I remember it like it was yesterday. We had just moved to Parris Island, SC. It was the sixth move for our five-year-old, Charley.
I was unpacking our new home on base when suddenly, I realized Charley wasn't in the house. As any parent would, I started to panic. I immediately ran outside, calling his name until I found him walking door to door, introducing himself to his new neighbors by proudly saying, "Hi, we're new here. Do any kids live in this house I can play with?"
On the one hand, I was amused (and relieved!) to see my son's precocious spirit, putting himself out there to make new friends. But, on the other hand, it made me stop to think. The feelings of belonging and inclusion don't always come easily for a family who moves to a new community.
As an organization, it's our mission to create vibrant communities of support. And as parents, I think it's safe to say we have the same priorities. After years of being part of this community, I've learned one of the most important things we can do is help our children find their friends and their "tribe" when we move to a new location.
We enroll them in school or daycare, and sign them up for sports and activities, with the hope that they will meet a friend to lean on. But, no matter what they get involved in, as children expand their network of support, they also build resilience, make connections, and learn new skills that will set them up for success.
As hard as you work to make sure your children and families are happy, you, too, deserve to find your network of support. I encourage you to think like my son when we moved to Parris Island. Create your own moment of welcome, and introduce yourself to someone new. Or if someone recently moved into your neighborhood, make sure to welcome them yourself. Last, if you need a topic to break the ice, invite them to join you at one of our free events!
We're planning exciting activities for this year's Blue Star Welcome Week, which takes place next month! Stay tuned for more information about the events and how you can get involved. Until then, there are plenty of resources and opportunities to help you and your family find your network of support.
Xbox Series S Prize Package
Xbox is on a mission to be a "Connecting Force" for military families. Because of that, they're giving away four Xbox Series S Prize Packages per month now through September! Stay connected through gaming - no matter where the mission takes you.
Join Blue Star Families to celebrate Welcome Week in your community. Enter your family to participate to receive your "Plugging into your Community" kit.
Military families face unique challenges associated with military life. Caregivers shoulder the burdens of caring for loved ones. Caregiving in Military Families, a special report created in collaboration with the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, examines these two circumstances in combination: caregiving and military families.
Race to Support Military Families!
Join us in welcoming military families by participating in a virtual race. The virtual race will take you across the country and across our military. You can run, walk, or volunteer your way around bases and stations across the country. Racers will have an opportunity to join us throughout Welcome Week for celebrity workouts, cooking classes, and other unique opportunities! Email Staci for more details.
Blue Star Museums is back! The complimentary admission program for active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, is open through Labor Day (September 6th). Participating museums are located in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Simply show your DoD ID card for entry.
Blue Star Careers welcomes Intuit as an employer partner. We are thankful for their partnership and support of military spouse employment initiatives. Are you ready for a career? Join the TurboTax Live talent community to hear about remote job roles, events, and more. For additional career resources and support, join our Spouseforce community.
Thank You, Blue Star Partners!
After only a short time as a part of Blue Star Families' team, Charo Bates, Quiana Abner, and Leslie Wightman are already making an impact through their work as DEPLOY Fellows. Thanks to the generous support of Salesforce and USAA, we can't wait to see what Leslie, Charo, and Quiana have in store for us in the near future!
Do you have financial goals for yourself or your family? Making important financial decisions can be challenging, but having goals and working towards them can make a difference. Military aid societies and other support organizations are offering zero-interest loans and grants to those who qualify. Learn more about options for assistance.
Military-connected families have so many responsibilities, from the day-to-day work to figuring out plans for things like PCS moves, activations and deployments, shifting childcare, employment insecurity, and more. In collaboration with our partners at Cohen Veterans Network, we're proud to offer a free course called Tools for Managing Stress & Worry. It may be hard to remove yourself from your daily to-do list, but take some time for yourself and sign up for the course today!
We want to hear from you! We're looking back on the last 20 years and reflecting on the impact 9/11 had on the military community, and how families continue to thrive even in the most trying circumstances. How did your life change? What challenges have you experienced after 20 years of deployments and wartime? How has your family continued to push forward and create success?
Thanks to our partners at Craig Newmark Philanthropies, TriWest, and Philips! Thanks to their generous support, we invite you to celebrate military families with us this month!