There’s a saying among mothers of Marines: When your son enlists, you get drafted.
Phyllis Sossi learned what that meant when her son, Stephen, joined the Marine Corps and she organized a luncheon support group for herself and others like her (see our January 2006 story “The Marine Moms’ Tour of Duty”). This past August, Stephen was deployed to Iraq.
“When my son was getting ready to deploy, I felt this overwhelming need to be able to give him something that would help him feel connected to me, and help me feel connected with him even though we were thousands of miles apart,” she says.
The result was a sterling silver pendant that has a removable blue enamel star hanging in the center, which was designed by Sossi and a fellow Marine mom.
“You take the star out and give it to your child that’s deploying to keep with them, and it’s a reminder of home, of mom,” Sossi explains. “The mother is then left with the empty circle. ... The star is missing, signifying that the Marine is away.”
The idea is brand-new, but there has already been interest from many mothers of Marines, as well as from national Web sites (at press time no formal distribution agreements had yet been reached). Eventually, the line may grow to include Marine wives and soldiers in other branches of the military. Sossi hopes that the pendant will help Marines and moms during their time apart, and to serve as a joyful celebration when they safely return.
“When the child comes back, he gives his star back to Mom,” Sossi says. “And Mom is whole again.”