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MFRI announces top research in military and veteran research

If you would like to revisit the evening's discussion, please view the archived version of this event.

ARLINGTON, Va. — An article examining the long-term implications of policy decisions made during and after World War II is being honored today by the Military Family and Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University as the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award. The annual award, now in its second year, recognizes the best scientific article published during the previous year that combines exceptional rigor with important insights about military and veteran families.

The article, “War and Marriage: Assortative Mating and the World War II GI Bill,” appeared in the October 2015 issue of Demography, a scholarly journal published by the Population Association of America. The authors of the article examined the unexpected impact of the GI Bill on spousal selection and family development for service members and veterans eligible for the benefit.

Jeremy G. Moulton of the University of North Carolina will accept the award from MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth. The presentation is part of an event hosted by retired Army Lt. Gen. Guy C. Swan III, vice president for education at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA), at AUSA’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Moulton’s co-authors are Matthew F. Larsen of Lafayette College, T.J. McCarthy of the University of Southern California, Marianne E. Page of the University of California, Davis, and Ankur J. Patel of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“For the past 16 years, MFRI has made it our mission to promote and advocate for research that provides insights into the unique challenges and opportunities facing military and veteran families,” MacDermid Wadsworth said. “We are pleased to be honoring authors who examined a critical implication of post-World War II policies in such a rigorous and innovative way. We believe that the conclusions of all the finalists’ research articles will further affirm the importance of high quality military-focused research.”

The award presentation will follow a panel discussion based on “A Battle Plan to Support Military and Veteran Families,” a collection of chapters to be published by MFRI in the spring of 2017. The book will examine lessons learned about supporting military and veteran families since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. MacDermid Wadsworth will moderate the discussion; panelists are experts on military and veteran families and “Battle Plan” contributors:

• Meredith Kleykamp, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Research on Military Organization
• Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association
• Morgan Sammons, executive officer of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists
• Barbara Thompson, director of the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Family Readiness Policy

“Battle Plan” will provide insights shared by leaders in government and policymaking, corporations and associations, community service and education, and behavioral health care and research. It aims to be a resource for future leaders who, when faced with the next serious conflict or military engagement, seek to offer the best support for service members, veterans and their families.

For more information about the award, the authors, and MFRI, visit the Military Family Research Institute website.

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About MFRI
The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families and collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This nationally recognized organization is located within Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

About the Association of the United States Army
AUSA is a private, professional, non-profit educational organization that represents every American soldier by being the voice for all components of America’s Army, fostering public support of the Army’s role in national security and providing professional education and information programs.

 

  •  Posted on Nov. 16, 2016

A Battle Plan to Support Military and Veteran Families

If you would like to revisit the evening's discussion, please view the archived version of this event.

You are invited to live stream a special MFRI panel presentation followed by the awarding of the 2016 Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award. The annual award, now in its second year, recognizes the best scientific article published during the previous year that combines exceptional rigor with important insights about military and veteran families. Both will take place Wednesday, November 16 at 3 p.m. from the headquarters of the Association of the United States Army, in Arlington, Va.

The award presentation will follow a panel discussion based on A Battle Plan to Support Military and Veteran Families, a collection of chapters to be published by MFRI in the spring of 2017. The book will examine lessons learned about supporting military and veteran families since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. MFRI Director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth will moderate the discussion; panelists are experts on military and veteran families and “Battle Plan” contributors:

  • Meredith Kleykamp, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Research on Military Organization
  • Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association
  • Morgan Sammons, executive officer of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists
  • Barbara Thompson, director of the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Family Readiness Policy

Battle Plan will provide insights shared by leaders in government and policymaking, corporations and associations, community service and education, and behavioral health care and research. It aims to be a resource for future leaders who, when faced with the next serious conflict or military engagement, seek to offer the best support for service members, veterans and their families.

  •  Posted on Nov. 15, 2016

Celebrating veterans, we salute all who served

MFRI is proud to have a number of veterans working on our staff. This month, Outreach Facilitator Phil Turner, a veteran of the Cold War, tells us about his service then and now. 

Q. What made you decide to join the service? Why did you pick the service branch you joined?

In my junior year of high school,  a U.S. Army sergeant and Vietnam Special Forces veteran addressed our student body to share his stories of how he survived the 1968 Tet Offensive. This alumnus of our high school was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart but 95 percent of his unit was killed or wounded. His words stayed with me and in August of 1970, I enlisted -- in part due to him, but also my father, who served in the USMC during the Korean War. Also, many of my cousins were serving at that time. I chose the Army partly due to that Army Ranger who took the time to speak to us.

