Lehigh Valley Gold Star Mothers continue to serve
BY SUSAN BRYANT
American Gold Star Mothers, Lehigh Valley Chapter, offers help to military veterans and their families.
Gold Star Mother Carol Resh of Lowhill Township recently spoke with The Press.
“Our chapter was originally formed as the Bethlehem Chapter in 1947 by the WWII mothers,” Resh said. “We reorganized in 2012 as the Lehigh Valley Chapter, as our mothers are from many areas.
“A Gold Star Mother is a mother or stepmother who lost her child in service to our country or as a result of their service,” Resh said.
This includes any active member of the military who dies while on active duty.
Resh and her husband, Charlie, are the parents of the late Army Capt. Mark T. Resh, who served as an Apache Attack helicopter pilot in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Assigned to the 4th Attack Recon Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Air Division, Capt. Resh bravely piloted his helicopter to support the coalition ground forces until his aircraft was struck by enemy fire and crashed Jan. 28, 2007.
Resh, who was killed at the age of 28, was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action.
Carol Resh explained that Gold Star Mothers is a volunteer service organization with a mission to serve.
“Most of us feel we are continuing the service our children were not able to complete,” Resh said.
The group participates in Wreaths Across America at a few local cemeteries.
“We are also associated with the Vietnam 50th anniversary Commemoration Committee,” Resh added. “We pin the Vietnam vets and thank them for their service.”
The chapter has 12 active members.
They include Margaret “Marge” Kauffman, Vietnam War mom from Bethlehem; Patricia Geiger of Northampton; Kathy Andreas of New Tripoli, Dolores Reed of Whitehall; Nancy Smith of Emmaus; Sally Wargo of Lehighton; Joyce Eckhart of Orefield; Suzy Jones of Orwigsburg; Mary Ann Robertson, Nicholson, Wyoming County; Marie Daud of Easton; Joanne Wolff of Albrightsville; and Resh.
“We know there are more local moms who are eligible to join but don’t for whatever reason,” Resh said.
While the chapter’s main focus is helping veterans and their families, they may also help members of the community.
“Each year we try to send boxes to military personnel who are deployed,” she explained.
“We have adopted a veteran with no family and make sure he is remembered for his birthday and Christmas.
“We usually visit him for his birthday and take a cake and balloons to celebrate. At Christmastime, we also buy gifts for a needy veteran family and include a gift card to buy groceries.”
Each Gold Star Mother performs a service that is close to her heart.
The chapter’s members are mothers but other family members can join as associate members under the member mom.
“Our chapter tries to meet monthly at one of the moms’ houses,” Resh said. “We meet at lunch time for fellowship before the meeting starts.
“Most of the moms are retired and can do lunch.
“If we have a mom who would like to join us and is still working, we will alternate our meetings between day and evening.
“Our busiest times are summer for events. Winter is very slow.”
To learn more about American Gold Star Mothers, visit goldstarmoms.com.
An application for membership is available on the website.