Support is main focus |

Support is main focus

by Sharlene Irete

Debra York’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Nathan York, drives one of the five brand-new mine-resistant Cougar vehicles with bullet-proof glass in Fallujah, Iraq.

“People need to know that equipment like this is getting out to the military,” said Debra York. “They will be much more protected.”

Even with this special equipment, the Carson Valley resident still worries about her son.

“You’re disconnected. I was expressing my distress at having my son going to Iraq and one of my co-workers suggested contacting Blue Star Moms,” she said. “Just listening to the other moms and having people put their arms around me felt good. To be with others who recognize what it’s like to have a child deployed – that caliber of woman – I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

The Blue Stars Moms started during World War II as a result of the need for parents to support their children in the armed forces. There are about 50 Blue Star Moms from Carson Valley, Carson City, Reno and Sparks who meet once a month. Members of Blue Star Moms focus on the mothers first and make sure everyone who attends the meetings has a chance to speak about their child.

Lori Murray recently went to her first Blue Star Moms meeting. Her son Ryan Murray is a private in the Marines.

“Last summer I saw an article in the paper and my mom said to check into it,” Lori Murray said. “I thought I’d go as a volunteer but kept putting it off. I was in denial about everything.

“I talked with my son and realized I have to deal with denial. I went to a meeting and found all the great stuff they do but it’s also a great support group.”

York said it makes her feel special when people acknowledge the Blue Star Moms pin.

“People recognize the blue star pins in restaurants,” she said. “People ask what branch of the military he’s in and where he is. They tell me, ‘Thank your son for serving our country.'”

For more information, call Leslie Evans at 782-3168 or go to