The Blue Star Families Blog has Moved!

Blue Star FamiliesWe’ve rolled out the new website for Blue Star Families!  We’ve created a new site with a place for every active duty, reserve or national guard military family member to Support, Connect and Empower.

The new site features a new Blue Star Voices blog and posts on a wide variety of topics.  If you’re new to the military life or a seasoned pro, struggling to balance military life and a career or military life and children, a veteran or a military parent, we have a blog for you!

Check out the new site and JOIN.

If you’ve already registered with BSF, no need to join again. Just click on the LOG IN button on the top of the page and click request a password.  Enter the email you used when you first joined BSF and we’ll send you a password out to you right away.

Once you’ve joined or registered on  the new site, find a BSF Chapter near you and join.  We’ll make sure you find out about BSF and other military family events in your area.  Group Forums for each chapter are also on the new website and you won’t want to miss out all the fun!

Click here to JOIN now!

A New Home for Blue Star Families!

Blue Star FamiliesWe’re rolling out the new website for Blue Star Families today!  We’ve created a new site with a place for every active duty, reserve or national guard military family member to Support, Connect and Empower.

The new site features a new Blue Star Voices blog and posts on a wide variety of topics.  If you’re new to the military life or a seasoned pro, struggling to balance military life and a career or military life and children, a veteran or a military parent, we have a blog for you!

Check out the new site and JOIN.

If you’ve already registered with BSF, no need to join again. Just click on the LOG IN button on the top of the page, enter the email you used to register, and request a password.  We’ll send it out to you right away.

Once you’ve joined or registered on  the new site, find a BSF Chapter near you and join.  We’ll make sure you find out about BSF and other military family events in your area.  Group Forums will be coming to the website soon and you won’t want to miss out all the fun!

Click here to JOIN now!

BSF Weekly News Round-Up for September 1

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BSF-logoFINAL71509.jpg

Weekly News Round-Up

All the Latest in Everything Blue Star Families

Welcome!  Things are buzzing in North Carolina as we, along with K.I.D.S., prepare to welcome Governor Perdue to help us donate more than 4,000 children’s books to 37 DODEA and military impacted schools on September 10th.  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.

If 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


NC Governor Beverly Perdue to Help BSF Kick-off Books on Bases

Blue Star Families and our program partner, K.I.D.S. believe in the healing power of books and are excited to kick off our national Books on Bases, Smiles on Faces literacy event for military children at Ft. Bragg on September 10th.  We are especially honored to have North Carolina Governor, Beverly Perdue joining us and we’d like to invite BSF members too!

This event will include the distribution of approximately 4,000 children’s books to all 17 DODEA schools in the state of NC and 20 military impacted public schools in the local area. Children with parents serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard will benefit from this significant donation to their schools and libraries. Base libraries from Camp Lejeune, Pope Air Force Base, and Ft. Bragg will also be included.

Please check out the details here and be sure to RSVP to programs@bluestarfam.org by September 7.  We will have approximately 100 seats reserved for BSF members so RSVP TODAY!

Priority will be given to event volunteers, and we still need plenty of them!  If you are interested in helping before and/or during the event, please contact us at programs@bluestarfam.org today.


DOD’s First Joint Family Readiness Conference in a Decade & BSF Will Be There!

The Defense Department’s first joint family readiness conference in nearly a decade will take place next week in Chicago, and Danette Hayes, BSF’s Director of National Guard and Reserve Programs and Pamela Stokes-Eggleston, BSF’s Director of Development will be on hand to spread the word about Blue Star Families’ mission to Support, Connect and Empower military families.

The conference is expected to draw about 1,500 helping professionals from throughout the world and will offer information and resources as well as the latest research affecting military family care.  Read more about the conference here.


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!

DOD Announces New Suicide Prevention Task Force

The Department of Defense will launch a 14-member Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces. The congressionally directed task force will address trends and causal factors, methods to update prevention and education programs, suicide assessment by occupation, suicide incident investigations, and protective measures for confidential information derived from investigations for the department.  Read more about the task force here.


Think You Have To Pay To Check Your Bags? Check This List Before You Fly

Most airlines are now charging to check bags these days, but before you take off on your next flight, check out this list to see your carriers’ policies regarding military personnel.  Most exceptions are for those traveling on orders, but it’s worth a look!


VA Playwright Needs Military Family Stories

Virginia Stage Company has hired a playwright to write a play to be produced locally about military families. If you would be interested in helping her shape this play – she is in the research stage – about military families, please contact Barbara Lipskis, Director Development, at blipskis@vastage.com. The playwright will be in town for chats with families on Sept 19-21. Please be sure to let he know you’re a Blue Star Families member!

