New support group to help military families
To the editor:
July 4 is when we celebrate our country's independence. It's also a perfect opportunity to remind people that the freedom and independence we celebrate is not free. Berkshire County has many residents serving in the military — active, reserves and guard. Each military individual also represents an entire family who is also sacrificing and supporting them.
To help these families, Berkshire County Chapter for Blue Star Parents will hold its first gathering on Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at the North Adams American Legion.
The group is open to all military parents — reserves, National Guard or active duty. The concerns, stress, and emotions that come with the pride of being a military parent is profound and unique and this group will serve as a support and network for parents.
There is the need for additional support systems with a deployment and I am confident our community will offer that. However, that is not the only need. There is a wide range of emotions and concerns that comes with being a military parent — when a child first enlists, leaves for basic training or boot camp, is assigned to a new base or a training mission — there can be days, weeks, months with little to no contact and that can be difficult. It's not the same as sending a child to college.
We are proud of our child's decision to volunteer to serve, prouder than most could ever imagine, but we also know what the cost of that service could be. In addition to support and fellowship, the group will also work together to support local service members through programs like "Boxes of Love" founded by Blue Star Mother Patty Erdeski of Stamford, Vt., and local veterans groups as well.
The group will meet the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the North Adams American Legion. For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 212-0445.
Eileen Monyahan, Adams