The Blue Star Mothers, MA Chapter 1 of Leomister, will be the proud hosts of two special guests at our July 16 meeting to be held at the Leomister Veterans Center, 100 West St., Leominster, at 7 p.m.

We cordially invite the public to come meet Staff Sgt. William Kleinedler of New Braintree and Jen DeLuca, executive director of the West Roxbury Fisher House.

SSG Kleinedler is a true American and homegrown hero. While serving in Iraq, he was severely injured and burned by a roadside bombing and, sadly, he also lost three of his fellow soldiers. After undergoing multiple surgeries and years of rehabilitation, to include regaining the use of his hands, he has embarked on an amazing career as an artist, something that would have been unthinkable when he was first injured. One of Bill's most recent designs has been a greeting card (which can also be purchased as a print). It is a beautiful drawing that honors Blue Star Mothers by the representation of our banner within the drawing. Our chapter had also been asked to write a narrative on the back of the card; we were honored to do so.

Over the years, Bill has also been commissioned to produce artwork for various organizations. The Fisher House Foundation is the latest organization to be a proud recipient of Bill's work. "Integro," a sculpture, now resides at the Fisher House In West Roxbury in their outdoor healing garden. Integro means in Latin, "to begin anew." It stands for how Bill equates the sculpture to the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, the representation of hope and the beauty of change.

For more information on Bill, visit youtube.com/watch?v=wgm_fiXRxfU.

DeLuca will be accompanying Bill to share the amazing work that the Fisher House Foundation does and to discuss the partnership between the two. The Fisher House of Boston is located on the grounds of the VA Boston Healthcare System's West Roxbury campus. It is a home away from home where military families can stay while a loved one is receiving in-house treatment at the nearby VA Medical Center. Any family member or loved one of a veteran or active military personnel, wartime or peacetime, is eligible to stay at no charge. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. They enable family members to be close to loved ones at the most stressful times, because a family's love is the best medicine.

For more information on the Fisher House Boston, please visit: fisherhouseboston.org.

Maureen O'Gorman

Susan Hall

co-presidents

Blue Star Mothers MA Chapter 1