A Note From Blue Star Families
We just wrapped up Blue Star Welcome Week 2023 and all I can say is WOW!
When we started Blue Star Welcome Week in 2020, we embarked on a mission to ensure the 600,000 military families who move each year felt welcome in their new communities. What started as a small grassroots campaign to make military families feel seen and supported in their new communities has transformed into a national effort — with national impact.
This year, our Blue Star Families Chapters, volunteers, and partner organizations hosted over 160 community events. We garnered proclamations from over 50 local and state officials honoring the week. Schools and libraries stepped up to the plate in big ways to embrace local military families, and we even got a shoutout from Ian Bohen of Yellowstone!
But welcome doesn’t end with Blue Star Welcome Week — in fact, we’re just getting started! Over the course of the whole year, we’ll continue to build upon this spirit of welcome to encourage communities across the country to do their part and get involved in creating community for military families everywhere they call home. We all have a part to play — from businesses hiring military spouses, to neighbors introducing themselves when they see the moving trucks roll in, to libraries and schools hosting welcoming events for military families as they arrive.
Join us! Whether you’re a military family yourself or a neighbor looking to help — check out our Do Your Part site and sign up to learn more about how to get involved and support our military families everywhere. Our military families are counting on us. Our nation is counting on us. We can’t wait to have you involved!
Associate Director of Community Impact
Government Shutdown: Navigating Uncertainty and Finding Support
The potential for a government shutdown has caused a lot of uncertainty and frustration for many people. Understandably, you may be feeling anxious and worried about how this may affect you and your family in the future. We want you to know that you are not alone, and that we are here to help. At Blue Star Families, we are committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information and resources on this and other policy issues that affect you. Please visit the Policy and Research community in the Blue Star Neighborhood for updates and resources.
Pulse Check Report Release!
You may have heard about the military officer promotion block in Congress that is affecting our military families. Recently, Blue Star Families conducted a Pulse Check and the results have been released! One Active-Duty Field Grade Officer stated, "I didn’t join the Army to become a political tool. It goes against our oath and creates unnecessary drama that makes serving unappealing."
Mark Your Calendar To Enroll For FEDVIP Vision Coverage!
Mark your calendar to enroll in Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Vision supplemental vision coverage from November 13th through 11:59 PM ET December 11th at BENEFEDS.com. Active-duty families are eligible through FEDVIP (Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program). Outside of these Open Season dates, you can enroll if you have a qualifying life event.
75th Anniversary of Military Integration — Billie’s Story
At the 75th Anniversary of Racial Integration celebration at Howard University, we were privileged to hear the stories of those who paved the way for diverse servicemembers to serve equally with distinction. Billie West’s father, Lt. Cmdr Wesley A. Brown, was one of the first to break barriers and make history. His journey and experiences are truly inspiring. To learn more about Lt. Cmdr Wesley A. Brown and his remarkable legacy, tune in to Blue Star Stories and listen to Billie West share her father's story firsthand.
Stars & 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!
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!
Do Your Part: Create Stronger Communities of Support
We are proud to celebrate the kickoff of Do Your Part, a national coalition, led by Blue Star Families with support from Craig Newmark and craig newmark philanthropies. The Do Your Part campaign will encourage national- and community-level responses to do their part in addressing the interlocking issues military families, and our common defense, are now facing. Hear messages from campaign supporters and find out how to get involved.
Unlock the Digital World: Last Call for Blue Star Families Digital Literacy Workshops!
Don't miss out on the Blue Star Families Digital Literacy Workshops, sponsored by AT&T! With only two workshops left, these sessions are open to all who wish to learn more about the digital world. Sign up for the next workshop HERE!
If you can't make it, don't worry — watch the replays!
Watch the Replay of the AARP Partnership Webinar for Military Spouses!
Thanks to our partnership with AARP, Blue Star Families facilitated a webinar called "Open the Door: Skill Up and Go Digital" for military spouses. During the webinar, participants gained valuable insights on free career courses and discussed effective strategies for securing their desired job opportunities. Missed it? No problem!
Closing the Loop: An Employer's Guide to Hiring and Retaining Military Spouses
Is your organization ready to take a bold step toward hiring stronger, more diverse, and highly resilient talent? If so, please join us at Closing the Loop: An Employer's Guide to Hiring and Retaining Military Spouses on October 11th, 2023, at 3PM ET.
Veteran Spouse Network Offering Resiliency Group Leader Training!
The virtual Veteran Spouse Resiliency Group (V-SRG) Leader Training consists of a combination of self-paced pre-work course hours (approximately 10 hours) that are to be completed virtually prior to the live training dates, as well as two eight-hour live training days that are conducted via Zoom. Leaders must be able to attend at least 70% of the live training time, as well as complete the required self-paced pre-work in order to complete their certification. To apply to become a V-SRG leader, complete the VSN Leader Application.
Have a Front Row Seat to Our Research Efforts: Apply to Be a Research Ambassador!
Do you want to help make sure that our research are reflective of your family's needs AND to help to spread the word about our research efforts? The Applied Research team is looking for service members and spouses (Junior and Mid-Enlisted — we're looking at you!) to join us as volunteer Research Ambassadors. Questions? Contact: Karly Howell, Associate Director of Research. Ready to Apply?
Thank You for Joining Us for Blue Star Welcome Week!
Thank you to all the families, volunteers, and partners who helped make Blue Star Welcome Week 2023 a week to remember! Together, we hosted over 160 events in communities across the country — and even overseas — to ensure military families feel welcome no matter where the mission takes them. Thanks to everyone who joined us this year — we can't wait to see you again, soon!
Thank You to Our Blue Star Welcome Week Partners
During Blue Star Welcome Week and beyond, everyone receives a little something, thanks to our fantastic Blue Star Partners, who've crafted these exclusive deals and discounts to welcome you to the neighborhood, no matter where the military takes you.
DEPLOY Fellowship Cohort 3
We are thrilled to announce that the DEPLOY Fellowship Cohort 3 started on September 18th, 2023. This year we have six fellows and each of them have a focus area: Food Insecurity; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Financial Wellness; Outdoors; Family Retention, and The Sheila and George Casey National Capital Region Chapter. We are proud and honored to have these fine fellows on board and work with us to shape the future success of this program. We look forward to watching them integrate their experience with our mission.
White House Ornaments On Sale NOW!
Looking for a unique ornament to add to your holiday tree this year? Why not consider this beautiful ornament from the White House Historical Society? Every purchase contributes to the preservation of White House history and supports educational programs. As an added bonus, this year, proceeds from each ornament sold will also benefit Blue Star Families through our special link. Don't miss out — order yours today using the password: Bluestarfamilies23!