National Newsletter  |  Issue #28

April 2024

A Note From Blue Star Families

What Is Your Life’s Purpose?

My father enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1969, and his father was a combat medic in the Pacific during World War II. Like most from the greatest generation, my grandfather never spoke of what he saw while in the service, and neither did my father until later. What they did do, though, was work to instill the values of honor, commitment, and compassion within their families. Around the dinner table growing up, my dad always told us we needed a life’s purpose.

I have volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program for nine years. Having someone to mentor is a gift I cannot fully put into words, but the BBBS program helped me define my life’s purpose. Though I didn’t end up serving in the military myself, I found serving my community and military families is my passion and my purpose.

There is a direct correlation between connectedness and well-being. Those who interact more frequently with close contacts—virtual or in-person—report greater well-being than those who interact less regularly. The Military Family Lifestyle Survey (MFLS) found that three-quarters of active-duty family respondents (76%) reported engaging entirely or mostly virtually when considering their three closest relationships outside of their spouse or children and that most military families are getting their support from people who live far away from them. That’s where The Blue Star Neighborhood comes in!

If you haven’t joined The Neighborhood yet, activate your account today—and yes, we now have an app available on iOS; Android is coming soon! The Blue Star Neighborhood is the largest online community committed to bridging the military-civilian divide by fostering camaraderie, connection, and support for military members, Veterans, and their families. Whether you are looking for career support, travel tips, or have questions about taxes, a community of people is waiting for you there!

What’s better, with April being the Month of the Military Child, we are showing up for our military children. We know it isn’t enough to say that children are the future; we must actively invest in them, nurture their potential, and ensure they have the tools to thrive. This month, we’ll be hosting a live Dungeons and Dragons event for kids ages 10+, the Dr. Yum Project is coming by to show you how to enjoy your time in the kitchen with littles, and we even have a new group coming to The Neighborhood called Better Kids.

Together, let’s be the guiding light for the next generation, empowering them to dream big and showing them that they truly can accomplish anything they set their minds to. And if you’re still looking to figure out your life’s purpose, start a conversation in The Neighborhood; you never know who you might meet.


Ryan Callahan
Executive Vice President, Digital Innovation


The Military Family Lifestyle Survey Is Open Now!

How can Congress, the DOD, or your community make military life better? Let's show them the way! Take the first and largest comprehensive survey for military families today and be an influencer of change.

The Blue Star Neighborhood Just Got a Major Upgrade!

Experience the all-new Blue Star Neighborhood! From improved navigation to enhanced features, we've created an even better space that fosters connection, support, and a thriving community. Come look at what we've done with the place!

San Antonio, Hampton Roads, Ft. Gregg-Adams, and Hill AFB families, we're looking for you!

Blue Star Families wants to know what helps military families - especially diverse military families - feel like they belong in their civilian communities. We've selected four communities across the United States to explore - San Antonio, Texas, Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia, Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Davis County, Utah. We are looking for military, Veteran, and DoD Civilians and their families - especially families of color, and families with LGBTQ family members - in these 4 communities to take a special, localized survey, so we can learn from community members about what has made them feel welcome in their community. It takes just 15 minutes, and you may be eligible to participate in a 1:1 interview with the research team.

Organizations Can Now Apply to become Blue Star Outposts!

Blue Star Outposts are the latest addition to the Do Your Part initiative, led by Blue Star Families with support from Craig Newmark and craig newmark philanthropies. As members of this multi-sector coalition of change-makers, Outpost leaders will have an even greater impact on those who have volunteered to serve and their families. We believe everyone has a role to play in supporting our military families and Veterans. That's why our team at Blue Star Families is dedicated to creating welcoming spaces where all community members can come together and connect. If you’re part of a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that is interested in leading a Blue Star Outpost, you can learn more and apply by clicking the button below.

Snag Your Free Subscription to MasterClass

Whether you're looking to grow personally, professionally, or just want to learn something new, MasterClass has a class for that! Blue Star Families is proud to partner with MasterClass to offer no-cost annual memberships to the entire MasterClass platform for one year (a $180 value). Grab yours and let's get to learning!

