Military Life Issues Survey Analysis & Findings May, 2009 Sharing the Pride of Service Funding for the Military Life Issue...
Research Objectives and Methodology OBJECTIVE: Obtain a better understanding of military families’ concerns including nati...
Thank you to our partners! Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Blue Star Families partnered wi...
Composition of Sample by Branch of Service Army Air Force Army National Guard Navy Marine Corps Air National Guard (1%) Al...
Composition of Sample by Geographic Region Southeast Northeast Southwest Alaska/Hawaii West Overseas % of Respondents Blue...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Families need help with morale and support surrounding dep...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Select Respondent Quotes:  General public does not underst...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 OPTEMPO/ Deployments/ Training Time Effect of Deployments ...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 OPTEMPO Effect on Kids Moral Support Deployment Issues: Ho...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Select Respondent Quotes:  Deployment Concerns <ul><li>“ M...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Military Pay/ Benefits PTSD/TBI/ Combat Stress Spouse Empl...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Educational Opportunities for Kids Educational Opportuniti...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Military Heath Care - Quality Military Health Care - Acces...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Respondent  Quotes regarding Military Family Services Heal...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Military Heath Care - Quality Military Health Care - Acces...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Financial Assistance/ Counseling Marital/Family Counseling...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 War in Iraq/ Afghanistan Economy Education Terrorism Veter...
Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Housing Market Taxes Immigration What  National Issues  mo...
<ul><li>In the open end comments, many respondents discussed the role of patriotism and national service in their lives.  ...
Thank you to our partners! Blue Star Families:  Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Blue Star Families partnered wi...
Funding for the Military Life Issues survey and event was provided by Blue Shield of California Foundation   Next Steps Bl...
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2009 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Results

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Results of the Blue Star Families Military Families Life Issues Survey presented to the Congressional Women's Caucus, the White House Council on Women and Girls and members of Congress in conjunction with the National Military Family Association on May 5, 2009.

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2009 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Results

  1. 1. Military Life Issues Survey Analysis & Findings May, 2009 Sharing the Pride of Service Funding for the Military Life Issues survey and event was provided by Blue Shield of California Foundation
  2. 2. Research Objectives and Methodology OBJECTIVE: Obtain a better understanding of military families’ concerns including national issues, services to military families and other military family life topics Type of Study: <ul><li>Online survey approximately 10 minutes in length </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed via numerous partner websites, electronic newsletters, and local offices/centers </li></ul>Respondents represent all regions of the U.S. as well as overseas military installations METHODOLOGY: Sample: Markets: <ul><li>2,794 surveys were completed </li></ul><ul><li>This initial report analyzed 1,632 respondents including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship to Service Member = Self, Spouse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Status = Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, Drilling Guard, Drilling Reserve, Inactive Ready Reserve </li></ul></ul>Timing: Survey was fielded in March, 2009 Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009
  3. 3. Thank you to our partners! Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Blue Star Families partnered with many of the country’s most respected military service organizations to distribute our survey online via partner websites and through physical locations at Red Cross Armed Forces local offices, and USO centers nationwide.
  4. 4. Composition of Sample by Branch of Service Army Air Force Army National Guard Navy Marine Corps Air National Guard (1%) All Other (1%) % of Respondents Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 37% 20% 7% 17% 17%
  5. 5. Composition of Sample by Geographic Region Southeast Northeast Southwest Alaska/Hawaii West Overseas % of Respondents Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 25% 15% 11% 6% 12% Midwest Mid-Atlantic 15% 6% 10%
  6. 6. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Families need help with morale and support surrounding deployments – 94% feel the larger community doesn’t understand or appreciate the sacrifices of military service Completely Agree 71% Somewhat Agree 23% Neither Agree nor Disagree = 3% Completely Disagree = 1% Somewhat Disagree = 2% To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “ The general public does not truly understand or appreciate the sacrifices made by service members and their families.” % of Respondents:
  7. 7. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Select Respondent Quotes: General public does not understand military sacrifices <ul><li>“ I think the general public needs to have a greater understanding of the sacrifices the men and women who protect our country make. It seems like that unless you have a close family member in the military that there is little or no understanding of the stress and sacrifice that the family must also make. These people are giving the ultimate gift to protect our liberty. We need to make sure that the general public appreciates them.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I was very impressed when Mrs. Obama made a speech and encouraged all Americans to reach out to military families in their communities. Too many people have forgotten what our military is really about because they have not had to personally sacrifice ANYTHING during these wars. Somehow we need to try and bring that understanding back to the general population.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I do believe that the average American has no idea what kind of sacrifice is made by those in and associated with the military. When the US was considering invading Iraq, I heard many ridiculous, off the cuff remarks such as, &quot;we should go in and kick their **ses,&quot; usually by those who have no one serving…I don't believe our nation should ever go to war without most Americans making or feeling some sort of sacrifice. The volunteer military works well, and those who want to be there should be our warriors, but we go to war as a country, and as a country, we should all serve.