For Immediate Release

Contact: Bailey Bernius

Sierra Club Commits $500,000 to Support Military Families

Funding will connect families with the outdoors

February 23, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, VA February 23, 2012 – The National Military Family Association is pleased to announce six Operation Purple® Family Retreats, made possible by a generous $500,000 donation from the Sierra Club, a longtime supporter of the Operation Purple program. This funding will allow hundreds of military parents and kids to connect with nature and renew relationships after a service member's deployment.

Operation Purple Family Retreats are four-day retreats held at National Parks around the country, and offer families the chance to reconnect after a deployment. Outdoor experiences, combined with structured activities that highlight areas of strength and resilience promote family growth.

"The Sierra Club is excited to continue its long partnership with the National Military Family Association. Our military families sacrifice a lot in defense of this land, and the Sierra Club wants to ensure these families get the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors their service members protect," said Stacy Bare, Sierra Club National Military Family and Veterans Representative and OIF Veteran.

The Operation Purple Family Retreat program is increasingly important in light of the recent troop withdrawal in Iraq. When wars end, America still has the responsibility to support service members and their families as they deal with the long-term effects of combat. Getting outdoors in nature can be an effective way to begin the healing process. The National Military Family Association applauds the Sierra Club for taking this responsibility to heart and stepping up to ensure that families have programs like Operation Purple Family Retreats available to them. 

"While it may be absent from the news cycle, the war and deployments are definitely not over. Our families are strong, but they will continue to need our support. It is necessary now more than ever, that organizations like the Sierra Club step up to make military families a priority. We are so grateful for their support," said Joyce Raezer, National Military Family Association Executive Director.

Click here to apply to the Spring Retreats, held at the Teton Science Schools in Jackson, WY, March 23 -27 and NatureBridge Golden Gate in Sausalito, CA April 13 -16. More dates and locations will be announced soon.

About the Sierra Club Mission Outdoors Military Families and Veterans Initiative

Sierra Club's Military Families and Veterans Initiative is part of Mission Outdoors, the Sierra Club's campaign to provide access to outdoor experiences to people of all ages and backgrounds. MFVI makes available a variety of opportunities for American Military Service Members, Veterans, and their families to experience the freedom of the land they defend. To learn more, visit

About the National Military Family Association

The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more, visit

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Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.

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