Operation Purple Camp Helps Military Kids Cope

Image Courtesy of Operation Purple Camp

CNN’s Jason Carroll reports on Operation Purple, a special camp created just for kids with a parent deployed in the military.  First Lady Michelle Obama cited both Operation Purple and the Sesame Street/USO Experience for special recognition in a speech at the National Military Family Association earlier this year, saying “One of the great lessons of recent years is that you don’t need to be a military expert to help…Consider the Sierra Club, which partnered with the NMFA to create Operation Purple — summer camps that have made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of military kids. Or my favorite, Sesame Street, which has partnered with the USO to reach more than 100,000 military families and helped kids cope with some very challenging situations.”

Operation Purple (the name comes from the fact that all branches of the military are jointly included) has grown to include over 30,000 kids and teens in camping at locations across the country.  Campers hail from all ranks and Services, active and reserve components; priority is given to children whose parents are currently within a 15 month deployment “window,” the precise dates of which are announced on an annual basis.  In addition to traditional outdoor camp, programming also includes Operation Purple Healing Adventures, designed for children and families of wounded warriors.  The best part?  It’s free!  2011 applications are now being accepted.

The USO lifts the spirits of troops and their families millions of times a year at thousands of places worldwide, and we’re especially proud of everyone who provides opportunities for military kids.  Have you been to an Operation Purple camp?  What other opportunities for military kids are available this summer?  Share your comments below!

First Lady Michelle Obama Calls the Sesame Street/USO Experience Her Favorite!

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to the National Military Family Association Military Child Summit at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. May 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the National Military Family Association Summit in DC.  The focus of the summit was military spouses and children, and we’re thrilled to say that she cited the Sesame Street/USO Experience as her “favorite” partnership to support military kids!  Here is an excerpt from her remarks:

“One of the great lessons of recent years is that you don’t need to be a military expert to help. You don’t necessarily need to build something new to help. You can keep doing what you’re already doing and connect your work to the priorities of military families.  Consider the Sierra Club, which partnered with the NMFA to create Operation Purple — summer camps that have made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of military kids. Or my favorite, Sesame Street, which has partnered with the USO to reach more than 100,000 military families and helped kids cope with some very challenging situations.

There are so many organizations with skills and interests that can be shared with military families, and we need to get them involved.

This is a challenge to every community in America.”  Click here to read a full transcript of the First Lady’s comments.

The Sesame Street/USO Experience continues touring throughout the US in 2010.  Below is the schedule for June.  Check with your base’s MWR for ticketing information.  We hope to see you there!

JUNE

Megan Noe poses with her son Henry in front of the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Militar Families poster at Natcher Gym on the Fort Knox Army base in Kentucky, April 10, 2010. (USO Photo by Pat McDonogh)

MCAS Beaufort – South Carolina – June 2 – 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; June 3 – 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

NSB Kings Bay – Georgia – June 5 – TBD

NAS Jacksonville – Florida – June 6 – 2:00 p.m.

NS Mayport – Florida – June 10 – 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Fort Benning – Georgia – June 12 – 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; June 13 – 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Fort Rucker – Alabama – June 16 – 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; June 17 – 2:00 p.m.

NAS Pensacola – Florida – June 19 – 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; June 20 – 2:00 p.m.

Keesler AFB – Mississippi – June 23-24 – TBD

NAS JRB New Orleans – Louisiana – June 25-26 – TBD

Fort Polk – Louisiana – June 29-30 – TBD