National Newsletter  |  Issue #3

April 2021 National Newsletter header image

One year, my daughter begged me every day to switch schools. We'd moved with the military to a place where she wasn't thriving, and I felt worried.

It was one of the most challenging times of my life. I spent countless hours researching better opportunities. Eventually, we switched her to a private school while supplementing with an online math class to ensure cohesiveness through the inevitable PCSes. When she entered the 10th grade, she finally began to experience some semblance of normalcy in her education, which was marked by nine moves across three continents, four countries, five states, and 10 schools.

Luckily, she's a thriving young adult today. But back then, I had few places to turn, and I was frustrated. It's one of the reasons why I was so passionate about starting Blue Star Families. I wanted to give people like me a place to unite through our unique situations, and advocate for our families and our community, which is exactly what we continue to do today. Take our annual survey, for example. It allows us to ask, listen, and learn from military-connected individuals like you. Then, we take the info you share and act on your behalf.

It's been 12 years since Blue Star Families came to life, and we've made a lot of progress in that timespan – especially for our military kids (and their parents). However, there's still a lot to do, and we need your help. To amplify your concerns, we need to hear your story. We'll be fielding our 2021 survey starting on April 27th, and your participation will be essential.

Speaking of stories, over on Instagram, we're celebrating Month of the Military Child by highlighting awesome #BlueStarKids who've grown up to do BIG things within the military community and beyond. And guess what? We’re also giving away four Xbox Series S consoles. Enter your MilKid for a chance to win here. Elmo is joining in the fun too with this special message for #MilKids!

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Yes, we're all about the kids this month, but we still have a wide variety of events, programs, and resources for you. It’s my hope that you'll find something to help you and your family thrive here.

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Blue Star Families and Xbox Operation Xbox Sweepstakes The Connecting Force graphic

Xbox Series S console
+ Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox is on a mission to be a Connecting Force for MilKids, so friends and family are only a click away when moves or deployments happen. Enter our "Get One, Give One" sweepstakes today!


Blue Star Families Outdoor Explorers For All program graphic image

On May 1st, join Blue Star Families and staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a virtual outdoor adventure! You’ll travel from Ventura Harbor in California across the Santa Barbara Channel in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, to Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands.

COVID-19 Vaccine Florida Leah photo

Because our military's mission readiness is negatively impacted when our service members are under threat from COVID-19, we've launched a national "Team Up Against COVID-19" campaign to help protect our communities against the virus.

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Virtual Blue Star Summer Camp - the Home Edition is back for 2021!

Blue Star Summer Camp is back this July with action-packed weeks of fun and learning! We’ll walk through rainforests, set our sights on sharks, experience a deep sea dive, and come face-to-face with sea monsters during virtual trips to museums and national parks. An added bonus for joining us? The Blue Star Summer Camp Fun Box! Details to register will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

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We're looking forward to an exciting Month of the Military Child coming up in April! Keep an eye out for information on everything we have planned for your #MilKids in future emails and on our Blue Star Families Facebook page, or your Chapter Facebook page if you’re part of one.



Did you miss this dynamic two-day event? Check out our website for the insight you need! And a big thank you to our top presenting sponsor, USAA, for supporting our work and making this event possible. And a special thank you to all of our sponsors for supporting this event: Lockheed Martin, AARP, CSX, Hunt Companies, BAE Systems, Comcast, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Walmart Foundation, The Barry Robinson Center, and The Boeing Company.


Blue Star Families April Pulse Check graphic image

Did you join us for our recent Vaccine Town Halls? They were so informative, and full of lots of great information about the COVID-19 vaccine. We also know that military families may be experiencing challenges accessing the COVID-19 vaccine. We want to help you! Decision makers, like the DoD and VA, need to hear from military families to better understand how to address issues. Will you spend a few minutes to let us know about your experiences trying to get access to the COVID-19 vaccine?

As an added bonus, after completing the poll you will have the opportunity to enter to receive one of 20 $50 gift cards! Click here to take the April Pulse Check and share your thoughts.


Annual Military Lifestyle Survey (aMFLS) logo

It's time for Blue Star Families' 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, and we need your help to spread the word.


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Thank you for your support, USAA, Starbucks, and JPMorgan Chase! Because of your generous gift, we can now hire a full-time DEPLOY Fellow. This exciting opportunity will allow us to identify a young leader within our community who will help to serve Blue Star Families' mission to train a new cohort of racially diverse leaders in the MSO/VSO space. We look forward to finding our DEPLOY Fellow!


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If your family is experiencing financial stress due to the pandemic, you’re not alone.

The good news is, as a military family or retired service member, you may be eligible for financial support, including zero-interest loans and grants.

ADC Live graphic image

Introducing ADC Live, a biweekly news show brought to you by The Association of Defense Communities (ADC). Broadcasting live from Washington, D.C., each episode features breaking news, live interviews with top leaders in DoD and Congress, and topic-focused content from around the country. Learn more and watch the episodes on April 8th and April 21st at 3 PM ET!

Cohen Veterans Network Tools for Stress & Worry graphic image

Stress can show itself in different ways for each of us. Cohen Veterans Network is committed to helping you discover new strategies to manage stress in your life.

Rally Point

Are you a service member, veteran, family member, caregiver, survivor, or a supporter of those in uniform? RallyPoint is the premiere digital platform that brings the military community together. It also provides tools to succeed along your entire journey, from recruit through retirement and beyond. Join RallyPoint’s 1.8 million members!


Blue Star Families and Spiritune graphic image

Have you checked out this #BlueStarPerk? The Spiritune app designs, creates, and delivers scientifically-informed music solutions to help manage your emotional health using the principles of music therapy. It's free for Blue Star Families members to use.


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Over the next few months, Blue Star Families and CSX will be celebrating the rock stars helping us build strong, supportive communities for our military members and their families.

Partner Spotlight

We’d like to thank the following sponsors for their support of Blue Star Families!