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Blue Star Families: A Lesson in Service and Courage

Sonal Shah, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, highlights the important work Blue Star Families is doing to support our military families.

Service comes in many forms.  To serve in our nation’s armed forces is one of the ultimate forms of service; service to the community, service to a set of values and ideals, and service to our nation.  Yet, all too often, the needs of our servicemen and women and their families go unnoticed, or we forget that a life awaits them once the battle is over.  That is where Blue Star Families (BSF) steps in.

Founded in December of 2008 by a group of military spouses, BSF is committed to raising awareness of the challenges military families face both in the military and civilian worlds.  As a non-partisan, nonprofit organization, BSF works to connect the community of military families, both active duty and veterans, irrespective of rank, and provides them with the support and empowerment they need to create the best personal and family life possible.  This is accomplished through frequent blog posts and drawing attention to a wide range of topics such as advice and answers to the challenges military spouses and families typically face, navigating the difficulty of finding employment after a service member’s tour of duty expires, and the existence of grief-inducing problems our service members face daily

Outside of their outreach to military families, BSF has also worked to engage the civilian population and address the importance of access to books for children on military bases.

The sacrifices of our service members are truly invaluable, and they demonstrate a unique and selfless act of service.  It is for these reasons that both First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have made engaging the military community cornerstones of their agendas.  I hope that we can support our military families and veterans through national service and support the President’s call for national service.

Sonal Shah is the Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.