Mail STARS to our Heroes:
currently serving, veterans,
and now First Responders:

We accept names and addresses of our armed forces and first responders, so they can receive their Stars. 100 Stars are sent to all currently serving in the military. Veterans and First Responders will receive 50 Stars to share. Add a message to your soldier. Include your name and address and we will send you 2 Stars and a copy of the card sent. 

                         BECOME A:

Want to participate by creating Stars in your neighborhood so you will be able to share the love of our country with those serving and those that served? Have a Star Party!! 

This is a project for all ages. Instructions are only available through e-mail. The instructions will include your zip code on the Note for contact purposes. Names of organizations can be added to the note.  A Star Maker STARter Kit is also available, consisting of  a packet of 10 Stars, 2 cantons and the pouches that the Stars go into with the note, all for a donation of $11. Only one kit per Star Maker. It is just a way to get you STARted.

              SERVICE GROUPS:

We are not set up to donate Stars for free for organizations as we are very small without financial backing. We can e-mail the instructions and you can order one kit only.  Many organizations sending packages overseas are adding Stars to the packages. It becomes a relaxing event during meetings and can also be used as a Thank You for donations.

Stars For Our Troops

Welcomes you to find out more about how You 
and We can show support to those 
that have Served and those that Are Serving.

"White Star" 

Listen to what a Veteran felt when he entered into a discussion 
about Stars for our Troops. 
Thank you  Bill Notro. 
He wrote this song BEFORE 
he received his Star.  
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This page was last updated: October 15, 2015
Stars for our Troops is only funded by YOUR donations. 

There are no corporate sponsors. Volunteers cut the cantons from the useable flags, wash the cantons, cut and pouch the Stars, but supplies and postage are purchased. 

100% of donations are used to continue this great project. 

Thank you for your encouragement and donation.

Your USA made old, retired flags with EMBROIDERED Stars no larger than a business card are needed today to continue this project. Please do not send printed flags or large Flags. Flags must be made in the USA. 

Please mail flags to (click for printable label):

                                       Susan/Stars for our Troops
c/o G F W
715 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Receive 2 Stars for your flag(s) donation.

Casket Flags  or any large flag should be donated to your local national cemetery. They will acknowledge receipt of the flag and it will be used to honor our fallen heroes.
The response to the 2013 Memorial Day article by Reuters has been beyond expectation. Please read and share.

Thank You - count as of 5/24/13 was  2753 hits.
In 2014, Gettysburg Flag Works about 875 shipments were  received and donated 5766 flags for the Stars project. Of those flags, 3795 were useable, 66% of the flags that were received. It is easier to get to work on the Stars when people are aware of the size of the Stars they are sending, and it takes less time seperating the ones that are not useable. We do take any casket flags to the Saratoga National Cemetery to be used when the roads are lined with flying flags. It is a beautiful sight.

The cantons were used to create the pouched Stars and were distributed in Star Maker Kits.

In 2013 Gettysburg Flag Works received 3807 flags for the program.  Of those flags 2305 were of a usable size which works out to 61% of the flags. With the usable flags we were then able to make 115,250 pouched stars to thank that many soldiers or veterans! 


Changes in places and dates for Star Parties
in the Albany, NY area.

Stars for our Troops will set up at local events to honor our Military and First Responders. Children can color the Thank You cards that are sent overseas and are given to our veterans attending Honor Flights to Washington DC. Flags ready for retirement can be collected. 
Contact Susan for details.

The response to the December 2013 article by Heloise  has been wonderful. Please read and share.

Star Distribution 2014

The NYS Capital District Star Makers have made and distributed over 116,000 Stars 
from 2320 flags as of 
December 31, 2014.
Thank you for this wonderful Project

Hello, my name is Diana. I had served in The United States Army for a little over eight years. I am a very proud veteran and what my company did for its veterans this year was so heartwarming. 

This Veterans Day (2014), my employer in West Virginia, came to each veteran that works here and personally shook each veterans hand and thanked us for our service and sacrifices. They had also given us an envelope. Inside the envelope was a thank you note that was signed by the department heads. It simply states, hand written mind you also, "Thank you for your service, sacrifice and patriotism." Inside this thank you note also was a flag lapel pin and Your Star! Even though this was the smallest of gestures, it made me feel so much pride, patriotism and gratitude with the time that these department heads took out of their day to seek out and honor each veteran that works at the plant on all three shifts. Also this display for gratitude and thankfulness, made me cry. 

After they walked away, I went back to the card and took a second look at the card, the pin and the wonderful star that was in the note. I then at that time flipped the star over to see what the message said. As I read each word, I could feel once again the tears filling up my eyes, I was fully crying when I reached the words, "You are not forgotten." 

Holding that star in my hand knowing that this came from one of our flags that had flown in the USA, there are no words that can honestly described what was swelling in my heart. 

