YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers woman has dropped her bid to become a Gold Star Mother. Ligaya Lagman (search) was denied acceptance by the organization of mothers who have lost sons and daughter in combat because she is not a U.S. citizen.
Bob Foster of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (search) in Eastchester tells the Journal News that Lagman is shaken up by all the attention she has gotten and she wants to stay on the sidelines. But she wants to see the rules changed so other mothers are not turned down like she was.
Lagman came to the United States from the Philippines in 1983. She is a permanent resident but not a citizen. Foster says she is busy caring for her husband, who is seriously ill. Lagman's son, Anthony, was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan last year at age 26.
Veterans and politicians, among others, called for American Gold Star Mothers (search) to change its policy to allow noncitizen mothers of fallen soldiers into the organization, after reports that Lagman had been excluded from the group.
The Gold Star's national monument is being built in Putnam County.