A Special Moment for a Military Kid at an Operation Purple Family Retreat


You’ve probably heard of NMFA’s famous Operation Purple Programs…but whether you’ve signed up your mil-kid for Operation Purple Camp, or are just now learning about Operation Purple in general, do we have a touching story for you!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending one of NMFA’s Operation Purple Family Retreats on the shores of the James River in Williamsburg, VA. Twenty military families came out to relax, have fun, and connect with one another and learn more about coping as a military family, thanks to General Dynamics who sponsored the retreat.

Our newest partners, Hasbro and Marketing Plus, also went above and beyond when they sent a surprise delivery of 16 boxes of goodies for our families…it was like Christmas in August! Inside those boxes were tons of games, like Jenga, Operation, Connect 4 and (my favorite) Hungry Hungry Hippos!

Each family got to take a few home, but one little boy, four year old Stone, latched onto Hungry Hippos like it was the last one on Earth! His mother, almost in tears, told me that he had been asking for that game since Christmas. Later that weekend, she also mentioned that this was the first family vacation that they had taken since Stone was born.

Most people don’t realize the benefit of board games, other than the entertainment factor. But for families like Stone’s, whose dad was gearing up to deploy soon, moments around the kitchen table playing a game and just enjoying one another are what help keep some families going.

I’m so grateful to have been able to meet all of these amazing military families and get to know them through a different lens. It’s humbling to see such joy emanate from our American heroes and the people who love them most.

Would you help give moments like this to more military families? 

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