NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodBakersfield


Blue star moms get down and dirty to honor their sons

Mothers part of the Kern River blue star moms participated in a Mud Run to raise more awareness to suicide prevention in veterans and active duty personnel also struggling with mental heath issues
Posted at 10:05 AM, Apr 29, 2024

Band of Mudders work to spread the message of mental health and suicide prevention in veterans by tackling multiple obstacles.

  • A group of blue star moms are showing their support for their sons and bringing awareness to mental health issues By racing through some treacherous roads.
  • Their group, Band of Mudders, didn’t participate solely to burn calories, but to raise awareness for military personnel struggling with mental health issues and suicide prevention.

They call themselves the band of Mudders. Kern County moms are banning together for suicide prevention and mental health awareness for veterans

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday morning near the Kern County Raceway to participate in a mud run. With some people running for fun, others ran for a purpose.

The Band of Mudders is a group compiled of veterans, and mothers of military personnel. Running through muddy roads and obstacle courses with the message “banned together for suicide prevention and mental health awareness” on the back of their shirts.

“72% high rate of veterans commit suicide. So, it is a real problem that is out there so we just want to band together to make an awareness,” said mother Rosemary Perez.

Perez ran with the Band of Mudders, honoring with her son whose currently in active duty. Hoping that people see the message on her shirt and ask her about it to strike a conversation about awareness.

Veteran and organizer of the Band of Mudders, Chad Garcia says he’s lost many loved ones he’s served with in the past due to suicide and is hoping to spread the message of unity.

“It’s something that I live everyday to raise awareness for because as I talk right now, somebody is fighting through something,” said Garcia. “So, we’re here to say ‘hey you’re not alone, and we’re going to go run right now to get money for you and for everybody else that is going through something’.”

Aside from running for mental health awareness, runner Elena Estrella says they’re also running to encourage others to purchase a Hometown Hero Banner.

A decorative display for the city to see including a military personnel’s photo, their name and branch — something that Estrella has done for her son in the past.

“When we got there and we did the ceremony, and they put my son up - I seen him — oh my god I’m getting so emotional, but it was amazing,” said Estrella.

Estrella says military personnel do so much to protect our safety, and feels like putting up a banner for her son and others is the least she can do.

“What a way to honor them, it’s just putting a banner up there. You know, so when people drive by, and see that they say ‘wow they’re out there for us’,” said Estrella.

The deadline to send in hometown hero banner applications is may 3rd — with limited spots left, click here for more information. To reach out to the Kern River Blue Star Moms,click here.

Stay in Touch with Us Anytime, Anywhere: