Recent News

Stay updated on the latest MFRI news as well as news pertaining to military families and those who work to assist them.

Happy birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps!

Take a moment today (Nov. 10) to pause and reflect on the United States Marine Corps, which celebrates 240 years of service to this nation both on land and on sea.

On Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet.” With that, the Continental Marines were established.

After the end of the war, the Continental Marines went out of existence until hostilities with France necessitated their creation, this time for good, in 1798. During this time, the Marine landed in Santo Domingo, and took part in many operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli.”

Since then, Marines have participated in all the wars of the United States, and in most cases were the first service members to fight. They have executed more than 300 landings on foreign shores. The Marine Corps motto of "Semper Fidelis" ("Always Faithful") was adopted in 1883.

MFRI would like to convey to every Marine family – active and retired – our thanks for their service to our country. Semper fi!

  •  Posted on Nov. 10, 2015

Join the year-round effort to appreciate military families

November is filled with events honoring our military, veterans and their families, including Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month. It's also a prime time to reinvigorate our commitment to supporting those who serve our nation.

MFRI recently participated in MediaplanetUSA’s “Thanking Our Troops” campaign, in which industry professionals and associations came together to educate readers about obstacles and challenges veterans face with reintegration into civilian life. MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth sat down for a Q & A, and the article appeared in a special section published Nov. 6 in USA Today.

  •  Posted on Nov. 6, 2015

Tippecanoe County steps up for at-risk veterans

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – On any given night, nearly 50,000 veterans are homeless, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Working with organizations across the state, the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is working to reduce that number.

“During the Vietnam War, the term referred to a time when you could have respite and recover from the combat experience,” said Martina Sternberg, MFRI’s community mobilization director. “Now it more commonly refers to an event hosted by communities across the country to give military personnel, veterans and their families a chance to access help with housing, job placement and health care.”

On the national level, key agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, help lead stand down events. According to the VA, about 12 percent of the adult homeless population is veterans. These homeless veterans are predominantly male and single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. 

In Indiana, MFRI works with a variety of organizations to coordinate Stand Down programs, offering tool kits to guide planning and grant funds to help defray costs. This year, MFRI community grants supported 17 Stand Downs  across the state. At these events, homeless or at-risk veterans and their families can receive food, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefit counseling, clothing, resume writing assistance and other services.

“Indiana communities are really stepping up this year and making a difference in these veterans’ lives,” Sternberg said. “Volunteers play a vital role in planning, supporting and delivering stand down services.”

This year’s Stand Down in Lafayette is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, 1010 Teal Rd. For more information, contact Martina Sternberg at

  •  Posted on Oct. 29, 2015

A month of appreciation for military families

November is a busy month for veterans and their families, with Veterans Day celebrations crowding their calendars. However, the month is also reserved to honor military families and all that they do.

The Armed Service YMCA established November as National Military Family Appreciation Month, urging communities around the world to honor and recognize the sacrifices they make. Shortly thereafter presidential proclamations formally established the occasion, urging Americans to look for ways to pay tribute to military families.

“The selflessness of our military families tells a story of unfailing duty and devotion,” said President Obama in his 2014 proclamation. “Through long deployments, difficult separations, and moves across the country and overseas, spouses and partners put their careers on hold and children take on extra responsibilities. With grace and resilience, families endure the absence of loved ones and shoulder the burdens of war."

During Military Family Appreciation Month, you can express your appreciation by flying the American flag, adopting a military family in need, or offering services, discounts or other benefits specifically for them. A list of suggestions as well as MFRI’s How to Help Military and Veteran Families may give you some ideas on simple ways to say “Thank you for all you do.”

  •  Posted on Oct. 22, 2015

A battle plan to support military families

More than 90 high-level leaders gathered last month to help their successors benefit from more than 15 years of successes and challenges in work for military-affiliated families.

Designed by the Military Family Research Institute, the Battle Plan for Supporting Families Symposium aimed to increase effectiveness for a future generation of leaders in various positions of responsibility – across the federal government, corporations, nonprofit and educational institutions and communities – whose organizations touch military families. Current leaders heard presentations and took part in discussions about lessons learned from more than a decade of war-related family issues.

The goal is that by sharing their experiences, future leaders can benefit from prior experiences and better help military-affiliated families. The symposium also will produce materials that future leaders can use as they design resources and responses to benefit military members, veterans and their families. More information about symposium results will be forthcoming in future months. 

  •  Posted on Oct. 20, 2015

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