Great Article about Military Children by BSF Member

The concerns about the effect of deployments on our military children are real and gaining more and more attention in local media.  If you have a piece pertaining to military families published, like our own Jennifer Taylor’s The Effects of Deployment Stress in Military Children published in The Flagship, please be sure to let us know!  We’ll help spread the word!


Free Tickets for Vets, Active Duty & Their Families

Veterans Tickets Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to saying thanks to veterans, active duty service members and their families by giving tickets to concerts and sporting events as a tangible way of saying thanks.  Check out their website for more info.

Great Information on the Emotional Aspects of Deployment

Need a good pre-deployment check list and some tips to help your kids cope with Dad’s or Mom’s separation?  Check out the great information available on the Families tab at Real Warriors , an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families.

There’s also an insightful article about the Emotional Cycle of Deployment that’s worth checking out!

Free Grills from ConAgra & AAFES

Just in time for football season, ConAgra and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service have cooked up plans to give away nearly $25,000 in grills before the end of September.  Now through Sept. 18, approximately 236 exchanges are giving shoppers a chance to win a grill valued up to $100 as part of the ConAgra Free Grill Sweepstakes. For more info, check out their press release

Check Out MSCCN’s Latest Newsletter

If you’re getting back into the work force, or interested in changing careers, take a minute and check out the Military Spouse Career Corporate Network’s latest newsletter. It’s full of great tips and encouragement!

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 shortly.  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.


Join BSF & NC Gov. Perdue in Fayetteville NC Sept. 10 for Books On Bases

We are thrilled to announce the national launch of

Books On Bases logo

Presented by

Blue Star Families

and our program partner

KIDS-Logo

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue will join us in presenting the healing power of books to military children.

At WT Brown Elementary School in Fayetteville, NC on September 10th at 1 pm, Blue Star Families, along with out program partner K.I.D.S. in Distress will launch the National Books on Bases, Smiles on Faces literacy program for military children.  We have reserved approximately 100 seats for Blue Star Families members.    Light refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP to programs@bluestarfam.org by September 7th.  Please include your name and phone number and note that you are a BSF member.  You will receive an email confirmation and your name will be on a list at the door.  Priority will be given to event volunteers.

North Carolina’s Governor Beverly Perdue will share a book with the children, and will join us in distributing books to the selected schools. A Nascar driver will also be on hand to bring a smile to our military children.

This event will include the distribution of approximately 4,000 children’s books to all 17 DODEA schools in the state of NC and 20 military impacted public schools in the local area.  Children with parents serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard will benefit from this significant donation to their schools and libraries.  Base libraries from Camp Lejeune, Pope Air Force Base, and Ft. Bragg will also be included.

The educational impact of library donation is far greater than direct donation of books to children.  These books will provide on-going support in the effort to promote literacy in America’s children, and provide the healing power of books to our smallest heroes.  We look forward to seeing you!

Where:

WT Brown Elementary

When:

Thursday, September 10th at 1pm

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

vote04Frustrated 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 help.

It will take fewer than 10 minutes for you to complete the online survey.  PLEASE DO IT TODAY!

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.

Blue Star Families Weekly News Round-Up for August 11

Blue Star Families, Blue Star VoicesBlue Star Families Weekly News Round-Up

All the Latest in Everything Blue Star Families

What a week!  From invitations by national and local news, talk shows and The Military Channel to tell our military family stories, to being recognized by Senator Warner of Virginia with a Senate Resolution, to free ACT/SAT study guides, this week’s news round-up is chalk full of useful info.  Be sure to check it ALL out!

Blue Star FamiliesWe are working hard on the creation of our new Blue Star Families website and online community which is expected to launch this month.  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 with our Weekly News & Info Roundup, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our Blue Star Families Blog.

If 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 all types of military family members from all ranks and services (and our supporters!) to Support, Connect 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


Senator Warner Recognizes Blue Star Families with a Senate Resolution

We are THRILLED to have Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduce a Senate Resolution commending Blue Star Families for supporting military families and increasing awareness of the unique challenges of military life.  Read the full text of Senate Resolution 237 and more about the honor on the Blue Star Families blog.  Also, check out a great blog about our meeting with Senator Warner from the perspective of a BSF daughter, Sophie.

Want to be Featured on National and Local News, Talk Shows or The Military Channel?

Blue Star Families is THE place for military families and folks in the national media are coming to us to help them tell our stories.  Here are two exciting opportunities, but you must email us NOW if you are interested!

A national, non-profit group in California, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, is looking for real-life stories that would be fabulous for news or talk shows, both national and local stations.  These stories would be distributed among the news media for possible use during a week in October when the entertainment and news industry will highlight the issue of service.  The real-life stories should feature individuals who would be comfortable speaking about their service experiences.

