National Day of the Deployed 2023

The Central Valley Blue Star Moms will be at both Tac OPS Brewing locations on Thursday, Sept. 12. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAC OPS BREWING

October 26, 2023 – National Day of the Deployed takes place on October 26th. It was first observed in 2006 in North Dakota, but every state has started observing it since 2012.

It’s a day to honor our country’s deployed service members as well as the sacrifices of their families.

“Any time anyone deploys—from a Moms perspective—we see our 2 year old in a helmet and combat gear, whereas everyone else sees an adult. It’s really hard on us,” said Central Valley Blue Star Moms President, Lisa Bailey.

This is especially relevant due to recent news from the Pentagon stating that they are having about 2,000 troops prepare-to-deploy in support of Israel. The troops have not yet been deployed, and if they are deployed, it has not been stated that they are meant to serve in combat roles. 

As of last year, there were over 150,000 active-duty personnel stationed outside of the United States. Most of those deployments are not active combat deployments.

As of June of this year, the Department of Defense (DoD) reported that we have over 30,000 troops in the Middle East, stating that “the United States’ commitment to the Middle East hasn’t changed.”

Currently, about 2,500 of our deployed are in Iraq and approximately 900 in eastern Syria. 

Just within the last week, there have been multiple drone and missile strikes at bases in Iraq that host U.S. forces and personnel. A drone hit in Syria was also reported.

In the second week of October, USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (CSG) arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in a show of support for Israel.

As of last week, the DOD said that they had deployed the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG to join the USS Gerald R. Ford CSG in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Both Carrier Strike Groups consist of thousands of military service members.

Commander of the U.S. Central Command, General Michael “Erik” Kurilla said, “The arrival of these highly capable forces to the region is a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to take advantage of this situation.”

Ways to support our deployed service members in recognition of National Day of the Deployed include reaching out to your local veterans organizations, volunteering, and donating.

As the nation spends a day recognizing our deployed, know that Clovis is also working to take care of our own deployed. 

Central Valley Blue Star Moms are collecting for their package drive. They send packages to the deployed for the holidays and they need the community’s help with this. They are collecting non-perishable goods through Nov 18. One of the drop off locations is Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

The non-perishable goods they need include: 

  • Tuna or Chicken Creations/Lunch Kits (packages with condiments/crackers)
  • Tuna/Chicken Pouches/Pop Tops
  • Microwavable Meals (that do not require refrigeration)
  • Beef Jerky/Trail Mix/Nuts
  • Small Packs of Pringles/Cookies
  • Protein Bars
  • Individual Powdered Drink Mixes (for water bottles)
  • Tea Bags, Sugar, Creamer Packs
  • Breath Mints
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Candy (tootsie rolls, dots, gummy bears, jellybeans, jolly ranchers, no chocolate)
  • Gum (caffeine gum is a huge hit)
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Red/Black Licorice
  • Fruit snacks/fruit roll ups/gushers (no canned items like fruit cups)
  • Crossword Puzzles/Word Search Games
  • Black Pens
  • Music CDs
  • Small Nerf Balls or Footballs
  • Frisbees, Yo-Yo’s
  • Card Games (Uno, Skip Bo, etc)
  • Velcro Dart Games
  • Tennis Ball, Hacky Sacks
  • Chap Stick/Wet Wipes/Sunscreen Lotion
  • Black or white cotton socks

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.