Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Dinner at El Corral

Good food - good friends, and family - what more can we ask for? Or as Jacqueline put it,
holiday grab bag $10.00; dinner out on the town $65.00; evening spent with friends PRICELESS!

Tucson Holiday Light Parade

It's agreed - everyone had a great time preparing for, and participating in the Tucson Holiday Light Parade. Our theme was, "Hero's Holiday" - lots of packages wrapped with an APO address from Mom!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Veteran's Day Parade/Float Pictures

Chrissy, Barbara Jacqueline, Vicki & Margie arrived at the VFW bright and early to carpool downtown:

(Below) Preparing the Float - Theme was, "Honoring Veterans - Past, Present and Future":

Sgt. Rowland with the trophy awarded for "Best Theme".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blue Star Mothers Meeting Minutes

November 17, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 6:01pm by President Jacqueline Steele. Jacqueline welcomed all members and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Jacqueline introduced an "associate member-to-be", Jan Hueller. Ten members, one guest, and two soon to be associate members were present.

A representative for the Deca Club at Palo Verde High School contacted Jacqueline. The Deca Club is looking for a Community Service Project and are interested in gathering supplies for the Troops. Jacqueline gave them information about Tucson Troop Support and suggested things for the Stocking Stuffing event. At the time of the meeting it was still unconfirmed if it would come to fruition.

Holiday Parade. Conversation centered on the lack of information available about the parade and the possibility that we had already missed the entry deadline. Chrissy Harlan suggested we contact Tucson Department of Parks and Recreation. Jacqueline Steele agreed to research and follow-up with all members. Update: Barbara League checked into the possibility of ordering Blue Star Sweatshirts to wear at the Parade. Members posed questions that required follow up with Tee Time to answer. Barbara suggested that we wear the Blue Star Sweatshirts and Santa Hats to walk in the Parade. It was also suggested we have informational handouts about Blue Star Mothers. Debbie Siefert suggested business cards that she obtained for free from

The Junior League event is still on for late January/early February - to get to the Troops by Valentine’s Day.

Tucson Troop Support/Stocking Stuffer Event is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., December 5th at the VFW. If you have a loved one that is currently serving overseas, send their address to: Jacqueline Steele and she will forward all names to Kim Sloan at

At exactly 6:30 p.m. Jacqueline received a call from Jane Davis, National First Vice President of Blue Star Mothers to install the Officers. She read the Oath of Office. Jacqueline Steele, Barb League, Vicki Payne, and Linda Cagle were offically installed at the 2009-2010 AZ2 Board Officers.

December 15th Meeting. It was agreed that our next meeting would be a Holiday Dinner with gift exchange. Helen Quigley will seek out a centrally-located restaurant that will offer a private area.

Sgt. Daniel Rowland, Chrissy Harlan’s son, stopped by to announce the Veteran’s Day Float, “Honoring Veteran’s Past, Present, and Future“, won Best-Themed Entry and he wanted to thank us for our involvement and show off the Trophy.

Associate Member-to-Be, Jan Hueller, introduced herself and shared with us her volunteer work. Jan is a “Snowbird” that got started with the Blue Star Mothers in Colorado after reading an article about Operation Melody. Jan now sews bags for walkers and wheelchairs that she donates to the Veteran’s Hospital. She is currently awaiting orientation so she will be able to volunteer at the Veteran’s Hospital.

Chrissy announced that the VFW would be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner for patients at the Veteran’s Hospital on Saturday the 21st of November. She invited us to attend and help serve.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer.

Respectfully submitted by Vicki Payne

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 27, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Jacqueline Steele welcomed all members and led the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was called to order at 6:32pm with 8 members in attendance. Jacqueline read the Preamble to the Blue Star Mothers Constitution and thanked us for attending. Jacqueline introduced a new member, Margie Sanchez, and reminded us that our main focus should be to support one another.

Changing locations for meetings was discussed. The room provided for us at the VFW is smoke free, allows us the option of taking in our own food (we need to clean up after ourselves), and has a restroom. The ability to say the Pledge and/or a Prayer, or shed a tear, without fear of drawing attention to ourselves was also a factor. We have access to the rear entrance for those that prefer to avoid the front.

Meeting dates: Because the 4th Tuesday falls close to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Linda Cagle made a motion, seconded by Barbara League, that we permanently move the meetings to the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Motion passed.

