National Newsletter  |  Issue #16

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Happy summer! I hope you all had fun with our month of giveaways for Spouse Appreciation last month—and look out for more.

Now it’s time to do your military/Veteran family civic duty and take the #BSFSurvey. I get it! It’s long! It matters because it tells all kinds of people about your life, and if we don’t do it, folks won’t know. Here’s a fun fact—we know that taking the survey for many is the LEAST fun/popular part of BSF. BUT it is necessary for us to make change.

I’ve asked Dr. Jessica Strong, our Senior Director of Applied Research to share why this matters...

Remember your voice matters. Take our annual survey!


Hello, members of Blue Star Families—Jess Strong here, Senior Director of Applied Research! Whether you’re new to military life or a seasoned spouse, you might know that June is the height of PCS season—a time full of change. Local neighbors reading this: not sure what that means? I can assure you that it was a new concept for all of us at some point! A permanent change of station, or PCS, is when military families pack up their lives and move with their service members to a new location, wherever duty calls. 

As an Army spouse, I am deeply familiar with the many effects of a PCS on families. Specifically for my career, one of my family’s PCSes resulted in my resignation from what I thought was my dream job—that I had worked long and hard to attain. It was hard to take a step down and face months of unemployment, but  I eventually started volunteering with Blue Star Families at our new duty station. The timing was just right, and I found a role on the Applied Research team and have been hard at work at my new dream job ever since.

The passion for positive change is strong at Blue Star Families. We've made lots of progress, but there's still much to do. Our annual survey provides a comprehensive view of the experiences and challenges military and Veteran families face, and better yet, elevates those experiences and challenges to make positive change for military families. 

Blue Star Families’ research brings about significant change for our military-connected community. Tangible results include the Department of Defense directing military leaders to allow time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This survey also helped build the case for making military spouses a protected class in the Commonwealth of Virginia and identified the need and gathered support for a new national governmental study exploring employer discrimination toward military spouses. To amplify your concerns, we need to hear your story!

Blue Star Families’ top priority is strengthening military and Veteran families. You’ll find volunteer opportunities in communities across the country as well as a vibrant, virtual Blue Star Families community that provides resources and support for all. 

The real strength of what we do is bringing people together.

Each service member, Veteran, and family member has unique experiences to share. Your voice matters, and we urge you to share it with us! If you’re reading this, please, take the time this summer season to share your voice!

- Jessica

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Score a Welcome Gift

We want to celebrate your moves during the countdown to Blue Star Welcome Week. Here’s your chance to win a custom bundle of hand-painted duty station art pieces, valued at $100, from Spouse.ly. Entries are accepted during June!

Survey Time Is Now

The 2022 Military Family Lifestyle Survey is open until July 10th. Tell us about YOUR successes and challenges today.

Interested in the 2021 results? Visit our Research page to see what we found.

Visit a Blue Star Museum Today

Blue Star Museums is Back for 2022! The complimentary admission program for active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, is available now and ends on Labor Day (Sept 5). Participating museums are located in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Just show your DoD ID card for entry.

Blue Star Summer Is Here

We have outdoor-focused fun for the entire family with at-home STEM activities, museum visits, park adventures, nature bingo, giveaway opportunities, and even virtual meetups every Wednesday from June 8th - August 3rd. Learn more about #BlueStarSummer and register to participate today!

Let’s Play Nature Bingo

Calling all military families and civilians neighbors! Join BSF for a game of nature bingo that's sure to bring your loved ones together while encouraging that's sure to bring your loved ones together while encouraging the outdoors this season — no matter if you're PCSing, going on vacation, or staying put. Want to be entered for the chance to win one of three family prize packs? Check out our website for all the details!

Get Outside With Tinkergarten

Join our friends at Tinkergarten for their first-ever Summer Celebration event! It is free and open to all. Tinkergarten invites families to get outside for delightful kid-friendly activities (like making nature crowns!) and a chance to connect to nature and their community. Summer Celebrations will take place nationwide between June 15-21! Find a local event here or access the free DIY guide full of outdoor play inspirations to celebrate the summer season at home!

Thank You, Starbucks!

A huge thanks to our volunteers and partners at Starbucks for hosting Military Spouse Appreciation events across the country last month! Spouses were so grateful and appreciate your help in spreading some cheer.

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¿Hablas Español?

We’re proud to announce Verano Bilingue Summer 2022 with Spouseforce, powered by Blue Star Careers! Bilingual/Latinx/Hispanic military spouses are invited to join us for professional development and career opportunities.

Maintain a Competitive Edge in Your Career

Join Spouseforce Learning Hubs via Coursera! After registering, you'll receive instructions to activate your complimentary enrollment. This is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay! Sign up now to choose from Google Project Management Certification, Intuit Bookkeeping Certification, Facebook Social Media Management, TESOL Certificate from ASU, and more.

Operation Family Resilience

We've teamed up with Humana Military, Team RWB, and Military Family Advisory Network for Operation Family Resilience. This initiative supports the health and well-being of military families and Veterans.

Members get these exclusive freebies...

Financial Resources

JPMorgan Chase is here to help you on your financial journey. Visit our Financial Resource List created specifically with the military community in mind. Special thanks to our JPMorgan Chase Fellow, Brittney Aladetohun, for providing these resources for the Blue Star Families community!

Congratulations, 2021 DEPLOY Fellows

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On May 12th, the inaugural class of DEPLOY Fellows graduated at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. The event’s guest speakers were The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, and Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force. We wish all fellows well as they step forward into the future! 

A special thank you to our sponsors who generously support Blue Star Families’ Campaign for Inclusion: USAA, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Macy's, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, CSX, Lockheed Martin, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Salesforce.org, Starbucks, Comcast, Amazon, BAE Systems, Ford, REI Co-op, CVS Health, Optum Serve, Cerner, AARP, Leidos, and IntelliDyne.

Thank You, Blue Star Partners!

We’re so grateful for our corporate partners’ support in helping strengthen military families and build stronger, more connected communities. USAA continues to support the Blue Star Families' annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey. Craig Newmark Philanthropies and Amazon aid our efforts in combating food insecurities among military and Veteran families. Delta Dental assists military spouses through their support of Blue Star Careers. Vista Outdoors Foundation gets military and Veteran families outside with their outstanding support for our Blue Star Outdoors program.

Thanks to the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Blue Star Families is innovating our members’ digital experience. Stay tuned for exciting changes! Our DEPLOY Fellowship program remains successful because of the outstanding support from our partners. Simply put, if it weren’t for dedicated supporters like you, Blue Star Families wouldn’t be what it is today.

Together, we are making a difference in the lives of many!

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