Family Readiness Program

  • The University of Chicago Veterans and Family Readiness Program participate in MLK Service Day 2020.

  • Military veterans come from across the city to receive their welcome baskets in October 2020.

  • The University of Chicago Veteran and Family Readiness Program and the Office for Military-affiliated Communities hosts 2019 Welcome Picnic for all military-affiliated persons at UChicago.

  • The University of Chicago Veterans and Family Readiness Program and Blue Star Families provide new Chicagoland families with welcome baskets in October 2020.

  • Military-affiliated children enjoy themselves at the 2022 OMAC Welcome Picnic.

The University of Chicago is dedicated to supporting the families of veterans and military-affiliated students, faculty, and staff. The Office for Military-Affiliated Communities serves as a central resource for these families as they transition to joining the extended UChicago community. By providing guidance in a range of areas, the University can assist with maintaining personal and family well-being, assuring that military-affiliated members can thrive at the University.

Partnering with Blue Star Families, OMAC created the University of Chicago Veterans and Family Readiness Program. The Family Readiness Program is a support system of network agencies, programs, services, and individuals, that promote the readiness and quality of life of service members, veterans, and their families, as they pursue their educational or professional careers at the University of Chicago.

The Family Readiness Program stands ready to assist with:

  • Benefits;
  • Campus and community orientation;
  • Community service;
  • Daycare and schools;
  • Education;
  • Employment and workforce-development;
  • Housing;
  • Mentoring; and
  • Recreation.

If you or your family members have any questions, please contact our office at 773.702.1527 or email

Kathy Roth-Douquet

CEO & Co-Founder, Blue Star Families

Kathy Roth-Douquet is a non-profit executive, author, commentator, strategist, and attorney.

As Founder and CEO of Blue Star Families (BSF), she is a national spokesperson for military and Veteran families and advocate of the position that military families are a component of national security. Kathy writes social commentary, particularly with regards to issues of military service and citizenship. She is the co- author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of Americas Upper Classes from Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country, (HarperCollins, 2006), and How Free People Move Mountains (HarperCollins, 2008) both with Frank Schaeffer.

Kathy is a commentator on patriotism, civil-military affairs, the value of service, and the experience of military families. She is a frequent contributor to USA Today, and has appeared on the Today Show, Fox and Friends, NPR, CNN, and other media outlets. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers across the country. She is a frequent speaker at universities, policy forums, military audiences, and civic groups

Kathy received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, her MPA in International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University where she held a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law, Magna Cum Laude and the Order of the Coif. While serving at the Pentagon as Principal Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acting) she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for her work on defense reform. She is also a recipient of President George H. W. Bush’s Daily Point of Light Award, and received the Chief of Staff of the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Award. She was recently elected to serve on Princeton University’s Board of Trustees.

She is a military spouse of 24 years, four deployments, and 9 moves. She lives with her husband and two children in Northern Virginia.

"Blue Star Families is proud to partner with the University of Chicago Veterans and Family Readiness Program, which has helped us reach and support a greater number of military families in the Chicagoland area." -- Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO & Co-Founder, Blue Star Families

Vet Tix * provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life. We support our troops by honoring their service and providing positive family and life experiences, during and after their years of service to our country.

Whether you're visiting over Memorial Day or Veterans Day holiday weekends, or just have an interest in the armed forces, Chicago has a number of sites honoring U.S. veterans and those who have died while serving. Celebrate the country's military past with these Chicago attractions, museums, and memorials.

The USO provides a full list of discounted lodging, food and rentals for military-affiliated members. A cook county veterans discount card can be obtained from the cook county recorder of deeds.

Chicago Park District offers free programming for veterans and their families. To reach reps from Chicago Park District with questions, please click here

Cook County Veterans Discount Card - Veterans, active-duty personnel, and other members of the military can now apply online to receive a free discount card offering reduced costs and benefits from hundreds of businesses through the Cook County Clerk’s Military and Veteran’s Discount Program, according to the Office of Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough.

Military-affiliated members can also check with the American Legion's page for discounts on various services and products. 

Please see the CityPass site for more offers. 

The Union League Club's military support organizations focus on not only those currently serving and those who have previously served, but also the families that always play a major role in a person’s military career. Our Chicago 502, which supports the soldiers and families of the Army’s 502nd Infantry Regiment/101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 721 Club, which supports the crew and families of the USS Chicago (SSN 721), a U.S. Navy submarine, and American Legion Post 758 are all essential to our mission.

Blue Star Families brings together public, private, philanthropic, and military communities to better serve local military families. Blue Star Families partners with several museums in the state to offer free admissions to military-affiliated persons.

Our Military Kids, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports children (ages 5 – 12th grade) of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members, as well as those of wounded veterans from all service branches, with grants that provide up to $300 for a chosen activity. Participation in these extracurricular activities has proven to help military children cope with stress and anxiety, as well as foster a sense of self-confidence, while their parents are recovering or serving overseas.

Elizabeth Dole Foundation's Hidden Helpers brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers who care for a wounded, ill, or injured service member or veteran, seeking to provide solutions for the nation’s hidden heroes, many of whom raise hidden helpers.

Dixon Center for Veterans and Military Families provide many programs, trainings, and support for our veterans and their families. 

Travis Manion Foundation empowers Veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations.  

The Rush Road Home Program serves veterans and their families, providing individualized care and navigation of services to help heal the invisible wounds of war.

Wounded Warrior Project provides support and resources to Veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound while serving in the military on or after September 11, 2001.

Chicago is also home to the Edward Hines Jr. and Jesse Brown VA facilities, several outpatient clinics and Vet Centers located within the Chicagoland area.