America Joins Forces with Blue Star Families to Honor the Service of Military Service Members, Families and Veterans

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More than 15 Million Hours of Community Service Pledged

Operation Honor Cards
We join forces and come together to say ‘we honor your service with ours.'

Operation Honor Cards, a volunteer movement has reached new heights by engaging thousands of individuals, families, groups, schools, colleges and major national organizations to pledge more than 15 million hours of community service in honor of our nation's military families, veterans and service members. Of the 15 million hours pledged, 13 million hours have already been served.

In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched the Joining Forces initiative to support and honor our nation's military families with the goal of 3 million total pledged service hours. The country’s commitment has been overwhelming and continues to exceed expectations. a solid indication of support and recognition.

Blue Star Families, in partnership with the American Red Cross, Service Nation, Points of Light Institute, and the Corporation for National & Community Service is the driving force behind this initiative to encourage Americans to perform service in honor of military families, veterans and service members.

"As our country unites in community service, our active duty service members, guard, reserves, veterans, and their families will hear and feel a strong message of support," said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families. "Our military serves us by protecting our country, our freedom. In return, we will serve our communities,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families.

“We’ve reached a huge milestone… beyond expectation. We join forces and come together to say ‘we honor your service with ours’,” said Captain Brad Cooper, Executive Director of Joining Forces, White House Office of the First Lady.

Blue Star Families will highlight a series of organizations whose service pledge and active community service activities are examples of the exemplary commitment to our community and our military family. In the coming weeks we will showcase the Girl Scouts of the United States and Boy Scouts of America; the Corporation for National & Community Service, the USO, and KaBOOM; Hands on Network, Operation Gratitude, and Mission Continues; and conclude with the American Legion Auxiliary combined with a new service pledge announcement.

About Operation Honor Cards
Operation Honor Cards is run cooperatively with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has also agreed to support this initiative by sharing information related to honor cards with their Veterans Service Organizations whose members volunteer at VA’s medical centers. Inspired by the First Lady’s campaign for military families, the program aims to create an atmosphere of ‘shared service’ and a WWII sense of ‘all give some’ by encouraging Americans to perform service in honor of military families and veterans.

Operation Honor Cards features a website allowing people to pledge hours of community service and track their participation at http://www.honorcards.org. The website maintains a running tally of hours of community service hours committed and fulfilled in honor of military families, service members and veterans. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to join the program and may also fill out physical honor cards pledging service and download an online Operation Honor Cards kit. The American Red Cross and Blue Star Families distribute Honor Cards to deployed service members, military families, wounded veterans and caregivers, who can then see tangible evidence of the community service performed in their honor.

Visit http://www.honorcards.org for more information.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families (http://www.bluestarfam.org) is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.

About Joining Forces
Joining Forces is a national initiative created by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden to energize action from every sector of our society – individuals, businesses, non-profits, philanthropy and faith-based institutions – to give service members, veterans and military families the support they have earned. See http://www.joiningforces.gov for more information.

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Stephanie Himel-Nelson

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