Q. What are some of your memorable experiences?

I served two years deployment in Europe with 3rd Armored Division, NATO forces during the “Cold War” as a battle tank crewman, seeing countries like France, Holland, and Switzerland. My most memorable experience was on a training range near the Czech border. During a morning tactical maneuver our armored battalion was traversing through a heavy Nazi-fortified area from World War II. As I rode along, outside the hatch of my M60-A1 battle tank, I saw herds of sheep grazing in the meadows around us and on several hill sides in the distance were burned out concrete machine gun bunkers. We also passed many remnants of foundations from several villages destroyed by the war. The beauty of the meadow in the sunrise contrasted with the reminder of the battlefield. I will never forget the scene that morning and thinking about how many were sacrificed for our freedom on that field.

Q. When did you get out of them military? What have you been doing since then?

I was honorably discharged from active duty in 1972. I had agreed to serve at least one year in the Indiana Army National Guard. I stayed with the CAV unit 2.5 years total. I have been active in my local American Legion Post 10, Marion, since the mid-eighties. I have held several offices and am currently the Service Officer serving members and all Vets in a 10 County region.

Q. Why did you decide to continue working on behalf of veterans?

I can answer this question with one word – respect! Respect is the core attribute of anyone who has served this nation. We all share a common respect for our forefathers who many gave all for us. Respect for the flag, for the laws of our land and a respect for our constitution. Respect is a very important part of the principle of discipline. Respect is the discipline or the “cornerstone” of what allows people to live within a family group or in a society successfully. As a veteran, I respect our community, state and nation.

Q. What do you like best about your job?

I do not consider it a “job.” The best thing is MFRI gives me the honor of meeting so many outstanding people. Some are veterans/military members but many are not. They all have a huge heart and volunteer in their individual communities.

Q. What would you say to people about the significance of Veterans Day?

Remember our heroes in past and present wars on Veterans Day, but work in some way all year long to help someone who is serving or has served.
 

  •  Posted on Nov. 9, 2016

Research investigates help-seeking messages

Researchers at Purdue University are working to deepen understanding of what kinds of messages from family members are most helpful and effective at encouraging veterans to seek behavioral healthcare, when needed.

Led by Professor Steve Wilson of Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication, the team aims to gain a deeper understanding of these interactions from both the family member and veteran perspectives. Ultimately, the research results may inform programs whose mission it is to assist military and veteran families. The study includes an online survey that takes about 30 minutes to complete and asks the veteran to evaluate a message crafted by family members who took part in phase one of the study.

“We know these conversations can be difficult,” said Wilson, who is also a faculty associate at the Military Family Research Institute. “Thanks to the help of people who work with veterans, we were able to spread the word about phase one of our research, where we surveyed and interviewed family members of veterans. They described what they might say to a loved one to encourage them to seek help for symptoms of depression, PTSD or other, similar issues. We are now seeking to gain important information from the veteran's perspective.”

Eligible veterans interested in taking part in this survey can do so here. Participation is voluntary and open to veterans who are no longer connected to the military and who completed one or more deployments in OIF, OEF or OND. Participation is confidential and those who take part will receive a $10 Amazon gift card upon completion of the survey. If you have questions, contact:

  • Steve Wilson, Ph.D.
  • Professor, Brian Lamb School of Communication
  • Faculty Associate, Military Family Research Institute
  • Purdue University
  • militaryfamilycommunication@purdue.edu
  • 765-414-0094
  •  Posted on Nov. 7, 2016

November is Military Family Appreciation Month

In November, communities around the nation recognize the sacrifices that military families make through their support of the service members whom they love, and, by extension, our nation.

More than five million people live in today’s military family, according to the Department of Defense; two million of them are children, who move three times more often than their non-military peers. Military families live in every community and neighborhood, so we all can join in the effort to offer them support and gratitude.

There are many ways you can show your support for military families. You can download any of our How to Help publications, all of which provide evidence-informed, practical information aimed at increasing supports for military families that they interact with every day. AARP’s “Create the Good” has a toolkit that may help you find ways to help military families in your community. You can also make an impact on families by supporting MFRI and our initiatives.

But one of the best ways to support military families is to get involved with others in your community who are committed to doing the same. MFRI’s community mobilization teams can help you find a place to volunteer and help make a difference for families who serve.

So take the opportunity to take action to support military families – not just this month, but next month – and throughout the years to come. Thank you!

  •  Posted on Oct. 31, 2016


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