Thank you for visiting Alabama's Blue Star Salute Foundation website. An annual Blue Star Salute is the product of a joint proclamation – in the fall of 2004 of the National Commander of The American Legion and President General of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution and is a result of their Partners in Patriotism Project.
Blue Star Salute is a concerted effort by local, state and national military, political, veteran and caring citizen groups and organizations who have set aside A Blue Star Salute Day as a particularly significant appreciation day to America's military services of all Branches, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and the historical United States Merchant Marines.
Alabama's first organized Salute was held Armed Forces Day 2005 at The American Village, Montevallo and was co-hosted by The American Legion of Alabama, Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution and The American Village Citizenship Trust, Gold Star Mothers and Wives of America. We combined our Blue Star Salute to the military services with a somber Gold Star Salute to our Fallen Heroes.
Given the tremendous success of the Blue Star Salute ’05 a group of patriotic organization banned together on December 15, 2005 to form the Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc. to perpetuate the annual Blue Star Salute to honor our military, veterans, and our Fallen Heroes. Our roster of participants and caring sponsors is growing and we welcome all who love our Country and appreciate our defenders of freedom to join us.
Blue Star Salute ’06 was held at the Shelby County Airport Facility (Calera, alongside I-65) on May 20th, 2006. Shortly thereafter, there was an agreement by all participating organizations to accept the invitation from The American Village to return the annual Salute to The Village on Highway 119, Montevallo. Thus, Blue Star Salutes 2007 through 2012 were co-hosted at The American Village. During this same period of time, a 479-acre site adjacent to The American Village on Alabama Highway 119, was selected and approved as the Alabama National Veterans Cemetery. On April 9, 2009 a “Consecration of Grounds” Service was conducted for the National Cemetery and burials began almost immediately, then the First Annual Alabama National Cemetery Memorial Day service was held at the NEW site on April 25, 2009. On December 12, 2009 the first annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony was held at Alabama National Cemetery.
Given the rapid development and growth of the Alabama National Cemetery and its relevant annual Memorial Day Commemoration as well as the expressed interests of other venues, sites, Communities and Cities throughout Alabama to locally co-host annual Blue Star Salutes in their areas; and, given the priorities being held to continue to support and participate in the Memorial Day events at the Alabama National Cemetery and The American Village, a decision was made in October 2012 to seek to honor requests of other sites to co-host our Annual Salutes at other venues where invited AND to schedule such Annual Blue Star Salutes to be held on Armed Forces Day rather than Memorial Day. Therefore, on Armed Forces Day (May 18th, 2013) the Ninth Annual Blue Star Salute was scheduled to be held at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, co-hosted by the BSSFI, South Alabama Veterans Council, the Alabama Battleship Commission and the City of Mobile.
Blue Star Salute Foundation continues to actively support and participate in each annual Memorial Day Commemoration at the Alabama National Cemetery and The American Village, Montevallo. The public is strongly encouraged to join us on Memorial Day each year.
"GOD BLESS AMERICA, LAND THAT WE LOVE... AND HER DEFENDERS OF FREEDOM!"
Alabama Governor Bob Riley signs Proclamation
Alabama Governor Bob Riley signs Proclamation declaring May 28 at The American Village (Montevallo) as BLUE STAR SALUTE DAY throughout the State. He is surrounded by members of the Blue Star Salute Foundation who represent the SAR, VFW, DAR, GSW, Board of Veteran Affairs, GSM, US Merchant Marines, "Buffalo Soldiers", American Village, American Legion, PGR/ALR, USMC, DAV and other caring/sponsoring organizations. Included in the photo is RADM Clyde Marsh, AL Exec Dir of Veteran Affairs and Major General Mark Bowen, TAG AL National Guard.
'WE HONOR THOSE WHO SERVE"
WHEREAS, it is with great pride and boundless admiration that we as Alabamians honor the untold number of men and women of the United States Armed Forces, active and retired, Reserves and National Guard, who have stepped forward in all circumstances thoughout American history so that we can live in freedom, and
WHEREAS, on this Memorial Day, May 28, 2007, The American Village, which is dedicated as a veterans living legacy and whose mission is to strengthen and renew the foundations of American liberty and self-government, will proudly host the third annual Blue Star Salute in Montevallo, Alabama:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bob Riley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim May, 28, 2007, as BLUE STAR SALUTE DAY.
