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Ventura County Group Offers Support For Families With Members In The Military

A project to widen Highway 101 between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara will include a an enhanced version of the Blue Star Memorial Highway designation in the Santa Claus lane area, with signs, trees and roadway enhancements.

Blue Star Mothers has chapter in Conejo Valley; Say Memorial Day weekend is time to reflect on those who serve for us

For most of us, Memorial Day weekend means things like camping, going to the beach, and barbeques.

But, Memorial Day is meant to be a day to remember the men and women who gave their lives in uniform for our country.

It’s a day that hits home for a group on the South Coast which has family members in the services

Jane Audey has a son in the service, and is a part of the Conejo Valley chapter of "Blue Star Mothers" It's a support group with those who have relatives in uniform. The tradition dates back to World War II. Families with a member in the militar would display a banner in the window of their home with a blue star for each person serving in the military. If they lost someone in the war, they would have a gold star on the banner.

(KCLU photo)
One of the Blue Star banners

Kathy Carlson is another member of the Conejo Valley chapter of Blue Star Mothers. She says it's actually open to men and women, and has more than 70 members

They were on hand for an event this week outside of Carpinteria, as plans were announced to rededicate a section of 101 which is already considered to be a Blue Star Memorial Highway. Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara says it's at Santa Claus Lane, between Carpinteria, and Summerland. Work is underway to widen the highway from two to three lanes in each direction, as well as to replace bridges and add a bike lane.

As part of the Blue Star Memorial Highway portion of the project, more than 100 oak trees will be planted, the center median will have unique oak reliefs, and there will be Blue Star plaques by the highway.

Some veterans say this will be a tough Memorial Day. Patrick Murphy is a Vietnam veteran who says some of those who survived combat didn’t make it through the pandemic. He says he's lost a number of friends in the last year.

He, and the Blue Star Mothers say they hope as people enjoy the holiday weekend, they will take a moment to remember those who served in uniform.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.