Congress Approves Bill to Help More Mothers of Military Service Members Join Support and Service Organization
The U.S. House of Representatives last night passed a bipartisan bill sponsored by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in the Senate to expand membership in Blue Star Mothers of America to more mothers of current or former military service members. The bill, which was approved in the Senate in late November, is now on its way to the President’s desk.
Blue Star Mothers of America is a congressionally-chartered, non-political veterans service organization that supports mothers of service members, promotes patriotism and democracy, and organizes service projects to support the troops.
“Mothers and families of our service members make tremendous sacrifice at home when their sons, daughters sisters and brothers are deployed,” said Bennet. “Blue Star Mothers is a fantastic way for mothers and families to better support each other and their serving family members. I am pleased Congress acted in a bipartisan way to ensure Blue Star Mothers is open to all types of mothers whose sons and daughters have served in recent conflicts.”
"As a military spouse and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I deeply appreciate the invaluable support that our Blue Star Mothers provide not only to our men and women in uniform, but to their families," said Senator Ayotte. "Expanding membership opportunities will enable more women to become involved in this patriotic organization and to support America’s brave service members and their families who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and security. I hope this legislation will soon be signed into law."
“The structure of families has evolved drastically since our Charter in 1960 or our original founding in 1942,” said Blue Star Mothers President Robin McCarthy. “We recognize the impact made upon the lives of our service men and women by all those maternal caregivers who have played the role of 'mother' for them. It has been our intention to include and support them all in the membership of Blue Star Mothers of America.”
Last year, the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. voted to update its charter for the 21st century. It expanded membership opportunities for more women who have supported service members in new conflicts and addressed the composition of today’s family. This bill updates the Congressional Charter to reflect that vote and is fully endorsed by the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
The bill would update the Blue Star Mothers Congressional Charter to:
- Include grandmothers, foster mothers, and female legal guardians;
- Expand membership to mothers whose children have served more recently, by removing references to specific conflicts; and
- Expand membership to eligible mothers living outside of the U.S.
The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature into law.
Rep. Scott Tipton is the sponsor of the Blue Star Mothers bill in the House of Representatives.