Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission

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Families United is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 2005 by a group of military families. On its website, Families United describes itself as "charitable organization whose mission is to Honor the Fallen, Support those who Fight, and Serve their Families through programs, events, and outreach. We are a national organization of Gold and Blue Star families—including many with loved ones in harm’s way—as well as veterans and Americans who share a deep appreciation for our men and women in uniform and support them in their mission to keep America safe. Together, we ensure that the sacrifices of our courageous military do not go unnoticed and that these men and women and their families receive the support they need and deserve." [1]


"Gold Star" Programs and Events

Families United hosts events throughout the country in support of "Gold Star" families—the families of servicemebers who have died in combat.

National Weekend of Remembrance The National Weekend of Remembrance is an annual gathering of Gold Star families in Washington, DC. On it's website, the organization describes the event as "The largest gathering of Gold Star family members." [2] The 2010 event featured a National Gold Star Family Dinner, a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, and the American Heroes Festival at Six Flags America. [3][4]

Gold Star Family Luncheons In 2008, Families United began hosting Gold Star Family Luncheons in cities around the country. The events bring families "together to celebrate the lives of their Heroes and gain a comfort only offered by those who have known similar loss is one of the most important services we provide." [5]

Gold Star Family Assistance According to the organization, the Gold Star Family Assistance program privides financia support to families who want to attend the funerals of their loved one and was developed because "it quickly became obvious that assistance provided by the Defense Department did not always meet the needs of blended or non-traditional families." [6]

"Blue Star" Programs and Events

Families United also hosts events and programs for "Blue Star" families, which are the families of active duty servicemembers.

Camp Desert Kids Camp Desert Kids is a program designed to "help military children better understand the deployments that shape their lives." According to the program's web page, "deployment is challenging for children, not only because they do not understand the separation from their parent, but also because they have trouble conceptualizing where Mom or Dad have gone. Through a fun and educational event, Camp Desert Kids gives military children the opportunity to experience deployment with their homefront parent in a unique way. It serves to help American children learn that Iraqi and Afghan children do the same things they do— just differently. Utilizing games, maps, fun facts, cultural activities, crafts, regional food and drink, and even the chance to dress up like Mom or Dad in full camouflage gear, Camp Desert Kids works to reduce the unknown in our military children’s lives." [7]

Frontline Families Frontline Families is a program that began in 2010 that helps "military family members in obtaining and navigating critical services and benefits" and bridges "the gap between military communities, veterans, and civilians around the country." [8]


National Gold Star Family Registry

In 2010, Families United launched the National Gold Star Family Registry, a public database of all the men and women who have died in military service since WWII. According to Families United, the Registry is "the first, comprehensive record of fallen heroes and family network ever developed." [9] The Registry allows users to search the database, see detailed information about each person listed, and write a tribute to a specific relative or friend. [10] The Registry can be viewed at http://www.goldstarfamilyregistry.com


Contact Information

Families United
P O Box 65494
Washington, DC 20035
Phone: 202.293.4656
Email: info AT familiesunitedusa.org
Website: http://www.familiesunitedusa.org/

External links

2005

2006

Note: Power Line incorrectly attributes to the Center for Media and Democracy/SourceWatch information about Ken Mehlman, Progress for America, and Bush-Cheney '04 Inc. which Coleman directly attributes in his article to the Washington Post.

2007