I am honored to hold this star true to my heart because I also had known what Old Glory has sacrificed herself. She has flown over the USA but there were others that have flown over every military installation both on the home front and abroad. She has flown in every type of weather that Mother Nature has thrown at her. Her colors have stood fast, never bleeding or running. She is a true veteran as well. I am truly honored to have received this star and will forever be humbled and grateful to carry on a great part of one of our flags. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough, but I truly do not know what else to say. Thank You from the bottom of this veteran’s heart, and I thank God for all of these volunteers that have made this so special for this Veteran! 

I thank you for my star and for the wonderful program that you all are doing. Thank You and God Speed!

November 2014
Find out - 
What is a Star Party?
Cheryl Rings of 
Gettysburg Flag Works. 
The other day, 32 packages of flags were sent to Stars for our Troops. 
There were a total of 258 flags. 

108 of them are usable for this project.

150 were not usable. They were printed, Star bigger than 2 inch, not USA made, flags too large and many casket flags. 

58% of the items received must be bagged up and disposed of before I can work on the flags that are usable. 

It took one person 4 hours just to log each package, count and separate the number of flags, usable and unusable. 

Yes, we are all volunteers. 
We appreciate your donation of flags. 

There is a big expense for you to send flags that cannot be used. The extra $30 spent on postage could have been used to pay for Stars to be mailed. One bag of Stars costs a minimum of $2.54 and two bags costs about $3.14. 

This is why we do the STARS!!

Communication is often after 9 PM EST or very early in the morning.

To ensure a return response, please make sure your e-mail address, fulll name and city and state is included in all correspondence.

Phone calls will be returned when time is available, with full information as to the reason for the call.

Stars for our Troops - 5 Years of Sharing

Stars for our Troops celebrated the Fifth Anniversary of sharing Stars with those that served and are serving on September 25, 2015. On September 25, 2010, Stars were distributed to a group of WWII veterans and their guardians going to Washington DC to see their monuments. The Stars were new to me and those that received them. I had forgotten that the Veterans were escorted to the airport by veterans and patriotic people on motorcycles. The events on this day changed my life as the Stars project was born.

Being a patriotic and almost retired person, in August 2010, a Germania Hall (Troy, NY) member and Florida snowbird thought I might be interested in a project she and others were doing in Florida. She worked with me on one flag, cutting and placing a Star and note into the little pouch. I am ever grateful for her showing me this project, as it has changed my life. I appreciate that Germania Hall allowed me to hold meetings at their facilities and collect flags as this adventure started. 

As mentioned above, the first Star recipients were the World War II Veterans and guardians that were flying to Washington DC in September 2010. But, when I finished my short speech about the Stars and read the message, I left the podium, and was inundated with many of the motorcycle riders that were there to escort the Veterans to the airport. They wanted a Star, wanted one to give to a friend, thanked me for the service I was doing for our Veterans and current military. One Vietnam Vet was in tears as he hugged me after he received his Star, telling me about what happened to him when he returned from Vietnam. This was one of the first recognitions that he had received for his service. It brought me to tears to see the support and love of our country through the emotion I saw from these Veterans, just by giving them a Star from our flag and saying “Thank You, You are Not Forgotten!” 

The adventure grew from there - support from many veteran, fraternity, community organizations locally. Some of my new friends introduced me to Girl and Boy Scout leaders, Kiwanis leaders and thus Key Club members, service orientated organizations and people wanting to volunteer for a good cause.

When I explained what I was doing and did they have any extra retired flags, Gettysburg Flag Works in East Greenbush, NY was right there to support the project. Cheryl designed the logo and advertised on their website that they were accepting flags for the Stars project and gave me space to process the flags in their back work area. They introduced me to organizations, businesses, the NYS Senate Services and helped get me an interview with Reuters.

On Sunday morning of Memorial Day Weekend 2013, a simple article about Stars for our Troops was released on the internet at 6:08 AM. By Monday night, Stars had received over 1,000 messages from around the world for Stars to be mailed to those serving, veterans, people wanting to be Star Makers, and the “Is this legal?” calls and e-mails.

A couple of local groups had been working with me over the last couple of years, and frantic calls were made as we faced a task no one could have predicted. I had about 3,000 Stars pouched (60 Bags) and ready for distribution and that amount would not have taken care of just the requests to mail to our Veterans. At that time, at least 50 Star Maker kits were needed (2 cantons, 100 pouches, business cards and completed Stars). It was noted in the article and also on the website that 2 bags of 50 Stars each would be mailed to anyone currently serving, and one bag of 50 Stars mailed to any veteran. Included with the Stars would be a Thank You card with your own message to your loved one, and a copy sent to you.

