Blue Star Moms share Thanksgiving together

November 24, 2011 9:46:40 PM PST
Thanksgiving is a challenging time for military families whose loved ones are serving overseas. Two Blue Star Moms decided to mark the holiday together in San Jose by leaving a place for their sons at the table.

Cathy Crowder has two sons who are Marines: 24-year-old James Rainwater is serving his second tour in Afghanistan while his brother, 22-year-old Kirk Rainwater is stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, bound for Afghanistan himself in March.

"There's an empty seat at the table for, not just our boys, but for all that are deployed that are away from their families," said Crowley. "James -- or Jimmy -- I haven't hugged him for two years, so I miss him a lot."

Debbie Parks' son, Nick, is an Army sergeant who has been in Afghanistan since April.

"We're doing alright," Park said. "They're not forgotten and we're thinking of them and we miss them."

Crowder and Parks met when they became Blue Star Moms and have become the best of friends, even though their sons have never met each other. On Thanksgiving, they share the same thoughts.

"That they're safe, and that they're getting something good to eat," said Crowder. "And that they're okay."

Parks said she hopes many that are deployed have the chance to call home, and that's why Parks and Crowder always have their cell phones with them.

"It just depends on when he can get a minute or there's a free phone, so you never know," said Parks. "That's why we always have our phones with us."

The two moms know that on Thanksgiving, there are some who are not quite as fortunate: Those who lost loved ones.

"Let's not forget those families," said Crowder. "They have that permanent empty chair at the table."


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