post commander Thomas Troesch said the American Legion and the Blue Star Mothers have complimentary missions and he is proud to be able to host their meetings.
“We at the American Legion are very community oriented, and this partnership is one of the connections that we have made that help serve military families in Santa Clarita,” Troesch said. “Sabina came to me and asked me if we had space for them to meet and it’s been a great compatibility of purpose. The Blue Star Mothers are a fantastic group and I’m happy they’re here.”
Fetter hopes more people will become aware of the Blue Star Mothers and will join, which will greatly help their community and service outreach, she said.
“We’re currently at about 24 active voting members and last year we helped provide 60 percent of the food at the Legion’s Veteran’s Day services,” she said. “The Legion is so welcoming and helpful to the community and our goal next year is to help them out by providing all of the food for events like that. Santa Clarita is such a great community that loves helping the military and we’re here for that as mothers and for mothers or anyone else who needs us.”