Members of the Blue Star Mothers of Iowa met for their monthly meeting in the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge, in Johnston, Iowa, on Jan. 7, 2023. The group is made up of mothers who have relatives who serve in all branches of the military including the Iowa Army National Guard. BSMI does many things for the military community. They put together care packages for service members deployed overseas as well as support events for veterans in their local areas.

However, the biggest thing these dedicated women – “Blue Star Mothers” – do is provide a support group for moms, grandmothers, step moms and legal guardians whose children serve in the active duty military or Reserves, including the Iowa National Guard.

“We are here to not only support the people who serve but to support each other,” said Jen Fletcher, president of BSMI. “When my son first joined the Marines six years ago, it was a great resource for me.”

Each year the organization raises money and collects items for care packages they send all over the world. They also hold a Valentine’s for Vets program in February. Their monthly meetings provide time to plan their events for the year. They also serve as a support group for moms who need both information about the military and an ear to listen and understand what they are going through.