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Blue Star Families Shines Bright

On Tuesday November 7th, we gathered at the Piqua Center for our last northern Muster & Mingle of 2023. Dinner was generously donated by Olive Garden on Miller Lane in honor of Veterans Day. Everyone was so pleased with the selection of spaghetti marinara or lasagna, with plenty of salad and garlic breadsticks. They even sent a box full of their delicious mints!

As our guest speaker for the evening, we hosted Dr. Geri Maples, Chapter Director for Blue Star Families of Dayton and Southwestern Ohio. She has a long history with Operation Veteran and Caregiver Support, back in 2019 we held a ‘Proof of Concept’ event at the Chaney-Graef-Pitsenbarger VFW Post 4748 in Piqua. It was an event designed to bring veterans face-to-face with the resources that were available to them, and Dr. Maples was our keynote speaker that day. Our Director Valerie introduced Geri by telling that story, and before she could take her seat again, Geri asked her to wait. She spoke of Valerie’s dedication to service, her constant desire to go above and beyond, and her unwavering support of the military community. She presented Valerie with a Blue Star Families medal in recognition of her service.

Geri spoke about everything that Blue Star Families has to offer, starting off by dispelling a few misconceptions. She made sure that everyone understood that the Blue Star emblem was symbolic of everyone who had served, not just active duty military members. She thanked those in attendance who had taken part in their Nourish the Service event. Blue Star Families has a wide range of Member Perks available to those in the military community, from free memberships in things like Headspace and discounts at national retailers like T Mobile. On a local scale, Blue Star Families of Dayton and Southwestern Ohio offers a wide variety of great events for families. They host a day at the National Air and Space Museum, offer tickets to Kings Island Winter Fest, and days out at the Dayton Dragons baseball games. Everyone left with a an eagerness to look into everything that they have to offer!

After Geri spoke, we had one final order of business. Alex, who is in the care of Bruce and Marilyn Malone, turned 25! We had cupcakes with dinner to celebrate, but we couldn’t let the evening end without a group rendition of Happy Birthday. We are so grateful that Muster & Mingle has become a place where families gather to celebrate!

Muster & Mingle in Piqua will be changing locations for 2024. Starting January 2nd, we will be at the Miami County YMCA Senior Center, located at 307 W High St Piqua, OH 45356. For more information, check out our Upcoming Events page by clicking here!

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