Community Gem: Geri Maples helps military families in need

Community Gem Nominee
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Community Gem Nominee

MIDDLETOWN — Geri Maples of Middletown knows what it’s like to be a military family in need, and that personal experience is what led to her work as director of Blue Star Families of Dayton & Southern Ohio.

Her personal experience played a role in her decision to help others.

“Life has not been easy for my family,” Maples said. “My husband is a wounded veteran, and when he came home, I was alone. No one was there to help me. I don’t want anyone to go through the same thing.”

For her efforts at Blue Star, raising money for those in need, organizing programs for military families and local communities, and for her work as a teacher, caregiver and mother, Maples was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Mindy Schwickerath of Dayton.

“Geri has the biggest heart. She not only helps others but takes care of her veteran husband with injuries. She fights for the voices who need someone to speak for them. She is a woman with words of encouragement and a smile on your darkest days,” Schwickerath said.

Maples said she wants to keep raising awareness for military and local families in need, connect military families to their communities and use her voice to make a difference.

Maples said she was shocked and honored to be nominated as a Community Gem, bringing tears when she was told of the honor. She wants to continue to make an impact in the lives of those around her.