Ginny and Bart

Bart’s Blue Star Foundation, Inc., a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation formally known as the Lt. Robert Fletcher Memorial Foundation, Inc., was formed in honor and from inspiration of a tragic event in the lives of Jack and Ginny Luther. On Sept. 8, 2008, their 24-year-old son, 1st Lt. Robert B. Fletcher (who went by Bart), was tragically murdered in the line of duty in Ft. Hood, Texas. On that day, Bart was the victim of a soldier who snapped, killing both Bart and himself.
 
While the Jensen Beach, Florida couple struggled with grief for years, they recognized the tragedy started with the killer’s inability to cope with his emotions and succumbed to violence. As a boy, Bart himself was difficult to discipline; as a result, Ginny Luther pursued a career over the years empowered both son and parents to consciously discipline themselves.
 
The Luthers realized one way to stop future tragedies to occur is to help children learn to manage their emotional challenges to transform aggressive, scared boys and girls into powerful leaders like their son. No salaries are paid from the foundation.

 

Blue StarThe Story of the Blue Star

Blue Stars have always been a meaningful part of the Luther family, but now Blue Stars are a symbol of healing hearts for many families throughout the nation.
 
Ginny Luther first used the symbol as a memento of the Conscious Discipline teachings utilized in the foundation’s programs: S= smile or stop, T= take a deep breath, A= and, R= relax. When a crisis comes upon us, children and adults are encouraged to make the best decision and solve the immediate problem with this acronym.
 
Before Bart left for war, she gave him a small Blue Star as a memento of home and this teaching. She told him to remember her if he ever lost courage, because she was there, through the star, to support him. He carried it in his uniform until this final day, and the special Blue Star was eventually returned to her.

The blue star became even more important after the tragedy. The Luthers, invited as special guests to a Memorial Day service, were broken hearted when they discovered that in a mock cemetery of fallen soldiers, their son was not included. Jack Luther later spoke with Col. Werierman (s.e. military school) who created the mock cemetery. Bart, killed by one of his own was not eligible to receive a purple heart and the cemetery was created from records of those with purple hearts. During the conversation, Jack told the col. the blue star story. Col. Werierman was very moved. Some time later after much thought and a lot of effort Col. Werierman and some politicians sought a remedy for their pain.

A couple of months later, they received a phone call from their local news. The reporter asked for a comment on the "Blue Star Medal Of Valor".They then discovered that a medal had now been created to honor those solders that had been killed while in service in non combat situations. Bart was to be the first to receive this medal as many more have followed. The Luthers were assured that their son would not be forgotten in future memorial services. Many other families have received the medal. 

Today, Ginny still gives out Blue Stars to some participants of the Bart’s Blue Star programs to remind them of the support and love they have from her and the community around them. This special symbol shows that together, we can heal old wounds, strengthen our hearts and make a difference in our agencies, communities and country.