The process is simple, but so much to do to complete all Stars and kits. All cantons are washed because they are donated from across the country and carry pollution and pollen from their areas. Some even come with critters (spiders, stink bugs), cocoons, dirt and mildew. We collected flags, washed the cantons and then started cutting. Notes were printed and cut, pouches and sandwich bags were purchased. A date was set to handle the task as one great big (work) Star party.

Three days after the article was introduced to the world through the internet, packages starting arriving addressed to Stars for our Troops c/o Gettysburg Flag Works.. Flags from across the country were sent with comments and Thank You for what you are doing, stories about the flags, flags that were printed, flags that had very large Stars, but flags from so many people, businesses, organizations, schools, libraries and medical facilities. What an honor to have touched so many and their willingness to participate in this project.

Surprises kept coming as the key group that had been working with me took cantons home to wash, and then cut the Stars out so they were ready to be pouched. They had their neighbors helping to cut. It was an honor to have so many willing to do what needed to be done to get all of the Stars pouched and mailed. We had an assembly line to get the Star Maker kits out. The post office kept seeing me show up with mail and we laughed at the length of the printout for the postage. We were also lucky that only a few recipients did not receive their Stars, but new Stars were mailed immediately due to opened envelopes. 

At the end of the year, “Dear Heloise” commented about a letter I had sent her regarding how to dispose of flags. This appeared three days before Christmas. Was I surprised at the number of people that read that column, as they kept it and flags were mailed from just after Christmas through mid-summer. 

Two weeks ago, instructions for the 14th Eagle Scout Project were sent out. This past week, instructions and a Star Maker Kit were sent to the Boy Scouts of America Troop in Brussels, Belgium. We are now international. A number of relationships have grown from the Stars - a 93 year old WWII veteran in Calif contacts me every couple of months for Stars that he gives to the old timers that served. Recently, various DAR chapters have been signing up, nursing home facilities are signing up, many youth organizations and many veteran organizations are either doing the Stars or mailing the cantons to us. 

This year, we updated and now emphasize First Responders are to be included in Stars for our Troops. They are here every day to help us, and we need to thank them for all that they do. When you see one, stop and thank them for all that they do for us. If you have a Star ready, give it, but saying thank you is so important.

We have had a wonderful adventure over the past five years with so many new friends. We have helped a Navy ship mourn the loss of a pilot, given hope to those injured, a means for people to gather and talk while doing something that means so much, a memento at a funeral of a loved veteran, an Eagle Scout project for a young man with autism that now has his Eagle, something that makes distance shorter between a child and a parent serving overseas and the Stars continue spreading around the world. 

Thank you to all that have participated in creating Stars at Star Parties, donated money for supplies and postage, collected flags, shared Stars and even those that forced me to research the cutting and desecration of the US Flag so I could verify that what was happening was not only proper literally but from our hearts. 

Thank you to the organizations that allowed Stars for our Troops to appear at your events (and continue to participate), learning so much more about our veterans, our military, and so many organizations that are helping our veterans of today as they seek a better life. 

Thank you to the Patriot Guard Riders and the other motorcycle organizations that educated me about protocol at flag lines, motorcycles, and riders. It is wonderful to see you honor someone by placing Stars on your vest, and sharing the Stars with others. 

Thank you to all that couldn’t wait to tell me about what happened when you shared a Star with someone, to the children that waited patiently for the parent to locate a Star so they could give to a soldier in uniform, to the person that shared a Star and paid for the veterans cup of coffee, to the person that vowed they would carry more Stars when they traveled on their bike as they ran out before the end of their trip. 

This is what the United States of America is all about - sharing the love and patriotism in our daily lives with others, without looking for a reward. 

Where will Stars for our Troops be in another 5 years? Join us on the adventure.

We are a group of volunteers that are continuing what was started by a group of ladies in Florida called the Star Project about 2005. See "Star Project Begins"

Old tattered and faded US Flags are retired from service and we pass the legacy of their embroidered Stars to those that defended them. 

We are cutting the fields of blue, known as the canton, from these old flags, then scissor off the embroidered stars.

Into a plastic bag go a star and an explanation:

"I am part of our American flag that has flown over the U.S.A. 
 I can no longer fly. The sun and winds have caused me
  to become tattered and torn. 
Please carry me as a reminder that 
You are not forgotten."  

The embroidered stars need to be no larger than the size of a business or credit card. 

Collectors of flags in the Albany, NY area include: Gettysburg Flag Works, East Greenbush; Saratoga Flag, Gansevoort; your local Kiwanis Club or to Advanced Hearing Aid Centers, Colonie. Remnants of flags are being used to create lap quilts for veterans in nursing homes and hospice, and as flag covers for the backs of motorcycles and those that carry the US flag on a collapsible pole for flag lines. 

Susan E Wells 518-235-1558
PO Box 301
Troy, NY 12182-0301  
For communication only, no packages.