Mothers starting military support groups in mid Michigan, seek founders

Members of a 73-year-old military support organization are looking to open new chapters in mid-Michigan this year.

Blue Star Mothers of America provides a two-way support network for military families.

Chapter members offer support in a peer-to-peer style; from mothers to mothers.

Kathy Barnes is the First Vice President of the Department of Michigan Blue Star Mothers. She said both of her sons served in the armed services.

“My son was in Afghanistan and I wore dog tags with his picture on and people would see that and they would ask questions. And then other mothers would say ‘Well my son is at…’ or ‘My daughter is…’ and there was a need. You could see a need, because there was nothing to support them in their area,” Barnes said.

She said the organization started in Flint during World War II and grew to also offer support for military dads, friends, and family members.

“And it became over the years a support of the veterans also. And then unfortunately we have fallen children and spouses. It happens in every war and so we come alongside of our Gold Star families and support them and then each other,” Barnes said.

Barnes said she is looking for 10 moms from each of the three counties to be the founding members of the new chapters.

She said she has met with at least two people for each potential chapter.
Barnes said mothers interested in forming or joining chapters in Isabella, Gratiot and Gladwin counties can contact her by phone at 989-814-0650, or email at

Existing Michigan Chapters
Bad Axe
Benton Harbor
Big Rapids
Flat Rock
Grand Rapids
Paw Paw
Saint Clair
St. Quincy
Traverse City

Blue Star Mothers find a chapter