Our Teens of Today Are Our Military of Tomorrow



My family attended an Operation Purple Program in the past; can I apply again this year?

Yes, as long as your family has an active duty service member, medically retired, or medically separated veteran who was wounded or experienced emotional trauma or illness related to their service Post-9/11. Members of the National Guard and Reserve may be in either activated or drilling status, provided their injury was sustained while on active duty status.


I have children who are not teens. Can they come?

Since the purpose of this experience is to strengthen the bonds between teens and their parents or guardians, children ages 12 and younger or ages 20 and older will not be able to attend. 


Our service member is still away on deployment. Can we attend the retreat without him/her?

Yes. We know teens benefit from strong bonds with either parent, and so the adult member of the household does not have to be the service member.  


We have more than one teen in our household. How many family members can attend?

We can admit up to 1 adult per teen to this experience. This means if you have 1 teen, you can send 1 teen and 1 adult from your household. If you have 2 teens, you can send 2 teens and 2 adults from your household, you will just need to fill out an additional application for the additional teen and adult pair.


Do I have to pay anything to attend an Operation Purple Parent x Teen Experience?

There is a $50.00 Hold My Spot Deposit to secure your family’s space. This deposit is refundable unless you would like to donate it for future Operation Purple programs. Food is provided to families at no cost. There are no activity fees or other expenses. Families are responsible for their own transportation to and from the program.


Who Are Hidden Helpers?

NMFA defines a Hidden Helper using the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Helper Programs Guide: “Hidden Helpers are the children and youth who live in homes with wounded, injured, or ill service members and veterans.”

General Information


What should I bring to an Operation Purple Parent x Teen Experience?

Accepted families will receive a suggested list of items that they should plan to pack.


Is there medical staff available?

Medical staff are not provided at our Parent x Teen Experiences.


Is transportation provided?

Transportation to and from the Operation Purple program site is the responsibility of the selected family.


What type of food can we expect?

Guests enjoy hearty and balanced meals and snacks while attending the program. Meals are typically served buffet or family style. Vegetarian or specific dietary needs can be addressed with advance notice on registration forms. 


What types of activities are offered?

Each Operation Purple program site has a different focus and activities vary from site to site. Highly specialized field science educators will guide families through various activities such as nature hikes, canoeing, campfires, beach exploration, arts and crafts, and challenge activities. Most of your time will be spent outdoors (weather permitting) so families should come prepared to spend lots of time enjoying the scenery. 


National Military Family Association
2800 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 250
Alexandria, VA 22314


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