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Local Gold Star Moms form Franklin chapter

Music City Gold Star Moms Melody Paxton (her son Matt Bergman has been missing at sea since 2011), Hawk Paxton,Jana Mertens (her son died six years ago), Tess Redmond, Joyce Mount (her son Judson Mount died in 2009) with the 80 gift bags they filled and delivered to the V.A. Hospital in Nashville during the Christmas Holiday. Missing are Judy Lawrence and Sue Harlin (her son was killed in Vietnam).

Music City Gold Star Moms is the fifth and newest chapter in the Tennessee Chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers. 

During World War I, families began hanging gold stars in their windows to honor a child – male or female – killed in military service to this country.

In 1928 American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was founded by 25 grieving mothers who came from across the country together in Washington D.C. for the purpose of helping others. The mission of the organization became “to support grieving families and provide services to wounded soldiers.”

“Although this is a club no mother wants to qualify to join, we always welcome new members,” said Gold Star Mom, Joyce Mount, one of the founders of the Music City Chapter. Mount’s son Judson died in 2009 as a result of wounds he received while serving in Iraq.

“I was going to [Gold Star Mom] meetings in Clarksville, Hendersonville and Goodlettsville, but they were so far away the meetings got too hard to get to. Unfortunately there was a need for a chapter in this area that was more convenient to the moms here.”

A Gold Star Mom does not have to be a mom who recently lost a child. One of the seven founders of the Music City chapter lost her son in the Vietnam War, Mount explained.

The Music City chapter was chartered in November and immediately the seven local members got to work providing services to wounded soldiers.

During the Christmas holidays, with the generous support of local merchants, they put together 80 gift bags with items like shampoo, body wash, American flag bandanas, calendars, CDs, pens, notebooks, candy canes, hot chocolate and Ramen noodles for veterans at the V.A. Hospital in Nashville.

“What a thrill, and joy that was to honor them and what they stood for,” Mount said. “They were in all military branches and served all over the world.”

The ladies also took candy canes, coloring books and Beanie Babies to the V.A. Hospital in Murfreesboro for the children of the Wounded Warriors in that facility and items to Operation Stand Down in Nashville, which serves homeless veterans.

“There are so many sources to help veterans and so many resources to work together to get things done,” Mount said. “We’ve all got the same heart for the same thing. Help veterans – that’s what I want to do.”

To join this exclusive organization, or for information about joining, call Joyce Mount at 615-429-5235 or email The group also accepts financial donations for their projects or items they can gift to veterans.



Posted on: 1/9/2013


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