Survey Results Reveal Military and Veteran Families Highly Likely to Recommend Military Service; However, Challenges Are Apparent

Thursday, March 1, 2018 General News
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Financial stress, food insecurity and dissatisfaction with health care are areas of concern

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Military and veteran families are more than twice as likely as the civilian

population to recommend military service to someone they care about, according to the 2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey Report, released by the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN). MFAN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a community of military and veteran families at home and abroad. Positive life experiences, stable pay and benefits, and education and career advancement opportunities were all reasons members of the military community gave as to why they would recommend service. It should be noted, however, that gaps in support and associated challenges exist. Areas of concern are primarily financial and health-related.

"Our findings reinforce that the family legacy of military service continues, and it serves as a reminder that investing in military families is imperative for the future of the force," said Shelley Kimball, Ph.D., MFAN director of research. "This means that it is in the best interest of our leaders to continue to take care of the family unit. If families feel supported and valued, the legacy of service will remain strong."

The survey found that most military families are carrying some form of debt, and they don't have enough money to cover emergency expenditures. In fact, 60 percent said they don't have enough in savings to cover three months of living expenses. In addition, 80 percent said that constant moving causes financial stress, and 15 percent indicated that they have experienced food insecurity.

While the survey results showed that families appreciate their health care, 29 percent of respondents reported that it needs improvement. Difficulty finding care, poor quality of care and challenges navigating the system were the downsides most commonly cited. Respondents also expressed a need for increased coverage in general, expanded mental health coverage and better care for family members with special needs.

"Part of MFAN's mission is to ensure that military families have the support they need to thrive," MFAN Executive Director Shannon Razsadin said. "The data from this survey informs everything we do as an organization. We want to make sure that other organizations, policymakers and federal agencies have access to it so that they are well-informed about what support service members really need."

The survey yielded responses from more than 5,650 participants representing all 50 states, two U.S. territories and seven countries. All respondents had a connection to military life, as active-duty service members, reservists, veterans and their family members.

MFAN will present the findings of its 2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey at an event on March 1 in Washington, D.C. The presentation will be followed by a discussion among military and veteran families, subject matter experts and community leaders on what the results mean to them. During the event, MFAN will speak via webcast with subject matter experts at satellite events in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Houston; and Norfolk, Virginia.

Visit to read the full report and learn more about MFAN's work. MFAN is also on Facebook and Twitter.

The Military Family Advisory Network is a nonprofit dedicated to building a community of military and veteran families at home and abroad who are well-informed about the resources designed to serve them; equipped with tools for success; connected to leaders who serve the military family community; and embraced by the general public. To learn more about MFAN, visit

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SOURCE Military Family Advisory Network

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