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I would like to see the civilian sector become more supportive, aware and appreciative of the sacrifices being made by service members and their families.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ In eleven years of being a military spouse, it is just nice to know someone notices us...cares about us and our families. For that I say, thank you.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 OPTEMPO/ Deployments/ Training Time Effect of Deployments on Dependent Kids Moral Support for Families of Deployed Members What Military Family Life Issues are most important to you? Post-Deployment Family Readjustment 77% 85% 81% 79% % Important = % Extremely Important = % Very Important Deployment related issues are very important to most military families with the impact on children being of particular concern % MOST Important 16% 12% 8% 7%
  9. 9. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 OPTEMPO Effect on Kids Moral Support Deployment Issues: Households with Children vs. Households without Children Family Readjustment = Total Sample = HHs with Kids % Rating Issue MOST Important 16% 12% 8% 7% = HHs w/o Kids 15% 16% 6% 7% 18% 3% 10% 7% % Rating Issue Extremely/Very Important: 77% 85% 81% 79% 77% 91% 81% 80% 77% 70% 81% 78% Sample Size : HHs with Kids = 1,295; HHs w/o Kids = 495 Even most families without kids are concerned about the impact of deployment on children; however, they were more likely to rate OPTEMPO and moral support their most important issues
  10. 10. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Select Respondent Quotes: Deployment Concerns <ul><li>“ Military children, due to having an OPTEMPO equal to that of their military parent, are being as severely affected by this war as the Soldier himself. This added stress on children is resulting in emotional problems for many military children. I do not feel that the CDCs (child development centers) are fully resourced or staffed to deal with children that develop these behavioral problems as a result of their parents being constantly deployed. “ </li></ul><ul><li>“ As a teacher on a military post I see the effect of war on military families besides just my own. Having a strong mental health program for families and service members is vital. The pressures that deployment and time away brings makes things much harder. Unfortunately, I see many depressed wives and mothers. This in turn makes for some struggling depressed students in school..” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The biggest change I have seen since the last deployment and this, and very grateful for, is the Army Family Covenant which provides childcare at reduced rates. For 15 months those with children are single parent's and they need every break they can get. I shudder to think that child abuse cases MAY have contributed to the formation of this great program, but I am glad it is in place.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Spouses of deployed military members do not need more classes about coping, what is truly needed is actual help. Someone to mow the lawn, look after the kids, help take the trash out, that sort of thing. Spouses that are left behind at a base that is new to them and who know very few, if any, people need help with everyday issues, not more classes at ACS (Army Community Service).” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fifteen month deployments are too long and too hard. No one seems to understand what it is like to not see your spouse for 15 months (and some people, contrary to popular belief, do not get R&R stateside) have them come home, try to adjust, only to see them pop right back into training up for the next fifteen month deployment. I've been a military spouse for sixteen years, through multiple deployments, and NOTHING has been as difficult as this ridiculous operational tempo going on right now.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Military Pay/ Benefits PTSD/TBI/ Combat Stress Spouse Employment Opportunities What Military Family Life Issues are most important to you? Services to Families Living Off Base 85% 77% 65% 68% % Important = % Extremely Important = % Very Important Other issues that were of great importance to military families include pay/benefits and mental health challenges % MOST Important 21% 12% 6% 6%
  12. 12. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Educational Opportunities for Kids Educational Opportunities for Spouse PCS Adjustments Service Member Paternity/Maternity Leave Educational Opportunities for Service Member 73% 64% 59% 46% 60% % Important = % Extremely Important = % Very Important % MOST Important 3% 3% 2% 1% 1% What Military Family Life Issues are most important to you? Several additional issues were important to military families but not as concerning as the other issues facing them at this time
  13. 13. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Military Heath Care - Quality Military Health Care - Access Tricare Insurance Base Housing - Quality What Service to Military Families is most in need of improvement? Base Housing - Access Mental Health 16% 15% 14% 11% 11% 9% % Respondents Over half of respondents felt military health care is most in need of improvement while almost 25% felt base housing is the main issue Total Healthcare = 54% Total Housing = 22%
  14. 14. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Respondent Quotes regarding Military Family Services Health Care Base Housing Mental Health <ul><li>“ When our lives often involve us moving and/or traveling extensively, military families need insurance that goes where they go. I shouldn't have to resort to ER visits to get my kids to a doctor every time we leave our &quot;area&quot; and yet Tricare's own reps advise me to do so.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The medical treatment my children and I received on post and our inability to schedule timely appointments, made me revert to Tricare Standard. I now drive approximately one hour each way for pediatric appointments.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are too few doctors for the number of patients to be seen, resulting in &quot;turn and burn&quot; style of care. I have issues that I know I should bring up to my PCM (primary care manager) but I am waiting until our next duty station.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We need better healthcare support of family members with profound, non-acute healthcare needs like autism, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, out-of-control teenagers, etc.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ You can spend 12 -14 months on the wait list before moving on base. This requires the children to attend 2 different schools. This does affect the quality of learning they receive.