Local Blue Star Mothers shipping socks to soldiers

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Every day, active military personnel in the Middle East take to the streets armed with a variety of instruments to help them complete their missions, which could range from engaging enemies in a gunfight to locating and disarming bombs.

Each mission could be the soldiers’ last, as they face a variety of dangers like improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenade attacks.

But for many soldiers, their most-requested items from home are everyday commodities found in nearly every home and store in the country.

“Our president (of the Blue Star Mothers of Alabama) has a son who is in Iraq now, and she said the soldiers’ No. 1 request was for white tube socks,” said Joyce Bulford, an Alabaster resident and member of the Blue Star Mothers. “These guys are overseas fighting for us, and all they want is white tube socks?

“I figured we could at least get those to them,” Bulford added. “What I did was I went to all the schools in Alabaster and asked them if they would collect white tube socks for us to send to the soldiers.”

Many of the city’s schools began participating in the Socks for Soldiers campaign in early October, and they have gathered several hundred pair of socks in the program’s first month.

Creek View Elementary, the Thompson Sixth Grade Center and Thompson Intermediate School have already wrapped up their collections.

“Some of the schools have been working since October 1, and they just finished collecting them last week,” Bulford said Nov. 1. “There were actually eight or nine parents who donated because their family member is in active duty.”

Even though some schools have already finished collecting socks, Thompson High School, Thompson Middle School, Kingwood Christian School and the home school portion of Evangel Christian School will be collecting socks through Veterans Day. Evangel Classical Christian School will collect socks through Dec. 9.

Thompson High School officials are encouraging everyone who attends the school’s Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 to bring white tube socks to donate during the event.

“We really just need white crew socks, men’s or women’s,” Bulford said. “I think the soldiers have to wear black socks on the outside, but they wear the white ones under them when it gets colder outside.

“But if someone wanted to donate black socks, that would be fine,” she added.

For more information about the Socks for Soldiers drive, e-mail the Blue Star Mothers of Alabama at BlueStarMotherofAl1@live.com, or contact THS, TMS, Kingwood, Evangel Christian School or Evangel Classical Christian School.