The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University recently released “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families,” a new research book that highlights lessons in supporting service members, veterans, and their families during and after operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Findings in the book reveal that when planning for a military conflict, leaders in Congress, the executive branch, and service organizations should prioritize military families as a part of defense strategy during conflicts.
The book draws on lessons learned from U.S. policymakers, Congress members, Department of Defense officials, and leaders in sectors such as higher education, behavioral health, corporate America, and more. Key insights focus on how to produce effective and agile support systems for military and veteran families before, during, and after times of war. More than 100 leaders contributed to this valuable resource, providing knowledge they gained working firsthand with military families after 9/11 and distilling lessons learned and recommendations into practical, experience-based chapters.
“During each new conflict, we learn more about how best to support service members,” says Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Ph.D., director of MFRI. “Our findings indicate that the military is strongest when service members know their families are taken care of and when families have the tools and resources they need to support their service member.”
In addition to sharing lessons learned, “A Battle Plan” acts as a road map for supporting military and veteran families, addressing how to:
- Integrate family support systems into defense strategy.
- Anticipate issues and challenges that are likely to affect military families.
- Adopt policies that help, not hinder, military families during times of conflict.
- Ensure that military families have a voice in the conversation.
- Identify urgent gaps in support systems.
- Navigate the rapidly changing world of service organizations.
- Plan more effectively for medical and caregiving needs.
- Provide the resources military and veteran families need after military conflicts wind down.
The book was edited by Linda Hughes-Kirchubel, MFRI’s director of external relations, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, MFRI’s director, and David Riggs, executive director of the Center for Deployment Psychology. To learn more about “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families,” visit www.mfri.purdue.edu/battleplan.
About Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University
The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that impact military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs, and practices that promote their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. The nationally recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.