Blue Star Mothers’ White House Tour Fails Expectations

Dorie Griggs (left) and Tracie Ciambotti (right), two Blue Star Mothers outside the White House Saturday for the group's tour. Both Blue Star Moms contribute entries to Off the Base.

On Saturday, 50 mothers whose sons and daughters are active duty military were on an invited tour of the White House. The Blue Star Mothers came from around the country, some from as far away as California and Arizona, for what they thought was a special event. But, some left disappointed.

The invitation on the Blue Star Mothers Facebook a few weeks ago was vague according to Dorie Griggs. She’s a new Blue Star Mothers member, so she called before booking and paying for her flight from Atlanta. She wanted to make sure the Blue Star Mother’s event was more than the routine White House tour.

Griggs said she was told the tour would be special (more than typical tour anyone can schedule through their member of Congress.) And she said there was supposed to be entertainment and a photographic exhibit.

What the event ended up being was a an exhibit of a couple of dozen photos showing President Obama visiting military bases, the White House tour was self-guided, just like the Congressional tours, and there was no entertainment.

“After our welcome by one of the White House Tour staff person, one of our Blue Star Mothers made an announcement,” Griggs said. “(She) … reminded people ‘I understand there’s a level of disappointment’, but we are military moms and we’re resilient and you can make the best of this or you can be upset.”

The group of mothers Griggs was with “made the best of it” using the event to cement friendships with other Blue Star Mothers. “It was a good example of what your life is like when you’ve got a member in the military.”

Griggs is quickly adjusting to that mindset. Her son, a new Citadel graduate and Army officer, has already had his reporting date to Ft. Benning, Georgia moved up a week.

Dorie Griggs writes frequently for Off the Base. Here are a few of her recent entries:

The Making of a Military Mom

The Citadel: Year One a No Fly Zone for Hovering Parents

How The Citadel “Ya-Yas” Came to Be

Learning Leadership and Ethics at The Citadel

The Citadel Trained Me as Well as My Son

Care Packages for Cadets: The Citadel Heroes Project

A New Blue Star Mom Shows Supports for Fallen Soldier

Celebration, Tradition, Ritual: The Long Gray Line

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Send a Deployed Service Member a July 4th Thank You

By Tracie Ciambotti, cofounder of Military Families Ministry

As Americans, we will celebrate our freedom this July 4th with our families—backyard barbecues and fireworks.  I hope every American remembers to stop and say a prayer on that day for the men and women who fight to defend the freedom that July 4th represents.  Many military families will not be spending that day with their loved one who is serving abroad on a deployment.

Military Families Ministry  (MFM) is collecting “Thank You” cards and letters to send to deployed service members this July 4th.  We need to ship them by mid-June for arrival by July 4th.   

Will you help us?  Write a thank you card or letter to a service member and if you know one personally, send it to him or her directly.  If you don’t know a service member, send the cards to MFM and we will send them to the chaplains we support to be distributed to the troops.

You can contact Military Families Ministries here and share your contact information.

I made this card in June of 2005 when my son, Josh, was serving in Iraq on his first deployment.  This poem was my thank you to him and my prayer for him to come back home.  This year, I want to get thousands of thank you cards to send this message to all who are serving abroad—for our freedom. You can download a copy of the Thank You Card or the Poem here.

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