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Family Story

Military Spouse Finds Connections at Baby Shower

By Operation Homefront

September 26, 2023

Operation Homefront Provides Connections for Army Spouse at Military Baby Shower

Yessica Ortega Kinchen did not know what being a military spouse to an American servicemember would mean. She did not know how challenging moving to the United States would be. Or how hard it can be to meet people and build a network.

The Colombia native who grew up in Italy — where she met her husband, Army Sgt. Joshua Kinchen four years ago — now lives in Washington where Joshua is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Finding support programs that can help her and her fellow military spouses and moms has been integral to her adjustment to service life in the United States. Yessica found that camaraderie and more when she attended her first Operation Homefront Star-Spangled Babies shower in University Place, Washington.

“A friend on the base told me about it,” Yessica said. “I had not heard of it. She was pregnant, too, at the time so we both went. It was so much fun!”

Since 2008, the Star-Spangled Babies program has provided critical baby supplies to more than 20,000 military new and expecting moms. In most locations, the families who participate have deployed or wounded service members or other junior and mid-grade service members in their families.

Yessica was pregnant with her fifth baby when she attended the shower. The experienced mom said she learned a few new tips and was grateful for the speakers and resources. She also met more moms-to-be to help expand her support network.

“I made new friends there, and I had a really great time.” – Yessica Ortega Kinchen, Army spouse

She hopes donors to Operation Homefront know how much they have helped her and others by providing free baby stuff for military families. “The Star-Spangled Babies showers make the mothers super happy,” Yessica said. “If you could have seen our faces, my friends were so excited. I was excited, too. I am so grateful,” she added. “Mucho thank you!”

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