Operation Mom
East Bay Military Moms Group Together

Jan. 16 With a huge build-up of troops in the Middle East and thousands more being deployed each week, a group of East Bay mothers decided to show support for each other and for their sons and daughters overseas. Now, Operation Mom is in full swing and growing.

Dotty Selmeczki, Operation Mom Castro Valley: "My son, he was just deployed on Monday, headed somewhere in the Middle East ... no idea. I can't handle his being gone. It's scary."

There are the photos of the children gone to war and the worries of the mothers that are left behind.

Gloria Godchaux, Operation Mom Antioch: "I think any parent would be upset to know their son or daughter is going into a war situation, not knowing if they'll come back."

These East Bay moms found solace and support in each other and formed Operation Mom right after 9/11. Now, in the face of war, they meet every month to exchange hopes and fears.

Pamela Junkans, Operation Mom San Leandro: "Going to the group on Thursday, we can share our fears and we don't have to tell our kids how scared we are."

This marine says Operation Mom is peace of mind for him.

Kevin Godchaux, US Marine: "It feels good to know my mom's not worrying as much as she could be because she has a support group back home."

But as more troops are deployed, Operation Mom is mobilizing the mailing of care packages boxes stuffed with donated goods destined for troops overseas everything from toilet paper to protein bars, and baby wipes and Starbucks coffee. Things to boost morale. The moms are fundraising this winter to raise postage money.

Louise Tamayo, Operation Mom Danville: "The biggest problem is money and packing material."

As more troops are deployed and families are forced to say goodbye, Operation Mom is growing exponentially from San Leandro and Castro Valley to Danville, Walnut Creek and Antioch.

For information on joining Operation Mom or helping them with gathering supplies, go to operationmom.org. You can also call
(925) 706-1736.


Group Comforts Soldiers, Their Families

Posted: January 20, 2003 at 7:28 p.m.

NOVATO (KRON) -- It is frightening to go to war, but just as scary to stay at home and wonder what dangers your loved ones are facing.

A Bay Area support group is lending comfort to those left behind.

There is no doubt they are proud of their sons. But being a mother with a soldier now being deployed to a possible war zone has become the hardest job in the world.

Dotty Selmeczki's 25-year-old son Casey Calderan is a Marine now serving somewhere in the Middle East.

Gloria Godchaux also has a son in the Marines. 20-year-old Kevin Godchaux, who could be deployed to Korea or the Middle East.

It's the fear for their sons that inspired these two mothers to form "Operation Mom".

Its a support group for Bay Area parents whose sons and daughters are serving in the military overseas.

They have monthly meetings and send care packages and letters.

Operation Mom started right after 9/11 when Godchaux's son was 17 and signed up for the Marines.

Operation Mom is more than just support. They're working on non-profit status to get donations for mass mailings of supplies to all troops who serve overseas four or five times a year.

They're hoping April for their first mailing: requested items like moist wipes, coffee and books.

They are the comforts most take for granted that are in short supply in a war zone.

For information on Operation Mom, go to operationmom.org. You can also call
(925) 706-1736.

(Copyright 2003 KRON 4. All Rights Reserved.)