BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana Chapter 1 is a support through service organization. Through their monthly meetings and chapter activities, members support each other, their children in the military, wounded veterans in need, and veterans in the area as they promote patriotism.
Janet Broussard is the founder of the local chapter and says it all started for her when her son was deployed to Iraq.
“My son was deploying in 2004 with the National Guard going to Iraq for the first time,” Broussard explained. “And I felt the need for support for myself, selfishly. But so many other moms were worried, and we had nowhere to really turn to, so I belong to the national group and thought that we needed it here. Nobody really understands what you go through when your child’s in a war zone except another mother or dad.”
One of many activities Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana Chapter 1 does on a regular basis is assemble care packages and mail them to troops all over the world.
“So we sent out a call for supplies and so many people answered that call,” Broussard said as she taped up a box for shipping. “We’ve often heard that when they receive these care packages from home, especially from strangers, that it means so much. You know, we’re still at war, and people forget that, but when they receive a package like this, it just means that they’re not forgotten, and we want to send a little love from Louisiana to them.”
One of many people who volunteers to assemble the care packages is former Louisiana State Representative Darrell Ourso.
“Our military are on the front line defending our freedom,” Ourso said. “And if we can do any little thing on the back side here to help them out, that’s the most important thing. You know, we need to make sure that they always know they’re never forgotten.”
Ourso was so moved by Broussard’s passion and dedication to Blue Star Moms, he nominated her for Hand It On. Ourso surprised Broussard at the care package assembly party.
“You have been tremendous for the military, for the men and women of our state; their families,” Ourso began as he approached Broussard. “You have honored the Gold Star families. You started the Blue Star Chapter 1 in Louisiana, so Hand It On is happy to present you some cash for all your efforts.”
Ourso handed a stunned Broussard three one-hundred dollar bills.
“Thank you. Thank you. That’s so sweet. Gonna' make me cry,” she responded with tears welling up. “It means a lot. And of course, this will all go right back to our troops, y’all know that.”
To nominate someone or some organization for Hand It On, send an email to HandItOn@wafb.com. Make sure to include your contact information, especially your phone number.