Navigating Online Safety With Your MilKids

One of the most common ways cybercriminals can access your personal info is through your #MilKid and their online activity. Learn how to navigate the digital landscape with your kiddos courtesy of @aura-protects, an online security expert.

Stars and Stripes Welcomes You Home — No Matter Where You Go!

No matter where you go, Stars and Stripes is with you. Moving to Europe, the Pacific, or even the National Capital Region can feel overwhelming. Stars and Stripes has you covered with the most up-to-date welcome guides! These publications contain essential information, including local customs and traditions, banking options, house hunting, school choices, valuable contacts, resources, and much more. Welcome home!

Calling all parents of picky eaters!

It's time to say goodbye to mealtime struggles! Join us on Thursday, April 18th, at noon ET / 9 AM PT for a virtual event with our Perks Partner, the Dr. Yum Project. They'll share tips on turning picky eaters into food explorers by getting them in the kitchen with you.

Find Your New Community with Nextdoor

Military families know that moving is hard. Not just the logistics, but getting to know a new community every few years and getting reintegrated is tough. In a partnership with Blue Star Families, Nextdoor's new Military Movers website allows families like yours to effortlessly connect with and explore their new community. Visit the website today and discover a whole new way to embrace your new home!

Month of the Military Child Celebrations Underway

Gain access to exclusive activities, events, and conversations in the Parenting Community during Month of the Military Child in the Blue Star Neighborhood. Remember to look for local Chapter events happening near you, too!

Blue Star Careers Training Center

Our NEW Blue Star Careers Community is a safe digital space for military spouses! With easy access and a 2-way relationship, you get to be an active participant in our digital community network by telling us what you need to be career-ready. In return, we provide you with the resources you need to be successful. Simply log in, review our content, participate, and grow your career.

T-Mobile Bolsters Support for Military Spouse Employment: Meet Trang

Blue Star Families and Hiring Our Heroes have launched the 4+1 Commitment, paving the way for military spouses to find employment with top brands such as T-Mobile. As a part of this Commitment, T-Mobile is leading the charge and setting an example for others to follow. Meet their latest hire, Trang, an active-duty Army spouse.

Wellness Mini-Series

Experience the VSN Wellness Mini-Series, a six-week journey designed to address the unique challenges of being a veteran spouse/partner. Join a supportive community of comrades to share stories, triumphs, and obstacles and build lasting connections.

Thank You For Your Support of Our MFLS Release!

Thank you to the military families that jumped into our Data Deep Dive and helped everyone listening really understand what matters most to you. A special thank you to our friends at IVMF for partnering with us on the research and USAA, Lockheed Martin, Macys, Northrop Grumman, Craig Newmark, and CSX for making this possible!

Be an Ambassador!

Are you interested in volunteering with Blue Star Families? Are you looking for a way to be more involved with your community? Do you have an interest in the data we gather from our annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey? Then you should become a Survey Ambassador! If you are unable to be a Survey Ambassador this year, we invite you to take the survey.

Tell Your Employment Story

How is support from your employer impacting your military spouse story? As part of the ongoing Military Spouse Employment Initiative, we're collecting stories from military spouses and hiring professionals to highlight successes and opportunities for change. If you're interested in telling your story, contact us at [email protected].

CFI 2024 Outlook

In 2024, the Campaign for Inclusion aims to be a collaborative effort across all departments. To learn more about how you can be part of our initiative, subscribe to our You Belong Here newsletter on LinkedIn! With CFI, everyone plays a role in supporting our values of commitment, family, and impact. The CFI Team is dedicated to assisting both current and new team members in fostering a sense of belonging and providing resources for a seamless onboarding process. We are specifically looking for Air Force and Space Force veterans, retirees, or military spouses to join our CFIC leadership team. For more information, please contact CT Moss at [email protected].

Nourish the Service Project with Starbucks

Last month, we partnered with 67 Starbucks stores to host events focused on our Nourish the Service program. Items were collected for local donations and conversations were had around how to better support military families facing food insecurity. Thank you to our partners at Starbucks for helping us highlight this important topic and bring support to our military families!

We'd like to thank the following organizations for supporting Blue Star Families!