Go Purple!

girl hugging dad

Paying it Back

November is National Military Appreciation Month, and in celebration, our referrals are going purple!

Purple symbolizes those who serve in all branches of the military, as it is the perfect mix of Army green, Marine Corps red, and the blues of the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The National Military Family Association (NMFA) started Operation Purple® Camp (OPC) in 2004 to offer children of military parents a free week of summer camp where they can interact with other children facing the challenges and realities of military life.

During the month of November, Career Step will donate $50 to NMFA for Operation Purple Camp, for every student referral that leads to an enrollment in one of our career training programs. Career Step’s Referral Program offers participants a referral bonus of up to $250 when someone they refer enrolls, and for the month of November, their referrals get double duty. Because we understand that when one family member serves in the military, the whole family serves, we want to show our appreciation for military families.

mountain view

Operation Purple Camp

Operation Purple Camp has served more than 58,000 military children, ages 7 to 17, since 2004 when it started. Campers can participate in regular camping activities like hiking, swimming, arts and crafts, and boating, and they get to be in a safe environment to share feelings and learn how to cope with deployment and other situations they face. Special consideration for participation is given to children of a parent who is deployed or wounded. Last year, 41% of campers had a parent who was wounded, ill, or injured, and 53% of campers had a parent who was deployed in the 15 months before their camp experience.

The Deployment Life Study, a longitudinal study designed to assess stress on military families caused by deployment, found that children of a deployed parent experience an increase in stress due to the separation.1 Recommendations of the study included targeted family support programs to address the challenges associated with deployment and reintegration. Operation Purple Camp helps military children cope with deployment challenges using a curriculum based on building social support networks, physical exercise, and targeted learning. Families report that the camps are working,2 and since over 2 million children in the U.S. have had a parent deploy since 2001,3 the need for programs like OPC is significant.

girl wearing helmit

Go Purple with Us

Career Step has trained more than 15,000 military spouses and service members over the years, providing them with the opportunity to improve their life situations with a rewarding career. We are pleased to celebrate Military Family Appreciation Month by serving military children as well. Great good can be accomplished when individuals, organizations, and communities come together for a common goal with far-reaching benefits.

That’s why we go purple every November, and you can too.

Learn more about Career Step’s Referral Program by visiting careerstep.com/promote, and join us in supporting Operation Purple Camp.


  1. Meadows, Sarah O. et al. The Deployment Life Study: Longitudinal Analysis of Military Families Across the Deployment Cycle. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2016. Accessed 16 October, 2016. http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1388.html. Also available in print form.
  2. Buchanan, Theresa (2014) “Operation Purple® Camps: Relevant Now and Then,” Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 5: Iss. 1, Article 25. Accessed 16 October, 2016. Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol5/iss1/25
  3. “11 Facts About Military Families.” DoSomething.org. Accessed October 17, 2016.



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