Summertime is for livin’ easy…unless you’re PCS-ing. Then you’re packing suitcases, making travel arrangements, looking for housing, researching schools, cleaning out cabinets, and on and on and on.
There is no time for relaxing at the beach or backyard BBQs because you’re on the move! And the Fazio family is no exception. An Army family of 26 years, they’re rocking their cross-country PCS this summer like a boss. And we’re tagging along with envy.
Why? Well, first and foremost, the Fazios are super fun! LTC Michael Fazio and Supermom Joy have five kids (YES, 5!). And together, they’re driving from Washington, D.C. to Alaska—a 17-day trek.
Whoa! There’s bound to be excitement in that, right?!
Second, we want to showcase what a PCS really looks like.
Because, believe it or not, our civilian neighbors don’t know. They don’t know that we move every two to four years, and they don’t realize we live in their communities with zero support and scarce job prospects for military spouses.
For this very reason, we started Blue Star Families ten years ago so we could tell the real-life, mil-life stories and be the connectors that bridge the military-civilian divide. And this summer the Fazios are helping us do just that via their PCS Across America adventure.
Buckle up because this family is spilling all the beans. You’ll see the good, the bad, and the funny parts of MilLife by tuning into the hashtag #PCSAcrossAmerica on social.
BSF will amplify their posts to inspire and engage civilians to support military families no matter where they live. We like to call these civilians our #BlueStarNeighbors.
Here at Blue Star Families, we’re lucky to have lots of awesome #BlueStarNeighbors already. We’ve spent years developing these relationships, and the Fazios will get to engage with several of them while they make their way across the country.
Here’s a sneak peek as to what you can expect…
First up is Sesame Street.
Our friends at Sesame Street for Military Families created the My Story, My Big Adventure book specifically for PCS-ing MilKids. The littlest Fazios, Candace (6) and Hunter (7), will use the activities in this book to help them meet new people, explore new places, and see new things.
Next, Blue Star Parks.
The Fazios will utilize the Blue Star Parks program to visit national parks like Zion and Yellowstone along their route. (Make sure to tune into #PCSAcrossAmerica to see where they end up!)
Blue Star Parks was created to encourage MilFams to explore the great outdoors together. And our awesome #BlueStarNeighbor, National Park Trust (NPT), just created a free ParkPassport app for MilFams like the Fazios (and yours!) to quickly find parks and track their visits. All MilFams who download the free app get a Buddy Bison!
Then Blue Star Museums.
The Fazios will also be visiting several Blue Star Museums because they get FREE admission all summer long with their active-duty status!
Blue Star Museums was created 10 years ago by one of our favorite #BlueStarNeighbors, the National Endowment for the Arts, to express appreciation to service members and their families.
With more than 2,000 participating museums across the country, the Fazios will have plenty of opportunities to stop and explore whatever piques their interest. From fine arts to zoos and botanical gardens to aquariums, Blue Star Museums has something for everyone.
Best of all, the Fazios are using this interactive map to plan their stops!
And, finally, ice cream!
Loads and loads of ice cream…because, really, what summer is complete without it?
Thanks to our incredibly generous #BlueStarNeighbor, Edy’s® Ice Cream, the Fazio family will enjoy several scoops of vanilla ice cream together along their route because ice cream is meant to be shared. And PCS-ing is hard. So this is Edy’s way of sprinkling in a little fun for the Fazios as they transition from one place to another.
In fact, Edy’s ® is supporting the Fazios and all Blue Star Families this summer with tubs of vanilla ice cream available now in grocery stores across the country. Join the fun and grab a tub today!
Okay, so the Fazios are ready for takeoff. Are you?
And for the MilFams reading this blog, we hope you’re taking advantage of our #BlueStarNeighbor opportunities, too. Civilians? Join us as a #BlueStarNeighbor. We’ll connect you to your military neighbors through BSF-hosted activities and events where you’ll get to support service members and their families through challenges unique to military life (like PCS-ing!).