Local Leaders Provide an Important Message of Welcome

Published: October 1, 2021

Local Leaders Provide an Important Message of Welcome

As we wrap up an incredible week of welcoming military and Veteran families into their community, it’s important to remember the “why” behind Blue Star Welcome Week. When you think about the sacrifices military-connected members make, your first thought might be of those on the frontlines―service members deployed overseas to defend and protect the freedoms we all enjoy. What most Americans don’t understand is that families are serving and sacrificing alongside their service members. 

The reality is the uncertainty of military life can be overwhelming from moving every two to three years, to deployments and extended separations, and being away from family and friends. It can all feel really isolating. In fact, according to the 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, only one in four (27%) active-duty family respondents feel a sense of belonging to their local civilian community. Changing the narrative, ensuring all military and Veteran families feel at home, starts at the top. So that’s exactly where we began. We contacted your elected officials to gain their support via proclamations.

What is a proclamation? 

A proclamation is both a statement of welcome and a commitment to support transitioning military families. It’s a recognition of the unique challenges faced by members of the armed forces and their loved ones. It’s a message to the military-connected families in their community that elected officials understand the responsibility to integrate these families into their new communities, and it’s one shared by all levels of government—from city councils to the DoD and statehouses to Congress.

Who signed a proclamation of support this year?

We’ve had an overwhelming response from elected officials. We started with the locations where we currently have a physical Blue Star Chapter, and we received a proclamation in every location! The efforts don’t stop there. We received support from the Conference of Mayors, video messages from several senators, and a senate resolution has been drafted and is awaiting a vote. While this list continues to grow, it currently includes:  

The U.S. Conference of Mayors

Governor Larry Hogan 

Governor J.B. Pritzker 

Governor Mike Parson 

Governor Ron DeSantis 

Governor Mike DeWine 

Governor Ralph Northam 

Governor Spencer Cox 

Governor Bill Lee 

Mayor Bill de Blasio 

Mayor Muriel Bowser 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot 

Mayor Nan Whaley 

Mayor Todd Gloria 

Mayor Joe Pitts 

Mayor Rick Kriseman 

Mayor Jane Castor

Mayor Esther Sanchez

Mayor Lenny Curry

Assemblymember Tasha Horvath

State Rep Angie Nixon

State Rep Bill Hardwick 

 

Why does it matter?

“I started Blue Star Families over 10 years ago to give military and Veteran families a voice,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, Founder and CEO of Blue Star Families. “Our ability to have those voices be heard is very much dependent on the support from local elected officials. By making them aware of the unique challenges military and Veteran families face, the struggles that come with moving so frequently, and what their recognition and support of initiatives meant to lessen those burdens is such an impactful way to help us create change. We are so grateful to those leaders who supported Blue Star Welcome Week this year, and we’re counting on you to help us express our appreciation and encourage their continued support. We are excited to build a brighter future together.”

 

So what now?

Don’t see a name from your area? Rest assured, this is only the beginning. As our reach and impact grow, so will the list. You can help us get there. Contact Blue Star Families for information on how you can reach out to your elected officials to garner their support. 

See your elected official(s) on the list? Send them a note of thanks. Let them know what it means to you and your family. Your feedback is important to ensure their support for years to come. 

Not sure who your elected officials are or how to contact them? Learn more.