Third Star Foundation restores and increases the resiliency
of children and families of wounded service members and veterans. We accomplish this by providing ongoing peer to peer support groups in communities throughout the United States.
Provide peer to peer support groups in communities that have a high concentration of military connected children on at least a monthly basis.
Create and provide a virtual peer to peer support group for children who are not centrally located to an in-person support group.
Become a leading resource in best practices for those seeking to support military connected children that have been affected by a military connected parent or guardian that has sustained injury or wound.
Collect data on the mental health status of children who have been affected by military connected injury and wounds to be shared with and create a basis for future studies.
The Story of Third Star Foundation
His pain became our pain…
In 2010 my daughters 12 and 5 were enduring the last of six combat tours my husband had been assigned to. They were thriving, healthy, and our home was always filled with people and laughter. That would all change when my husband returned with a moderate brain injury. He had trouble managing emotions, partial vision loss, and at times could not perform simple tasks such as tying his shoes or driving. It did not take long before our once full house became silent. As my oldest would tell you, “Who would want to visit when your dad yells for seemingly no reason and acts like a ten-year-old boy?”
Our pain became our burden…
Our lives began to change and I had no power to stop it. For the next three years, my husband worked hard both at in-treatment facilities and outpatient programs. He regained some of his skills and learned coping tools for others. I also worked on myself and the girls by relying on my time as a bereavement director at a children’s hospice. I sent them to individual counseling, helped them understand all about their father’s injuries and as a family, we worked on integrating him back into our home. We all worked so hard that when he retired in 2013 from the outside, people commended us for how well we were handling things, but I knew my children still weren’t thriving. In 2015, one of my daughter’s best friends committed suicide. This was one of the few friends she actually talked to about her father because his father had served as well. I remember her question well….. “Mom, would things have been different if he talked?”
Our burden became our mission, our joy, and the thing that brought us back together….
It was at that moment that I relied on my bereavement training once again and remembered our peer to peer support groups that we ran. I knew I had to get my children talking to others that had a shared experience. About a year later, all my efforts had paid off and our house was once again full. The resiliency my children once showed as strong military children had returned. Laughter rang off the walls, dreams were discussed, and they began to thrive. It was then I realized that talking matters.
So now I ask you..
What will happen if we get them talking??
- Dr. Amy Taft
Third Star Foundation relies on the principle that if children can learn to express healthy emotions with their peers and normalize these emotions in a relatable fashion, the resiliency that diminished can and will be restored.
Third Star Foundation was founded in 2019 to fill the Gap of providing ongoing support to military children. While there are others providing one-week camp support and intermittent support to these children, we want to create an environment of trust and support that only diminishes when the child is ready to move on.
Third Star Foundation provides ongoing monthly peer to peer support groups that rely on art therapy activities and skill building to children who have a connection with an injured or wounded service members. We provide strong foundations and structured support to help our military connected children grow and thrive in the environment they are living and help them live without limitations.
Volunteer to provide clinical expertise to a site (LCSW, LPC)
Share your child’s story on our web page - let others know why this is important
Other (let us know your idea)
Make a donation or help us raise funds to support
$6000 per year to fully fund a site
$50 provides a pizza dinner for a month to the support group
$25/ month- $300/ yr sponsors 1 child for a year
Mental health professionals
Administrative/ clerical help
Other (let us know your skill)