Holidays are a Busy Time for Blue Star Mothers - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Holidays are a Busy Time for Blue Star Mothers

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Throughout 2012, the Blue Star Mothers have scheduled more than 100 greetings with men and women, in uniform, as they arrive at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Just in the past month, they've met about 400 of them making their way home for Christmas.

Paula Fleming knows exactly how it feels to have a loved one in the military.

Her son, Specialist Joshua Tash joined the Army in 2004, and was deployed to Afghanistan.

"You keep your phone on you, constantly, and you lose a lot of sleep and that's why being a Blue Star Mom is so important," Fleming said.  "You can put your energy and focus somewhere that it's going to count."

Something as simple as being at the airport to greet someone returning home from war, their military base, or even boot camp, is something Fleming says goes a long way.  

Sometimes they will wait at the airport all day.

"We've been out to the airport at one or two in the morning, greeting people and they're like 'I can't believe people would do this for my boy or my girl,'" Fleming said.

While this kind of thing happens year-round, Fleming says it's extra special, during the holidays.

"Everyone kind of gets teary, every now and then, depending on the situation," Fleming said.  "Of course, the hardest ones are the ones that are wounded."

People like Private First Class Jonathan Harmon.

He lost both of his legs after an IED explosion and returned home, December 10.

To Fleming, it's more than just showing her gratitude to those that put their lives on the line.

It's also to let them know that they are not forgotten, while they are deployed.

"After we send a care package and they'll just say 'Thank you so much. It's lonely over here. A little bit of home makes me feel good,'" Fleming said.

Fleming says the crowds started small but have grown over the years.

Sometimes you can find more than 50 people waving flags and holding banners.

"I think when they get home is when it all sinks in and they're very appreciative that America still cares about what they're doing," Fleming said.

Written by Paul Nelson


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