Roughly 600,000 active duty and transitioning military families move to new communities each year. That’s more than half a million families tasked with finding new homes, schools, doctors and dentists, meeting new neighbors, finding new piano teachers and karate lessons, and more.
“Most Americans have no idea hundreds of thousands of military-connected families make transition moves to new communities across the country each year,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families.
Because of these frequent moves, surveys find many military families do not feel a sense of belonging in the communities in which they live. Data from the Blue Star Families 2020 annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey shows that 79% of military families feel the the general public is largely unaware of the daily challenges they face. That’s why Blue Star Families is launching its Blue Star Welcome week on Sept. 25. The organization began the initiative in 2020.
“America’s military families leave their family and friends to find new schools, new jobs, new communities over and over again while supporting a challenging military mission. Blue Star Welcome Week is designed to recognize transitioning military families across the country, providing a platform for communities and individuals to engage and welcome these families. Each of us, across the country, can take part,” Roth-Douquet added.
The goal of this “welcome week” is to help ease the stress of these frequent moves, and help military and transitioning families make meaningful connections to their new communities.
“There are some very unique challenges and sacrifices to the military lifestyle,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Blue Star Welcome Week is an opportunity for communities across the country to welcome our military and transitioning veteran families. For a full week, from Sept. 25th-Oct. 3rd, Blue Star Families and community partners are providing fun and creative, virtual and in-person, opportunities for relocating military- and Veteran-connected families to meet and engage with local community members.
“Given the contribution that they make to the security of the nation, giving their willingness to do whatever must be done, unquestioning. The fact is we can do more to help them. We can do more to support them. We can do more to make sure that their sacrifices are recognized and appreciated,” said Dunford.
Blue Star Welcome Week honorary chairs are Gen. Joseph Dunford, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Mrs. Ellyn Dunford; Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies; and Harriet Dominique, SVP, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and Corporate Responsibility Officer, USAA.