If you are a military mom, chances are you’ve heard of author Elaine Brye. Her book, “Be Safe, Love Mom,” is a treasure for many of those who watch their sons and daughters be deployed.
A Nevada mom, who has watched her only two children — two sons — join the military and go off to faraway places, loves Brye’s work.
“I have read her book twice…and will read it again,” said Sherry Zook. “I first read it when my oldest son left for basic training, then when my youngest was stationed overseas. I will read it again to get through (future) deployments and missions.”
Zook said military moms understand sacrifice in a way no one else does, and Brye, the wife of a retired military pilot and the mother of four children, who joined various branches of the military, she said, “navigates the complicated emotions — pride, worry, fear, hope and deep enduring love — that are part and parcel of life as a military member. She also discusses how to be supportive to your service member.”
To be in the company of others like herself, Zook joined Blue Star Mothers of America this past July.
“A friend told me about the group. I wanted to help those deployed, service members and their families, in a direct way,” Zook said.
One thing Blue Star Mothers is doing is hosting an event on Saturday, March 3, that Zook wants all those who have family members serving in the military to feel welcome to attend. The event will feature Brye as a speaker. It will also have Miss Iowa, who will sing the national anthem; Patriot Riders, who will present the colors; quilts and gift baskets for a silent auction; and a book signing and autographs by Brye and Miss Iowa, Chelsea Dubczak. Additionally, a Marines’ Toys for Tots toy drive will be held at the event, as this is one of Brye’s passions. So if possible for those attending to bring a new toy, please do so.
“This is not just for mothers, but also for husbands, spouses, grandparents, siblings…,” Zook said. She thinks all family members will enjoy hearing Brye speak. “She is a wonderful speaker and this is a great support to those dealing with the stress of having a loved one deployed. She has spoken for President Obama and has been on ‘Good Morning America’ as some of her appearances.”
Zook said Brye will give family members “words of wisdom on how to hold ourselves together while being very supportive and strong for our service member.”
In addition to offering an invite to this special speaking event, Zook said other military moms may want to check out Blue Star Mothers and come to a meeting to see if they’d like to be a part. Some of the things the group does include making deployment boxes, taking veterans to doctor appointments, supporting military wives and children, participating in Wreathes Across America, volunteering at the VA, doing Iowa Remembrance Runs and presenting quilts to Gold Star mothers and/or veterans.
“Blue Star Mothers are mothers of children of all branches — Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard,” Zook said. “We even have a chaplain…It is a wonderful support group and does a lot for our military community. I feel I can call (other members) in the middle of the night if I need to talk. We all share a special bond and are there for each other.”
For more information on Blue Star Mothers, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The March 3 event is free of charge and will be held at the Event Center West, 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, beginning at 10 a.m.