By Nancy Johnson, Staff Writer
“Sometimes you just need someone to talk to,” says Bev Jones whose son Kevin enlisted in the Army last September. “That’s kind of how our group, Parents of Military Support, started.”
“Janet and I go way back to when our kids were in Cub Scouts together,” Jones begins. “I ran into her husband Bob last fall and we got to chatting. He told me their son Gregg was serving in the Marines in California. When I told him my son Kevin had just enlisted and I wanted to form some sort of support group closer to home, he lit up and said, ‘That’s just what Janet has been saying!’”
The two women got together and organized a monthly meeting site at the Oxford Presbyterian Church. While it is not mandatory, Jones encourages those interested to call or email first in case the meeting is postponed due to weather.
“Attendance is growing every month. We’re up to about 12 now,” Jones says enthusiastically. Despite the group’s name, Jones emphasizes, “Parents are kind of the core, but our meetings are open to anyone who wants to support local military.”
Jones and Hudler were thrilled when Re-Max Jennersville signed on to sponsor them for the upcoming year. It is a perfect tie-in with the Christmas project the agents had put their hearts into as they decorated a Christmas tree in Penn Township’s park. The tree, which was graced with the names of local men and women currently serving in the military, was awarded first place in the decorating contest and a $100 prize.
Not only did Re-Max donate the prize money to Parents of Military Support, but they have offered to help with other projects the group is planning, like a yard sale slated for May.
Jones says that right now “our number one goal is to let people know we exist.” She explains that it is hard for them to connect with parents because recruiters and schools cannot give them names of those enlisting.
“I had a phone call recently from a woman whose daughter had just left the day before for basic training,” she says. “We both were kind of teary on the phone and I wondered if I was really helping her. But then Sandy came to our next meeting and I was so happy.”