Perpetuating the Noble Principles for which They Fought and Died
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American Gold Star Mothers, Inc


Acceptance Speech

Today, another page turns in our history, just as it has since 1928. Like those who served as National President before me, I am here to represent you, the members of ourorganization. The common thread that brings us together remains foremost in your mind as well as mine. While I am seeing the face of my beloved Brent, handsome in his Marine dress blues, you are remembering your loved one.

When I think about my journey, there is the great divide - my life before April 7, 2004 and my life afterwards. On that date, I learned that no matter how good life is, bad things can happen. Perhaps the biggest lesson of all for me was that when bad things happen, good things can come from it. In the blink of an eye, life changed, perceptions changed and my path became clear when I found American Gold Star Mothers and my band of sisters. In six short years, I have learned much because of many of you. For those of you who have been here longer, you have taught me by your example. Each generation has left its stamp on the organization. Thank you all for bringing us to this point.

Each new member comes to us with new ideas and AGSM continues to evolve. We have seen many changes but some things will never change. Our mission statement remains our driving force: to honor our children by serving Veterans. As we come together to support Veterans and military families, we ultimately support each other and we have forged life-long friendships in the process.

When I list the good things that came after that knock on the door, many of your names are on my list, including Veterans and those who have supported our organization for many years. Thank you for your friendship, your wisdom and your unfailing support.

My family has been incredibly supportive and keeps life going at home in Tennessee while I am away. I am grateful that they know that my absence does not diminish my love for them. For my husband, Mike, my daughter, Marcy, my granddaughter, Madi, and my daughter-in-law, Amy, we continue to move forward, each honoring our hero, Brent.

To my band of sisters, we have laughed and cried and created many memories. We have shared our deepest pain. We have memories still to be created. We have accomplished so many things and we have work yet to be finished. I am so proud of our fundraising efforts in support of the Fisher House for the Families of the Fallen at Dover AFB. Thank you to each of you who has worked or donated to the campaign. Many of us will continue working on the campaign in the coming months. It is not too late to join in on the fundraising, if you have not done so yet.

Ruth's convention has been a great end to a great year. It has been a privilege to serve with Ruth and the National Executive Board. It is an honor for me to serve as National President and I pledge to do my very best for the good of American Gold Star Mothers. I look forward to a productive and memory making year with the new National Executive Board. Mark your calendars for June 23-26, 2011. You are all invited to my convention in Nashville, TN where you can enjoy the beauty of our state, the Home of Country Music and the Grand Ole Opry, and a taste of Southern Hospitality. We are working to make it a fun trip for you. I hope to see you there!

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