By Chris Wright, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, OKLAHOMA --- Many families of Green Country troops were paying close attention to President Obama's speech concerning the end of U.S. combat in Iraq Tuesday night.
The Blue Star Mothers say they've developed deep bonds during the Iraq War and while combat operations may be over, they say their job is not.
The Broken Arrow Blue Star Mothers' existence has always been tied to the war in Iraq. The chapter formed after the U.S. invaded in 2003.
Most have children who have served one, if not several, tours in Iraq. Several have kids who never came back.
"That's why we started this was because we knew our children were in harm's way, and we never had that experience," said Marcia Kerr.
"Other than my husband, this is my support," Q Franklin said. "This is my rock. This is who I depend on."
The support system has evolved along with U.S. combat operations. The majority of the moms' packages now go to Afghanistan, not Iraq.
So even though they're excited about the withdrawal, they say they will continue to pack boxes every Tuesday afternoon.
"Very very happy about that, but no matter where they go, we're going to be behind them 100 percent. It doesn't make any difference," said Patsy Adams.
While relieved about Iraq, they say they will remain worried as long as any Americans are in harm's way.
After all, they are mothers.
"Until I actually see them all come home, I'm not going to get real excited," Kerr said.
The Blue Star Mothers say the packages they send to Afghanistan are slightly different than the ones that went to Iraq. They now include more food because they say their soldiers often get stuck in remote areas without enough to eat.