Interested?  Here are more details-

These stories should be about current or recent service experience and there should be a person or persons who could be interviewed.  Stories can focus on a person whose service has had a profound effect on them, individuals or groups who have overcome barriers to service, people or programs that include particularly creative or interesting service activities, or service efforts that have had an extraordinary impact.  The story may be about a single person’s service or the efforts of a large group. It may feature an organized program or an informal action that has had a big impact.

For more information, email Rosemary BY AUGUST 15 at rosemaryjfreitas@aol.com

*****************

The Military Channel’s “Return Salute” is like Make-A-Wish for service members and their families. The show will tell the human side of the current conflicts and will profile service members who have returned from deployment within in the past year, or have a very compelling story.  We are looking for stories along the lines of multiple deployments, missing births, or similar moving scenarios. Each service member profiled would be granted a wish at the end of each episode.

For more information, email AnnaMaria TODAY at amwhite@bluestarfam.org

Encourage All Your Friends & Family to Join BSF with Our New Video

Blue Star Families is about Supporting, Connecting and Empowering military families. Take a look at this moving video, pass it along to all your friends and family and ask them to join us TODAY!

BSF Fayetteville NC Chapter Hosting Books on Bases and Needs YOUR Help!

Our Fayetteville NC Chapter will proudly be presenting Books on Bases, Smiles On Faces, presented by Blue Star Families and K.I.D.S. on September 10.  This important event will be the kick-off for our national effort to host similar events with chapters EVERY quarter.

Here’s how YOU can get involved:

If you live in or around Fayeteville and want to help plan the event, can lend space to store the 4,000 books we’ll be giving away in the weeks leading up to the event and/or be on hand to help the day of the event, just shoot a note to Brittany TODAY at brittanyawilliams@gmail.com.

If you’re not close to the Fayetteville area and want more information about hosting your own event, send Casey an email at programs@bluestarfam.org

UPDATE: BSF’s Michelle Galvez’s Blog Hits PBS’ Patchwork Nation Home Page & Check Out BSF’s Vivian Greentree’s Military Spouse Magazine Article

Last week, we highlighted the First Lady’s visit to Norfolk and her mention of BSF and our Military Families Lifestyle Survey.  Our own Michelle Galvez wrote an amazing blog post about her meeting with Mrs. Obama, which we are THRILLED to report, was highlighted on PBS’ Patchwork Nation home page.  Awesome job Michelle!

We’re also excited to have BSF’s Director of Membership Vivian Greentree share her experiences at the event in a terrific article in Military Spouse Magazine

Military Spouse Residency Relief Act Coalition Update

The folks at the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act Coalition are excited to pass along the great news regarding the progress of the S475 and HR1182, The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.  Senator Richard Burr’s (R-NC) offered the MSRRA as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill currently under consideration in the Senate.  The amendment, which was approved by voice on the Senate floor, would allow military spouses to maintain residency in their home state regardless of military placement of their families.

For more information, check out the press release on the Senator’s website and the MSRRA Facebook page.

FREE ACT/SAT Study Materials for Military Families!

YES, you read that right!  Check out our blog for more details!  And while you’re there, see what Michelle Gross writes about Flexible Spending Accounts

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

Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Means Up To $6,000 of Financial Assistance!

The Department of Defense is expanding the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts – MyCAA – for military spouses of active duty and activated Guard and Reserve Service members worldwide.

MyCAA is currently completing an extensive testing period with the help of volunteer spouses, schools and other payees. Final administrative processes are now being put into place. MyCAA is preparing to officially open its doors for eligible military spouses worldwide to receive up to $6,000 of financial assistance to help pay for licenses, certifications and education in high growth, high demand portable career fields.

Check out the Military One Source website for more details.

We Want to Hear About the Ups & Downs of Your Military Marriage

Has your marriage made it through PCS’s, ETS’s, deployments, cruises, financial hardships and the other struggles that go with military life? Share your success story with others. Send an email to rebekahsanderlin@hotmail.com and you could be featured on the Blue Star Families website.

CA Looking for Women Veteran of the Year Nominations

Beginning with the September 2009 CalVet Women Veterans Conference, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) will recognize two women veterans, one from Northern and one from Southern California, during its annual CalVet Women Veterans Conferences.

The California Woman Veteran of the Year Awards recognizes women veterans who have compiled a record of exemplary service as a military service member, as veterans, and as outstanding members of the community.  Nominate your favorite California Woman Veteran here

400 Days Featured in Chicago’s Daily Herald

The buzz is growing about BSF National Guard Director Danette Hayes’ new book, 400 Days.  Check out this great article in the  Daily Herald

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