National Newsletter  |  Issue #4

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I'd just landed my dream job! And then we got orders to move.

You know the feeling, right? 

Moving with the military can be great for adventure and new experiences. But when a move comes with short notice or leads to an unexpected place, it can be hard to set yourself up for success. For me, nine moves in 16 years meant I didn’t work for pay a lotdespite my degrees, and despite wanting to help earn income for my family. I know this is still an issue for far too many military spouses today.

How so? Military families continue to movea lot. In fact, roughly 600,000 of us move every year. That means military spouses are forced to frequently find new employment. Dual income is not a luxury for most families these days; it's a necessity. And military families are no different in that regard. Amid all my moves, I knew my struggles weren’t unique and there had to be a better way. 

That's why over the years, we've made careers a significant focus area for Blue Star Families. Our Blue Star Careers program matches service member spouses to employers with job opportunities that fit the real definition of a military spouse-friendly career. Since 2016, we've infused $70 million into local communities and helped more than 10k spouses connect to career resources; direct job placement, employment resources, and training and certifications. 

Much good ensues when employers commit to working alongside service member spouses, and we're committed to finding those partners and getting you hired

Moving, however, does more than impact our careers; it creates stress in all aspects of life, jeopardizing our service member’s readiness and our military family as a whole. 

While we can’t eliminate the stress, we can bring comfort amidst the chaos via our complimentary events, programs, and resources alongside Blue Star Partners like Lauren, an Army spouse and Certified Professional Organizer. Last winter, she taught us her best tip for staying organized before, during, and after a PCS. In case you missed it, check out her PCS Prep Kit tutorial, and prepare to have your mind blown.  

Whether you're moving with the military this summer or not, we aim to be your go-to place to connect, find support, and build enduring relationships. Explore all the ways we're able to support your well-being this summer below!

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GIVEAWAYS

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🔥 Hot Item 🔥 Xbox Series S Prize Package

It's PCS season, and Xbox is on a mission to be a “Connecting Force” for military families, so you're only a click away when moves happen. Enter your MilFam here for a chance to win an Xbox Series S Prize Package to stay connected to friends and family! 

RESEARCH

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Want to see how the #BSFSurvey is making a difference -- right now? Jessica Strong, our Co-Director of Applied Research, testified on May 25th with data from the Military Family Lifestyle Survey, before the Military Personnel Subcommittee on the House Committee on Armed Services at a hearing on Domestic Violence. Don't you want your story, and your friends' stories, included? Take the #BSFSurvey today, and share it with your #milfam friends so their stories are heard too!

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Our research already tells us that military life is different for families of color and multiracial families, and we're just scratching the surface.

On June 28th, we’re launching what we intend to be the largest and most comprehensive study of military and veteran families of color... and WE NEED YOU to help us. Sign up by June 11th to be a Survey Ambassador, and contribute to this important work. 

EVENTS

Capital Fourth Concert

In 2021, America’s Independence Day celebration, A Capitol Fourth, will mark 41 years on the air. The show is broadcast to millions of viewers on PBS and streaming platforms as well as to our troops watching around the world on the American Forces Network. Find more information here.

PROGRAMS

Below, you’ll discover the many great things we have planned to help you enjoy another action-packed Blue Star Summer.

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Blue Star Summer Camp returns this month for three weeks, and you don't want to miss it! The kids are sure to stay busy and engaged with fun-filled virtual field trips to museums and parks. 

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Keep your amazing #BlueStarSummer fun moving right along with Blue Star Bingo! Grab some friends and see whose summer experiences land them a bingo. 

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Our Outdoor Explorers for All (OEA) Club is headed to Great Basin National Park in July! Have you ever thought about the importance of the night sky? Many animals, plants, and even people need darkness. If you’re intrigued about these things, you’ll want to join us for this stellar event!

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Join Blue Star Families as a Museum Ambassador for summer 2021. Help us personally thank our generous Blue Star Museums partners.

CAREERS

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Thank you for your support, Salesforce and USAA! Because of your generous gift, we were able to hire Charo Bates, Applied Research & Social Impact DEPLOY Fellow, and Quiana Abner, National Chapter DEPLOY Fellow. We are so excited to have these ladies as a part of our team, and we look forward to seeing the positive impacts they make on the military-connected community. Welcome, Charo and Quiana!

Resources

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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.

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Want to stay in-the-know on the discounts available to you as a veteran, active-duty service member, or military-connected family member?  Check out this list from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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inTransition: Open to All Service Members and Veterans

inTransition provides free, confidential, one-on-one coaching for service members and veterans who need support in accessing mental health care during a transition, such as returning from deployment, transitioning from active duty to reserves, preparing to leave the service, or any other time a service member or veteran wants to engage in mental health treatment. Learn more.

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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.

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During the lockdown, you may have been concerned about keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy. You may have worried about your financial health, too. 

The Way Forward is a new financial education program designed to help you navigate future financial challenges with confidence. Attend the seminar titled Budgeting & Building an Emergency Fund on June 15th to learn how to create a spending plan, deal with debt, and more!

MEMBER PERKS

NEWSWORTHY NOTES

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COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign

Together with our Blue Star Partners, we're arming our military community–service members, families, veterans, leaders, organizations, and supporters–with information to make informed decisions about the vaccine. We're doing this by removing barriers and improving access to the information needed to protect everyone against the virus.

Partner Spotlight

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