WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in eight years, the top concern of military families is the impact of military service on their families, according to the 2017 Blue Star Families (BSF) annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey (aMFLS).
"The 2017 Military Family Lifestyle Survey results indicate that while the majority of our military members and their spouses are satisfied with military life, those who serve our nation are increasingly concerned regarding the impact of military service on their families," said Cristin Orr Shiffer, Senior Advisor for Research and Policy at Blue Star Families.
The survey, which is a collaboration between Blue Star Families and Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), also showed that military families are concerned about community integration, the overall costs of service and sometimes lack of support for the diverse, 21st century workforce:
- 51% feel that they don't belong in their communities.
- 40% of service members had more than six months of separation from their families in the past 18 months.
- 24% have been diagnosed with depression, twice the national average, while
- 48% of veteran spouses say their veteran has exhibited PTSD in the last year.
- 46% of spouses cited unemployment or underemployment.
- 67% of female service members cannot find childcare.
"America has the greatest military made up of an all-volunteer force supported by wonderful military families that make tremendous sacrifices," said John Bird, VADM (ret.) and senior vice president of Military Affairs at USAA, the presenting sponsor of the survey. "This survey emphasizes the responsibility we have to better support our military families and caregivers."
The full 2017 Military Family Lifestyle Survey will be released on Nov. 15 at a reception at the Rayburn House in Washington D.C. A panel discussion focused on this year's findings will take place on Nov. 16 at The Brookings Institute and help inform and encourage dialogue around challenges and prominent aspects of maintaining the strongest and most effective All-Volunteer Force, and what can be done to proactively support our service members and their families.
About the Military Family Lifestyle Survey
This is the eighth iteration of the BSF Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which has been conducted annually since 2009. The 2017 survey, designed by Blue Star Families in collaboration with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and analyzed by the Department of Research and Policy at Blue Star Families, was fielded in April and May of this year. More than 8,300 military families, including active duty service members and veterans, provided valuable insight regarding the true cost of sustaining the All-Volunteer Force. The Military Family Lifestyle Survey's response rate makes it the largest and most comprehensive survey of active duty, veterans, and their families.
Funding for the 2017 annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey is provided through the generosity of our presenting sponsor USAA and from Lockheed Martin Corporation, Facebook, and Northrop Grumman.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and served more than 1.5 million military family members. Blue Star Families believes that all military families should be able to serve and simultaneously build thriving and healthy families. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. Visit bluestarfam.org for more information.
The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America's service members, veterans and their families, the IVMF delivers class-leading programs in career, vocations, and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. Please visit vets.syr.edu for more information.
The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12.3 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.
Contact: Bana Miller