By Ms. Sofia Bledsoe (ASA (ALT) )March 19, 2009
The Army Community Service, in coordination with the North Alabama Veterans and Fraternal Organizations Coalition and the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army, held a Blue Star Service Banner presentation March 6 at ACS.
Blue Star Service Banners are displayed by families who have an immediate family member or loved one serving in all branches of the armed forces, including activated members of the National Guard and Reserves, both active duty and reserve.
Twenty-four families registered for the presentation this year, according to ACS director Sue Paddock.
The blue star represents one family member serving in the armed forces. A banner can have up to four stars, signifying that four members of that family are in military uniform on active duty.
"We have a three-star banner today," Paddock said.
ACS's own Mary Breeden, relocation assistance program manager, received a blue star banner as well.
Army Community Service holds the blue star banner presentations at least once per year. "This works out really well," Paddock said.
Motivational speaker and author David Carney of AUSA presented "Five Keys to a Great You, Reach for the Stars."
The Blue Star Banner Program was started in 1917 by the American Legion. The North Alabama Veteran and Fraternal Organization Coalition started the first Huntsville program on Flag Day, June 14, 2004. Since then this ceremony has become an annual partnership effort between ACS, AUSA and the NAVFOC.
"We love hosting this annual event," Paddock said. "It gives the families a chance to come to ACS and get to know what programs and services we can provide."
Family members show their appreciation at the ceremony.
"Some get very emotional," Paddock said, "but they surely deserve the recognition for all of their sacrifices."
To register for the next blue star banner presentation, call Army Community Service at 876-5397 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.