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We find our quality of life to be better off post. Post housing is in poor condition and plagued with structural and cosmetic defects. However, we miss the camaraderie of living on post and the conveniences that on post living offers.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We had a large hole in our ceiling that developed mold. It was impossible to get fixed. An E-9 was selling cookies with his daughter and noticed it. I explained the situation and he said he would take care of it - the following Monday the hole was fixed. However, they never treated the house for mold, just covered the hole and months later another family moved in.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Too many families have to live in motels for extended periods of time due to the lack of base housing availability.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think redeployment and reunion, having done this 4 times, is so difficult. We either need support groups for families who all are in the same boat trying to readjust with those who are trained to lead or more mental health providers during these critical 6 months back.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ With a daughter who has needed intense psychological counseling to deal with the deployments, I would like to see additional services offered to families of reservists. We have had to pay for all counseling for our daughter since Tricare is not accepted by the major hospitals and doctors in our area.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My marriage is suffering due to my husband having PTSD which he says he doesn’t have or is too proud and worried for it to go on his personal records. The military doesn’t know my husband like I’ve known him. He’s changing more and more after each deployment and the military is not doing anything for that issue.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Military Heath Care - Quality Military Health Care - Access Tricare Insurance Base Housing - Quality Satisfaction with Military Family Services Base Housing - Availability Mental Health 16% 15% 14% 11% 11% 9% Healthcare is likely considered more critical and therefore most in need of improvement, even though dissatisfaction with housing seems more widespread % Extremely/Very Satisfied % Extremely/Very Dissatisfied 44% 42% 55% 30% 28% 37% 27% 21% 40% 43% 33% 30% Which service is most in need of improvement?
  16. 16. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Financial Assistance/ Counseling Marital/Family Counseling CDC/SAS DoDEA Schools Satisfaction with Military Family Services Commissary/ Exchange MWR 5% 4% 5% 4% 3% 4% % Extremely/Very Satisfied % Extremely/Very Dissatisfied 40% 40% 39% 41% 63% 56% 27% 24% 25% 11% 15% 30% Which service is most in need of improvement? Chaplain Services 1% 64% 12% % Experienced with Service 51% 55% 40% 93% 85% 49% 61% Other services were rated more highly, particularly Commissary/Exchange and Chaplain Services
  17. 17. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 War in Iraq/ Afghanistan Economy Education Terrorism Veterans Service What National Issues most concern or affect you? Healthcare Gov’t Corruption 89% 88% 84% 78% 86% 80% 72% % Concerned = % Extremely Concerned = % Very Concerned While respondents were concerned about many national issues, the Wars in Iraq/Afghanistan and the Economy were of most concern 28% 9% 8% 8% 7% 6% % MOST Concerned 25%
  18. 18. Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Housing Market Taxes Immigration What National Issues most concern or affect you? Environment Transportation/ General Infrastructure 59% 67% 46% 53% 38% % Concerned = % Extremely Concerned = % Very Concerned Additional national issues were included in the survey but were of significantly less concern to military families % MOST Concerned 3% 2% 2% 1% 0%
  19. 19. <ul><li>In the open end comments, many respondents discussed the role of patriotism and national service in their lives. Spouses and service members are proud of the work they do and understand that sacrifices are a necessary and honorable part of military life. </li></ul><ul><li>However, this is an extremely challenging time for military families. In terms of national issues, they consider the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan of the utmost concern while they are not immune from worries regarding the U.S. economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Repeated deployments and family separations have caused a great deal of strain. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When asked about military family life, deployment related issues were rated most important by respondents with general OPTEMPO and the effect of deployments on kids being of most concern. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is compounded by the sense that the larger community does not truly understand the sacrifices being made by service members and their families. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lengthy separations have also left families more vulnerable to other challenging aspects of military life. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey participants had high levels of dissatisfaction with many military services with health care and housing cited as most in need of improvement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many comments on these topics relate to how much more difficult it is to cope with these challenges when a spouse is deployed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Numerous respondents expressed gratitude at being asked to share their opinions. They appreciate the opportunity to share their experiences and concerns. </li></ul>Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Conclusions The willingness of our national civilian leadership to shine a spotlight on military family issues is tremendously important and appreciated. It is an important step towards addressing the disconnect and challenges many military families face.
  20. 20. Thank you to our partners! Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 Blue Star Families partnered with many of the country’s most respected military service organizations to distribute our survey online via partner websites and through physical locations at Red Cross Armed Forces local offices, and USO centers nationwide.
  21. 21. Funding for the Military Life Issues survey and event was provided by Blue Shield of California Foundation Next Steps Blue Star Families: Military Family Issues Survey– March, 2009 <ul><li>The following additional analyses are planned for the Military Life Issues Survey data: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Branch of Service comparisons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>National Guard/Reserve specific issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parent/sibling/extended family member feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-depth analysis of open end comments </li></ul></ul></ul>

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