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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Blue Star Welcome Week

WHEREAS, Blue Star Families was founded in 2009 by military spouses to empower military and veteran families to thrive by connecting them with their civilian neighbors – both individuals and organizations – to create strong, vibrant communities of mutual support; and

WHEREAS, Blue Star Families annually designates the week beginning the last Saturday in September and concluding nine days thereafter as “Blue Star Welcome Week;” and

WHEREAS, during this week, we recognize the 600,000 active-duty and transitioning military families who move to new communities each year, with nearly half of these permanent change of station (PCS) moves occurring during the summer; and

WHEREAS, though a sense of belonging is essential to the wellbeing and readiness of military families, only 33% of military family respondents to the 2022 Military Family Lifestyle Survey reported that they feel a sense of belonging to their local civilian community; and

WHEREAS, many military families display a Blue Star service flag or banner, representing the origin of the phrase “Blue Star Family,” in the window of their home, signifying that a loved one is an active-duty service member; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, the Library of Virginia, and localities are committed to ensuring that military-connected families feel a strong sense of belonging to their local civilian communities; and

WHEREAS, we express gratitude for the sacrifices made by service members, transitioning veterans, and their families and encourage civilians across Virginia to welcome military-connected families into their communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize September 23-October 1, 2023, as BLUE STAR WELCOME WEEK in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.