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Weekly Round-Up for August 25, 2009

blue-star-family-logo3Weekly News Round-Up

All the Latest in Everything Blue Star Families

Welcome!  We’ve had another busy week with our new Military Families Voter Registration survey, ideas for helping kids during deployments and involvement in some powerful articles.  Read all about it, and many other cool things happening in the BSF world below.

We are working hard on the creation of our new Blue Star Families website and online community which will be launching very soon!  Check out below how YOU can help make connecting together even easier and more exciting.

Remember, if you want BSF info and links to articles and events more than once a week, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our Blue Star Families Blog.

Blue Star FamiliesIf you received our Weekly News Round-Up from a friend or co-worker, please join us today.  Blue Star Families is an exciting new way for military family members from all ranks and services (and our supporters!) to Connect, Support, and Empower one another.  Just go to the JOIN US page on our site www.BlueStarFam.org.

There’s a lot of excitement about Blue Star Families and the best way to make sure you are in the middle of it all is to join your local chapter.  Just shoot Vivian a note at members@bluestarfam.org, and she’ll get you connected.

Enjoy! Heidi & the Blue Star Families Team

Frustrated by Having to Register to VOTE Every Time You Move?  Tell Us All About It!

Blue Star Families wants to identify the special challenges that military members and their families face when struggling to vote and fully participate in our government. Help us by completing the BSF Voter Registration survey. We are interested in knowing:

  • How often you have had to register to vote?
  • What kinds of problems you have had voting – either in person or via absentee?
  • Why aren’t you registered to vote?

We want to share our military family stories with key policy makers and we need your assistance. It will take fewer than 10 minutes for you to complete the online survey TODAY!

Have a Deployed Daddy or Mommy?  Try This!

Our Director of Membership Vivian Greentree recently tried something novel to help her young son cope with missing his deployed daddy so much.  They created a “Daddy On A Stick” by grabbing a picture of her husband, enlarging and laminating it, and taping it on what would otherwise be known as a barbecue skewer.  Her son takes it everywhere and they are amassing quite a collection of pictures of their DOAS coming along on all their summer adventures, plus just being there in their daily lives.

Read more about Vivian’s adventures here.   And if you want to send us your photos with your Daddy or Mommy On A Stick, we’d LOVE to put it up on our new website, launching soon!  Just send your photos to Rebekah at rebekahsanderlin@hotmail.com

War’s Silent Stress: The Family at Home

Rosemary Freitas Willams, a communications director for BSF, asked some tough questions about depression in military spouses in a powerful piece that appeared on the Opinion Page of the Virginian Pilot on August 9, 2009.  Please take a minute and read her piece, War’s Silent Stress: The Family at Home

Ft. Hood’s General Lynch Works to Aid in the Well Being Of Soldiers & Families

Army Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Commanding General at Ft Hood, is working hard to “create a more balanced Army, with full attention paid to mind, body and spirit, not just warfare.”  The Austin Statesman’s Denise Gamino, wrote an amazing piece outlining the all the General’s accomplishments and initiatives.  Blue Star Families’ Laura Dempsey appears in the article too!

Newman’s Own Products Support Military Families

When you buy Newman’s Own salad dressings, sauces, popcorn, cereals etc. at your local commissary, a portion of the after-tax proceeds come back to the military through Fisher House Foundation and the Newman’s Own Awards program.  In 2008 those profits translated into $75,000.00 in grants awarded to 15 volunteer organizations, in all corners of the country and abroad.  Over the nine-year course of the program the foundation has donated more than half a million dollars to more than 114 initiatives that improve the quality of life of military families.  Outstanding!

Effects of Deployments and Military Life in the News

We’ve seen two stories this week dealing about military family separation and sacrifice.  First, is a Military Spouse Magazine interview with Alison Buckholtz, author of Standing By: The Making of a Military Family in a Time Of War.  Also, don’t miss  When a Parent Goes To War, Military Kids Grow Up Fast from CNN.

