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Military Connection: Military Family Survey Results: By Debbie Gregory

Blue starThe fifth annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey was conducted by Blue Star Families, a non-profit organization that is run for military families by military families. For their 2014 survey, the organization polled 6,270 individual members of military families, from all branches of service. The results show a growing concern about financial stability, and uncertainty about the future among military families.

  • 60% of those polled said that their financial situation caused them “some stress” or a “great deal of stress.”
  • 49% said that financial issues were a top stressor during their time in the military.
  • 40% polled said that the spouse of the service member was unemployed.
  • 38% said that they had uncertainty about their military lives.
  • 36% said that their costs for renting were higher than their BAH.
  • 34% were uncertain about the changes and potential changes to their family’s benefits.

These numbers show the amount of stress that many military families face, even with the benefits provided. Perhaps the government or the service branches could make efforts to utilize this information to improve, or at least reevaluate, how they provide and educate their personnel.

Other noteworthy data related to deployments and permanent changes of station:

  • 88% of the people surveyed said that their service member deployed between one and five times since September 11, 2001.
  • 47% said that their service member was deployed between 13 and 36 months in total.
  • 41% said that they were separated from their service member for 13-36 months for training, temporary duty and other assignments that were not deployments.
  • 69% said that their family has moved between one and six times within the U.S.
  • 42% said that their family has moved outside of the U.S.

This data shows just how much time service members are separated from their families. Of course, this is a well-known sacrifice that all service members make. But seeing the actual numbers is eye-opening for lawmakers and civilians alike

With the data provided by the Military Family Lifestyle Survey, government agencies, including the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, can better understand the struggles that military families face.

The survey can be viewed by visiting: http://bluestarfam.org/tags/fifth-annual-military-family-lifestyle-survey.

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Military Connection: Military Family Survey Results: By Debbie Gregory