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2: Military Families

Military families and families of the fallen are the Nation’s families. In order to support them, a broad network of government entities, community groups, businesses, and concerned citizens is needed to work together. However, military families also need to take responsibility for their own readiness.

After a decade of war, new programs and services have been developed to help support military families and families of the fallen. Acquainting yourself with these programs or at least identifying a trusted resource in which to find information is paramount for your own family advocacy.

 

Action Items:

  • Not everyone is aware that you are married to a service member or are a child of a service member. Informing your teachers, clergy, and health care providers will help them understand you and your family better.
  • Each branch of the military provides services that will assist you and your family. Take it upon yourself to learn more about your spouse’s career from them or other trusted sources.
  • The length of deployments and constant reestablishment of relationships has negatively affected some families more than others. Some children in military families are experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties and military spouses are facing stress at higher levels. Seek out information from your military health insurance provider, TRICARE, in order to learn about the different types of counseling services available to you.
  • Volunteer! Volunteering is a great way to stay busy, make new friends and help others.

 

  • The Department of Defense has created Military OneSource, an internet-based resource which provides a 24-hour call center staffed with master’s level consultants familiar with the military lifestyle. They answer questions and provide resources and referrals on everyday issues like finding child care, dealing with stress, helping children deal with a parent’s deployment, or reunion and reintegration after combat duty. Military OneSource also provides counseling sessions and will set up face-to-face counseling sessions in the family’s community. Education and employment opportunities are available to you. Military OneSource has information on both.
  • Join community sports or recreation centers – they’re great places for you and your children or teens to make new friends.
  • Connect with your family support network – family, friends, clergy, teachers, and Family Readiness Group.

Resources:

Military OneSource is a comprehensive, free resource and referral service for military families providing information for everything from moving, to counseling, to car repair services. For more information go to www.militaryonesource.com.

TRICARE is the health care program serving Uniformed Service members, retirees, and their families worldwide. To find a provider near you visit www.tricare.mil.

Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and United We Serve. Visit www.nationalservice.gov to find volunteer opportunities.

The American Psychological Association developed a series of brochures entitled, “Resilience in a Time of War.” The brochures discuss a variety of topics on how children cope with deployment and homecoming. To download the brochures go to www.apa.org/topics/military/index.aspx.

Coming Together Around Military Families has a training curriculum for professionals serving military families. It was developed by Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization, that informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in the lives of infants and toddlers - www.zerotothree.org/about-us/funded-projects/military-families.

The Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) in collaboration with PBS has produced a handbook for military families.  A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members provides solu¬tions for service members and identifies non-service tools and resources that may be useful to friends and family members before, during, and after deployment. Go to www.realwarriors.net/materials/order/PBSHandbook.php to order the handbook.

Military Child Education Coalition offers resources and training for parents and educators of mobile military children. Visit www.militarychild.org for more information.

National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) provides research-based guidance on engaging parents, schools, and community leaders to create student success in school. Visit www.partnershipschools.org for more information.