Blue Stars for a Safe Return

Record Courier - Baker City,OR



[The Record Courier - Baker City,OR]     [ The Chanute Tribune - Chanute,KS]

Visit The Record Courier_open into new window
BAKER CITY, BAKER COUNTY, OREGON, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2004
Visit The Record Courier_open into new window

Local Veterans Offer Blue Stars For A Safe Return

By Debby Schoeningh

 

Local veterans Jimm Mooney and Daren Spencer have collaborated to offer “Blue Stars for a Safe Return” to show citizen support for our troops overseas.

 

Mooney served 14 years in the Army and Navy and wanted to show his support not only for his son, Sp. Marcus Mooney with the National Guard who is leaving for Iraq Dec. 31, but for all of the soldiers serving our country.

Jimm gleaned the idea from an article he had read about a World War II veteran whose mother had placed three stars in her window for her sons at war.

 

“I thought it was a great tradition, but my pride in my country, and my son’s dedication made me want to do a little more,” said Jimm, and he began sketching his rendition of “Blue Stars for a Safe Return.”

He gave the sketch to Spencer, a professional photographer and artist, who donated his time to transform the sketch into a work of art, which is being used on magnets, laminated window displays and window stickers.

 

“I was in the Navy from 1962-1966, 4 1/2 years, and served off the Vietnam Coast,” said Spencer. “Being an ex-serviceman is one reason I decided to help with this project. I think it helps to let the troops know that we are behind them.”

 

Jimm’s goal is to have families and friends of those in the military overseas display Blue Stars all over the country. However, he said it is not his intent to sell massive quantities of these items at retail prices. He is encouraging military support groups to purchase the items at wholesale and use them in their fund-raising efforts.

Window Display_Actual size is 8.5 X 11

Jimm said he chose the Flag because he believes in our country, and is proud of being an American; the Eagle because it represents freedom, strength, and the ability to rise above adversity; the Branch is all of us here at home, being lifted up and supported by the Eagle and the Flag, praying for a safe return of a loved one; the Gold Ring, like a wedding ring, is our link to a loved one, or friend in the military someplace around the world; and the Star of course is that individual, or individuals, who are away but still in our hearts and prayers every day.

 

“The idea is to keep the profit margin as low as we can, and still be able to accomplish what we want to with them,” said Jimm. “I want to get these out all across America, but not at the expense of making them too commercialized.”

 

He said the Blue Stars for a Safe Return are not meant to replace the existing Blue Star Banners or undermine their importance, but are designed to offer another means of showing support and prayers for our troops.

 

Along with the Blue Stars, they are offering Gold Stars, which were also used in World War II to let others know they had suffered a loss, inscribed with the words “Lost but not forgotten.”

 

 

The items are available online at http://www.bluestarsforsafereturn.com thanks to Louise Shreffler, a local Web designer who donated her services to the project.

 

“I think Jimm’s idea is wonderful. Not only does it support our troops, but it also shows that we appreciate them and we are praying for them,” said Louise.

 

The 8.5” x 11” laminated window displays are $5.95, magnets are $4.25 and window stickers, $1 each or free with the purchase of a window display. The Blue Star window display can also be traded in for a Gold Star display at no cost.

 

They hope to expand the line of Blue Star products in the near future, as people make requests, to include items like T-shirts and hats, and are looking into the possibility of personalizing the window displays with the soldier’s name and branch of service. 

 

 They recently sent special 11x14 editions of the Blue and Gold Stars along with an 8x10 edition of what the design represents and a letter to President Bush.

 

“As commander in chief we felt like he should have a copy,” said Jimm. “We sent both because unfortunately, there have already been casualties.”