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Legion has Blue Star Service Banners for military families

May 02, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN, MD. - To make it easier to recognize and honor the families of active duty military personnel, the Morris Frock American Legion post will present Blue Star Service Banners to those families as part of a Memorial Day program.

The Blue Star Service Banner, designed and patented in 1917 by a World War I officer, has become the unofficial symbol of a child in active military service.

Families of military personnel can post the banners on doors or windows, said Linda Caudell, spokeswoman for the Morris Frock American Legion Auxiliary, which is sponsoring the event. A banner can have multiple stars to indicate multiple family members are serving.

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The banners were distributed and posted during World Wars I and II but were seen less often during the Korean and Vietnam wars, a Legion fact sheet said.

The banners have been offered and displayed more frequently since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The flag "is a source of pride for that family, to let the community know there is a member of the household proudly serving in the United States military," Caudell said.

The auxiliary has ordered 100 of the 8.5-by-14-inch banners, which it will donate to families of service personnel who attend a function at the Morris Frock Post on Northern Avenue on Sunday, May 25, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The event follows the Legion and auxiliary's annual Memorial Day program in front of the Washington County Courthouse on May 25 at 2 p.m., Caudell said.

The family members will be recognized during the 3:30 p.m. program, she said.

The hope is that many families of active members of the military attend the events, not only to get the banners and recognition, but also to learn how they could benefit from joining the auxiliary, she said.

The auxiliary will try to determine if there is interest among the families for establishment of a support group, she said.

Caudell said she hopes people realize that even though the heavy fighting in Iraq is over, service members should be paid respect, especially on Memorial Day.

"There are still so many men and women who are serving," she said.

Those wishing to make reservations for the event, the banners or to get more information about the program, may call Caudell at 301-790-3566 or 301-790-0100. The event is first come, first serve, she said.

The banners are available for families of all service members on active duty, not just those involved in the war, she said.

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