Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blue Star Banner - How Much Is Too Much?

Do you ever worry that you are advertising to complete strangers that your spouse or significant other is not home?

I have a blue star flag on my front door and a sticker on my car.  I hesitated at first to put these up because I worried that they would tell people a woman lives here alone.  In the end, I decided that the blue star flag signifies an immediate family member and not necessarily a spouse.  In addition, it doesn't even mean that the Soldier normally lives in that particular residence.  I proudly display my blue star in honor of my husband.

Today I started to doubt myself.  My doorbell rang at around 10 AM as I was standing in my living room.  I hadn't yet showered, brushed my teeth, or changed out of my sweat pants and sweat shirt.  I looked out the window to see some construction guys standing in my walkway and I quickly contemplated what to do.  I rarely answer a doorbell unless I'm expecting someone or I know who is on the other side.  However, a town Department of Public Works truck pulled up, so I went ahead and answered.  They needed access to my basement to connect a temporary water main that they had been placing on my street. 

I opened the garage doors and I got a simultaneous "NICE MUSTANG!!!!!" from the four workers.  I chuckled and said "Oh, thanks, it's my husband's car."

Then one of the men asked me the question.

"Is your husband overseas?"

I stared blankly, confused at how he knew that.

"I saw the blue star banner."

I looked up and noticed that he was wearing a camouflage baseball hat. 

He must have some connection the military, I thought.


"Army? Navy? Marines?"


He nodded his head.

They walked around my garage and basement with a flashlight looking in every corner for the water meter. 

"Where is he?"

I hesitated. 


He nodded again.

That was the extent of the exchange. They found what they were looking for, asked me to check if I still had water (which I did) and went on their merry way up the street to the next house.

I walked back into my living room and started thinking:

In an effort to honor my husband, did I just put myself in harm's way?  

Did I really just tell this complete stranger, who now knows the exact lay-out of my basement and garage, that I was living alone?  

Does the blue star banner open me up to sensitive conversation?

In reality, I'm fairly certain this town employee with the camouflage hat was just being nice.  He was likely either in the military, retired military, or a military family member.  But how can one be so sure?  I've had people in my life surprise me and turn out to be completely insane when they seemed quite normal.  I've learned through experiences that you can't trust appearances, so why am I being so trusting?

Do you display a blue star banner or other indication of your husband's service?  Do you get nervous about the same things?


  1. I'm right there with you. I have to admit that I have wondered this very same thing. It's sad that we have to worry about this! I decided to hang our flag in the window, a sticker on my car and to rely on prayers for safety so I can continue to show my pride!

  2. It makes me nervous too. i was gonna get a really sweet yard sign saying something about we miss you daddy or something along those lines, but after thinking about it, i decided not to do it.

  3. I don't have anything military related on my car. I live on post, so everyone is military related in this 'town'. I do have out of state plates on my car which is 'normal' I suppose because this is a vacation and retirement state. I even took the 'Proud parent of a soldier' sticker off the window that hubs mom had put there while she was using the car because I didn't want it military attached at all.

  4. Great post! I have my banner hanging inside my home, next to the sink. I figured, I hate dishes but having an extra reminder that hubby is doing something hard too helps :) I am careful not to advertise our deployment. I just don't want to have an extra worry about whether I/my kids are safe :)

  5. I had the same thoughts you did. I was hesitant to display my blue star banner once Kevin left on his last deployment. I am just paranoid by nature... and felt it would be an invitation for no good. Nonetheless, I wound up sticking it up on the window anyway!

  6. For the three weeks that I lived by myself in the this town, I made every effort to make it look like someone else was home with me. However, that fear also stems from the fact that my fiance's house was broken into last year. Extra paranoia. I don't think the blue star is as much of a big deal. Just be careful what you tell people!

  7. I don't put anything deployment related on anything. Military yes (well, nothing is on my new car yet) but not specifically meaning he is deployed. As an FRG leader for a past deployment, myself and other leaders encouraged other spouses to really consider things such as "half-my-heart is in afghanistan/iraq" stickers before placing them on their car. I gave a blue star flag to my MIL but do not have one for myself. I just get nervous. A good friend of mine was sexually-assaulted while her husband was deployed. I am overly cautious I guess but especially with my kids ...
    My directv was installed yesterday and even things like that make me nervous.
    But it is easy to say things that show/mean that he is gone because you are proud. I do it all the time when I am not concentrating. I am a very trusting person for the most part so it can be easy. I figure if I mess up that much by my own statements, I don't need any help by putting them on my car. If that makes any sense.

  8. I think if I lived on post, it would be different. But, I make every effort to make it look like the husband's not deployed. In fact, pest control was here recently, so I took his ACU's top and threw it around a kitchen chair. I am extremely nervous of living alone, and so I am not going to do any "advertising." I do wish I could post the banner, though. We just live in a not so good city.

  9. I had the same thought and decided against it. If I lived on base or was closer with my neighbors I might. But, I didn't like advertising the fact that my husband is away. I am actually currently looking in to a pretty necklace that has a blue star on it to wear when he's away. So that I'll know what it means but it's not a waving flag, so to speak.

  10. From my understanding... A blue star means a service member in active duty not just deployed.

  11. I was about to write the same thing. Blue star flags dont mean they are deployed...they mean an immediate family member/s (one star per family member) is serving this country active duty, a time of war. It does not mean they are deployed. Also there are rules and regulations on who can and how the blue star banners are to be displayed. Just google it and you will learn what the regulationa and rules are.

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