We are all familiar with the experience of going to a local Starbucks store, placing a complicated order such as a grande, quad, non-fat, extra-hot, one-pump, no-whip, mocha and then settling in with free wifi to check our latest Facebook or Instagram posts. Sound familiar?! But what’s a person to do when you are planning a trip out to a remote National Park and you anticipate needing a caffeine boost after a two-mile hike?


Well, if you live near Anchorage, AK and joined Blue Star Families for its recent Blue Star Parks event at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center, you were in luck! While the many military families from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson were out exploring the Chugach National Forest with park rangers Emily and Leslie, back at the center Starbucks Iced Teavana Tea was being prepared. Tired from their adventure along the stroller friendly Trail of Blue Ice where the group watched out for bears and witnessed otters swimming in the pond, our hearty hikers returned and were greeted by Ruby the Red Salmon and a picnic lunch. The icing on the cake was that Starbucks’ employees and military spouses, Emily Sheldon and Sierra Soto , had volunteered their entire day to make the drive to the park and bring along some Starbucks sweetness. These lovely ladies are known by many in the military community and always address every BSF Alaska Book Club member by name when they arrive for their monthly get-togethers at the Starbucks military family store .

While at the park, Blue Star Families was thrilled to thank them in person for their ongoing support that truly goes above and beyond! What amazing Neighbors and partners Blue Star Families has in Emily and Sierra. Now that they have their own America the Beautiful passes , which makes every visit to a National Park free for military families, we hope to run into them on the trails around Anchorage.


Alaska BSF Chapter Director Erica Glass and Social Media Manager Janette Geasley wish to express major gratitude to Chugach National Forest rangers Emily Long and Lezlie Murray for making our event so successful. They also harbor deep gratitude to Starbucks employees Emily and Sierra who go above and beyond to support military families both during work and on their own time. Thank you!