May 17 2013
Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), co-chairs of the House Congressional Military Family Caucus offered remarks at this meeting highlighting the release of new survey results on the views of military family members.
Last November, over 5000 people took part in an on-line survey of military family members to determine the major issues facing them today.
73% of respondents were spouses, and 75% were affiliated with active-duty military personnel.
The top concerns identified were: pay/benefits with specific emphasis on changes to retirements benefits, military spouse employment, effects of deployment on children, and issues surrounding military child education.
The single greatest concern this year (listed by 35% of participants) was pay and benefits. This was followed closely by changes to retirement benefits (listed by 21% of respondents.)
Asked about the employment, 68% of spouses reported being a military spouse had a negative impact on their ability to pursue a career. Of the 61% not currently employed, 52% wanted to be. There are 23% that faced challenges moving a professional license across state lines.
Among families with children living in the home during a deployment or routine separation, 30% report seeking mental health services to address the negative emotional impacts of the separation. Of those that sought services, 72% found it helpful.
Almost 50% of military parents are unaware of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and only 29% of respondent’s report their school adheres to the Compact. And 47% of respondents report being unaware of the school liaison program.
These finding are not surprising to us and most military families who live this reality daily.
This data will allow us to further emphasize the special contributions and sacrifices made by our military families over long and arduous careers and to take action to provide relief to military families with respect to these issues of concern.
It will also remind us of how important it is to address difficulties that can be corrected through clear information dissemination, sound policies and legislative action.
Are you surprised by the survey results? What are your top concerns? Tell us!
**To view the comprehensive report, click here.
Karen serves as a Deputy Director, Government Relations (Military Family Issues)