The Veteran's Day Parade was addressed. Because the Blue Star Mothers have had an entry for the last two years, Chrissy Harlan entered Blue Star Mothers in the Parade lineup, next to the VFW's entry - the deadline was early October. If we chose not to participate it would not be a problem. It was agreed that we would participate and carry our banner. We are in Group II - White Group, Entry 8. Line up at 9:15am. Meet at the VFW at 8:30 to carpool. There will be an Open House at the VFW afterward - bring a dish to pass. Barbara League suggested that we add to our banner by purchasing some other flags. It was agreed that we look into "Support our Troops" and "God Bless America" Flags. Linda Cagle reports that we have $827.10 in funds.

Action: Barbara League will follow up with Service Flags for something appropriate.

Projects: The National Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America strongly suggest local Chapters find and participate in Community Service Projects at least once a quarter. To volunteer at the Veteran's Hospital, one is required to go through their Volunteer Training. Jacqueline is in touch with a new member that is currently training with the VA Hospital and hopefully will be able to give us some insight as to what to expect. Chrissy Harlan suggested that we team up with one of the other Organizations such as the DAV or the VFW and get involved with their Community Service Projects.

Action: Get a list of Community Projects.

The Junior League Care Package Project has been put off until February. More info to come.

Blue Star To Gold Star: Protocol needs to be followed.

Dues/Membership Applications - Dues in the amount of $20.00 are due and payable.

VFW Auxiliary is teaming up with Tucson Troop Support to stuff stockings. Date: 11/14 - more information will follow. Location will probably be at the Armory - Volunteers needed.

Action: Chrissy will advise location/time.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tucson GI made it through Iraq duty, died in barracks

Published: 09.11.2009

By Carol Ann Alaimo

The Army is investigating the death of a Tucson soldier who survived a war, only to be claimed by an apparent illness back at his home base.
Spc. Nathan Spangenberg, 21, was found dead in his room at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii on Tuesday, a few days after he told loved ones by phone that he wasn't feeling well, family members said.
It isn't clear when he died, they said. Because of the holiday weekend, the soldier wasn't noticed missing until he failed to report for work on Tuesday.
Spangenberg, an infantryman, returned in February from a 15-month tour in Iraq with the 2nd Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, his family said.
Loved ones who rejoiced when he came home from the war safely were stunned to see Army officers at their doorstep Wednesday.
"You worry so much while they're gone and then he comes home and you think you can stop worrying. And now this," said the soldier's girlfriend, Aleisa Krug, 19, of Tucson, a student at Arizona State University.
Nathan's mother, Lois Spangenberg, a northwest-side resident, said her son called her from Hawaii late last week and said he had strep throat. He also said he was undergoing more medical tests because he had blood and protein in his urine, she said.
He told his mother he planned to stay in his barracks for the weekend to watch movies and rest.
That was their last conversation. When she came home Wednesday from her job at Sunquest Information Systems, men in uniform were waiting for her.
"It's so hard to believe," she said. "It's hard not knowing what happened."
She said officials told her the investigation could take some time, and they couldn't immediately say when her son's body would be returned to Tucson.
Army officials couldn't be reached for comment late Thursday.
Nathan was the baby of the Spangenberg clan, and the family clown, his mother said.
After he deployed to Iraq in late 2007, he sent home a string of comical photos, she said. In one, the soldier is sitting on his bunk in Iraq, holding up a sign that says "I (heart) my Mommy."
In another, taken as he marked his 20th birthday in Iraq, he's in full battle gear wearing a cone-shaped birthday hat atop his helmet.
"He really cared about people. He was a very giving and loving person and a lot of fun," his mother said.
"His friends would all describe him as a person who could make them laugh."
The soldier attended Mountain View High School from 2004 to 2006, then transferred to Mountain Rose Academy, a charter school, before earning a general equivalency diploma. He joined the military in 2007.
He is the fifth service member with ties to Mountain View High School to die since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.
He also worked for a time as a custodian at Casas Adobes Baptist Church, his mother said.
Nathan Spangenberg also is survived by his brother Colin, 23, his sister Megan Bette, 26, and a niece and a nephew. His father, Glenn, died of cancer when the soldier was 4 years old.
Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at or at 573-4138.

Lois suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project