Gold Star Mothers open Charleston office

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Gold Star Mothers held an open house Tuesday for its new office in Charleston.

The organization, which unites women who have lost children serving in the military, now has a location at the building of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building in Charleston.

The group has 16 official members.

“We cry, sometimes we laugh. It depends on what the story is,” said Emma Johnson, the chapter’s sergeant-at-arms. “We just want to have a place where we know we can come to and just sit and talk.”

Johnson did not lose a son in combat, but rather her grandson she raised; Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Crumpler died in 2005 while serving in Iraq.

“He was only in there a year-and-a-half when he got killed,” Johnson said.

“His dream was to retire from the Marines, and he wanted to open a martial arts studio. He was a blue belt in martial arts when he went into the Marines.”

Johnson said they hope the permanent location will allow for better activity by the organization; previous meetings were held over meals at various restaurants and similar establishments.