Alabama's newly elected and installed Governor Robert Bentley
Alabama's newly elected and installed Governor Robert Bentley continues the tradition established by the Blue Star Salute Foundation and his predecessor Governor Bob Riley and on 21 April 2011 is surrounded by leaders of the Foundation while signing the Blue Star Salute Proclamation declaring Memorial Day (Monday), 30 May as Blue Star Salute Day throughout Alabama. Foundation members who likewise are affiliated with the Combat Infantry Association, Military Officers Association of America, Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs, The American Legion, Gold Star Wives, Veterans of Foreign Affairs, "Buffalo Soldiers", Military Order of the Purple Heart, Sons of the American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Army Reserves and Alabama Army National Guard proudly stand with Governor Bentley.
Alabama's Fallen Heroes Memorial
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Prompted by Alabama Governor Bob Riley's sincere personal appreciation and gratitude for the Fallen Comrades Memorial Monument presented to him and the State of Alabama during the April 27th Proclamation Signing Ceremony for Blue Star Salute 2007 by the Patriot Guard Riders, a permanent such memorial was dedicated in the Old Supreme Court Library Chamber of the State Capitol on 6 November 07. Scores of family members of Alabama's 92 Fallen Heroes since 9/11/01 joined the Governor and his staff, the Alabama Board of Veteran Affairs, Alabama National Guard and the Blue Star Salute Foundation for this somber dedication of this memorial which portrays photos of each of those Fallen Heroes. The memorial was developed and constructed by the AL Bureau of Tourism based upon input from all the participating state
agencies and the Blue Star Salute Foundation, and led by "Operation Grateful Heart". The National Guard's 151st Army Band entertained before and after the ceremony. Immediately afterward, the Governor and Mrs. Riley hosted a reception for the families of the Fallen Heroes and the participating organizations.
As is the case in each of the Annual Blue Star Salute programs hosted at The American Village, our continuing concerted efforts to pay full honor and respect to all those who serve, and those who have fallen in service is paramountly exhibited in this most worthy Salute to Fallen Heroes.
WE HONOR THOSE WHO SERVE...AND OUR FALLEN HEROES
Marine Corps League in the Mobile Convention Center
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Volunteer members of the Blue Star Salute Foundation attended the National Convention of the Marine Corps League in the Mobile Convention Center, 10-15 August, 2012. Our "Faces of the Price of Freedom" memorial photo display was exhibited along with the Florida Vietnam Veterans Association's traveling wall, "The Wall That Heals".
Daddy Came Home For Christmas...after 59 years
a story by Kathy Hooper
Photos courtesy of Kathy Hooper and Rachel Clinkscale
Click above link for photo album
MSgt Silas Wafray Wilson had served his Country in World War II and came home to share his life and begin a family with his beautiful bride. He had proposed by grabbing his young Loves big toe that she held elevated above the rest all the time. He had received a numerous amount of medals and gained the bilingual capabilities to speak Russian. Even though his actual listing of service had been a cook, he had told his young bride he did not want to tell some of the things he had done because he never wanted them to be repeated. Wafray, as his family and friends called him had received a Purple Heart for his service. Once he knew the Korean War had began in June of 1950 he felt the tug of responding and reenlisted to go for the service of his Country. Leaving behind his new family, a son Phillip, and kissed his wife that was pregnant with their second child as he boarded a plane to parts unknown and circumstances unforeseen. On September 4, 1950 he found that he had become the father of a little girl named Marie. He was able to see the little Angels face through pictures sent by his wife. Now he had numerous reasons to fight and serve his Country with honor and to come back home again.
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"Finally --- Daddy's Grave Marker"
On Saturday 9 July 2011 - almost 18 months after former POW/MIA/KIA Korean War MSGT Silas Wafer Wilson was buried in the Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery of the Upshaw Community of Winston County, Alabama - his grave marker was installed and dedicated.
Blue Star Salute Foundation members joined Winston County Sheriff Rick Harris, County American Legion Officers, Civitan Club members and caring ciitizens in supporting SGT Wilson's daughter, Mrs. Marie Cleghorn's family to further honor her Dad with a memorial grave marker, now almost 61 years after his death in Korea.
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Ceremony to award the Silver Star Medal
to the family of PFC Jonathan Millican
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Ceremony to award the Silver Star Medal to the family of PFC Jonathan Millican, July 28, 2007 in Locust Fork, AL
Sponsored by Congressman Spencer Bachus and the Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc.
LTC Alton C. Rockett - Air Force Pilot was
shot down over Vietnam 40 years ago.
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LTC Alton C. Rockett, an Air Force Pilot was shot down over Vietnam 40 years ago. He was buried in Arlington on Monday August the 20th.
Paul Sims, member of BSSFI had been wearing an MIA bracelet with LTC Rockett's name on it for the past 40 years. His wife Virginia Rockett and daughter Craig Ann, invited Paul to come to the funeral.
Glenn Nivens,also a Vietman veteran went with Paul.
The bracelet was buried with LTC Rockett.