Care for Returning Vets

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has recently announced the roll out of  “Care for Returning Veterans” as a first step to assist pastors, caregivers, and any who want to put out the welcome mat for our returning veterans and their families.  For more information, please check out the ELCA webiste.

Thank you to Emma C., a BSF member in South Carolina for this info.

Free Military Job Seeker Resources

Bill Scott of Bradley Morris Inc. wanted to make sure all Blue Star Families members know about these free military job seeker resources.

CivilianJobs.com is where America’s Military Connects with Civilian Careers ~ a job board, job fairs and military base publication (Civilian Job News)

MilitarytoCivilian.com is a blog with advice for military-experienced job seekers

Bradley-Morris.com is a specialized placement service for military backgrounds in engineering, management, technician and maintenance roles, as well as former military with an interest and aptitude for sales/business development.

Military Spouse Corporate Career Network is a great resource for spouses who are looking to change jobs or jump back into the paid and volunteer working world.  MSCCN is a non-profit corporate direct hire program that provides a whole host of job opportunities and networking programs for military families

MyVetwork is an inclusive online community for active duty service members, their families, and veterans and offers both professional and personal networking.

Calling All Professional and Serious Amateur Photographers

Blue Star Families is an amazing group created BY military families FOR military families.  So, who better to take fabulous photos of all aspects of military family life than our members?!?

If you are a professional or serious amateur photographer, we’d love to have you capture some great images of the military family experience (homecomings, send-offs, weddings, graduations, BSF events, parades etc.) and we’ll give you photo credit on our new site.  If you are interested and want more information email Stephanie at stephanie@bluestarfam.org

EXCITING NEWS! New BSF Website and On-Line Community in the Works

We’ve been busy behind the scenes creating a new on-line community for BSF members and we expect to have it up in August.  But to build the best site we can, we need YOUR help!

VIDEOS: We want to hear AND see all our fantastic BSF members and give families with deployed service members a chance to shout out a special greeting to their loved one. Grab your video camera and record a 30 second max video, and get it ready to upload to YouTube.  We really want to hear how BSF connects, supports and empowers you as a military family.  For more details, email stephanie@bluestarfam.org.

PHOTOS: Send us 3 or 4 photos of you and your family at key military lifestyle points ~ weddings, deployments, homecomings etc…, and you might see them up on the new site.  High resolution is always best and no camera phone photos please (except iPhones).  Send your photos to
stephanie@bluestarfam.org today!

BLOGGERS & WRITERS We’re going to be highlighting all the great stuff the BSF family does everyday, both as local chapters and as individuals.  Here’s your chance to jump in and help share these stories, both as a blogger and as an interviewer.  If you would like to be a guest blogger and can write from your own experience about the following lifestyles, please let Stephanie know by emailing her at stephanie@bluestarfam.org.

  • National Guard & Reserve
  • New to Military Life
  • Little Ones In Tow
  • In the Work Force
  • In For The Long Haul (military spouses of about 10 years or more)
  • When HE is the Spouse
  • Military Moms, Dads & Family
  • Veterans & Mentor Spouses
  • Civilians Who Support Us

This Newsletter contains links to other sites and references to third party service providers, resources or similar entities. These links and references are provided to help you identify and locate other Internet resources that may be of interest. These other sites were independently developed by parties other than Blue Star Families, Inc. and Blue Star Families, Inc. does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or appropriateness of the information contained at, or endorse the viewpoints expressed at, such sites. In providing links to other sites, Blue Star Families is in no way acting as a publisher of the material contained on those other sites and does not seek to control the content of, or maintain any type of editorial control over such sites. A link to another site should not be construed to imply that Blue Star Families, Inc. is affiliated or associated with, or is legally authorized to use any trade mark, trade name, logo or copyrighted symbol that may be reflected in the link or the description of the link to such other sites. The mention of another party or its product or service in the Newsletter should not be construed as an endorsement of that party or its product or service.

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