Top 5 reasons Veterans and their spouses’ voices are invaluable


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You’re needed. Yes, you!

Your experience and insight as a Veteran of our nation’s armed forces are needed for the Blue Star Families’ Military Family Lifestyle Survey. This survey, now in its 10th year, is currently open and we need your voice to make it complete.

Military and Veteran families often share the trials and frustrations of a life of service, but often those experiences are only shared with friends and loved ones. The survey helps to amplify your concerns. Because the survey is considered a preeminent resource and window into military-affiliated families, those who drive policy and decisions in the government, corporate, and nonprofit worlds, they gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing our military families when they read the #BSFSurvey results. For that reason, the survey is an opportunity to increase dialogue between the military community and broader American society, minimize the civilian-military divide and support the health and sustainability of the all-volunteer force.

And that’s why you’re needed. Because:

1. You’ve experienced it all

The good. The bad. The frustrating. As a Veteran, you’ve seen both sides of military service and you know what is going on. That’s why your experiences are so vital to the Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey. Because you’ve been there, done that as a service member and a Veteran. And that’s powerful.

2. The struggle is real on both sides

Military spouses and Veteran spouses experience the same kinds of obstacles when it comes to unemployment and underemployment. Giving voice to these issues makes sure that spouses’ needs do not go unnoticed or unacknowledged.

3. Veterans know how to fight

There are a lot of issues affecting military families of all stripes – Veteran, retired, active, National Guard and Reserve. Veterans know the impact of things like operation tempos, PCS-ing, community integration and financial readiness have on serving and Veteran families. Telling your story helps to tell the stories of families like yours that may not have a chance to share theirs.

4. You can affect the future of the military

If you’re no longer serving, your responses to the #BSFSurvey can ring the warning bell and give greater insight into retention policies and concerns like long separations, the loss of or lack of faith in leadership and the impact of the military on serving families. By telling your story, you can help shape the future of how the military keeps the best and the brightest in its ranks.

5. Your voice is invaluable

Until May 25, those who are affiliated with the military community are encouraged to complete the #BSFSurvey. Once you finish it, you’ll be able to enter a drawing to win one of five $100 gift cards. Your impact goes far beyond the time you spend completing the survey. Your experience as a member of the military community will help to tell the story of America’s service members and their families. We need you. Your military community needs you.  Take the survey here.

Author

Gary Hicks

  is a public affairs specialist and serves as the senior writer in the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. He is a former managing editor of a daily newspaper and served in both the Army and Air Force prior to joining VA in 2006. Gary’s wife is an Air Force Senior NCO stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Comments

  1. Richard Edward Miller    

    My wife and I both did active duty together for 20 years or a total of 40 + years. I would love to participate with Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey. I served from 1975 to 1995 Deb 1977 to 1997. We where assigned to the same geographical area the entire 20 years. As Navy Corpsmen Deb would be assigned to Naval Hospitals and I usually with the Marines. We where able to live together the entire 20 years except for deployments. Never on board a ship.
    We would be honored to participate with Blue Star Families
    HMI Retired Richard and HMI Retired Deborah Miller.

  2. Richard Edward Miller    

    Love to participate. Retired Navy Corpsmen 20 years along with wife retired 20 years USN. 1975 1995 wife 1977 1997.

  3. Susan Ruiz    

    My name is Susan Ruiz, PhD and both my husband and I served in the US Navy. I would love to be of assistance and my research interest in in how PTSD impacts spouses of veterans. Knowing that spouses have few resources (especially if they are married to a veteran but not defined as a caregiver). I currently am part of the support for Loveourvets,org
    How can I help?

  4. Menneth M. Reed    

    Why is it that some Veterans get to be heard, yet troops from WWll, Korea, Vietnam Veterans are pretty much forgotten. Is it because we are supposed to be senile or dead soon !
    ALL TROOPS DESERVE HELP OF ANY KIND when it is needed ! Younger troops are always in the news. Older troops are in the news when we pass on ! War is a win win for industry and making big money for the rich. It is a lose lose for troops of any and all eras ! I joined the Navy in 1968. I was not trained for anything ! I became a mail clerk during boot camp ! No drilling, no marching, no rifle range, no classes of what ships at sea do. What bells and whistles mean. Then sent to Vietnam to wait for my duty station to pick me up. Granted, I did not lose any limbs or get wounds of combat. Yet not all wounds are visible ! I tried to kill myself because I had no clue what the hell I was supposed to be doing. I also lost part of my hearing because I didn’t know what the bells and whistles meant while standing 10 feet from a 3 ” deck gun.
    I was rated at 60 % and then 10 % was taken away 7 years later because a test was flawed ! How do you all like my voice now ? The system is slanted ! Seems that our government takes away benefits for some to give to others.

    1. EDWARD HAYES    

      I agree 100% what’s your search. I am a retired Navy veteran who served two tours in Vietnam and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Sleep apnea, diabetes, hearing loss, vertigo, nerve damage to hands and feet which are getting worse. Been fighting the VA for 30 years. They lost my medical records from 1968 to 1975Some of the elements which were treated doing it. They claim that I had no service connection because there was no proof. Even when the government lost my records or they claim they burned up in some type of fire.Today I found out they plan to reduce my benefits from 100% to 90% and take my spouse off my benefits. At this point I’ll have to go back to another Doctor Who is a specialist for an Evaluation. The doctors that the VA sent me two for evaluations or general practitioners and not specialist. Many are quacks they don’t want to hear what you have to say and they’ll tell you that. Anyway I’m kind of venting but you understand.

    2. R Henderson    

      Get with the DAV. They will help you.

  5. R Henderson    

    Never fight the VA alone. DAV is a great organization that will guid you thru your fight for compensation. I fought them alone since 2006. The injuries were all service connected and some from direct combat. It took until this year 2018 for me to request the DAV to help me. I was approved for IU at 100%. I was already retired from the US Government GS6 for disability. Social Security retired me at 100% which you have to be 100%to get SS. And these were for service connected disabilities that the VA wouldn’t rate but 80%. 12 long and frustrating years of fighting. Don’t do it alone!

  6. Cynthia F Wiley    

    Bamboozled by bad people in Air Forced but nobody wanted to know. I have been waiting years for the Drug War to die down so that I could appeal my Court Martial conviction for one count of wrongful use of marijuana Well it has never happened, and I am/was innocent of the charges.
    I am a black female who served in the Air Force from 1974 until 1988. In spite of other issues while seeving; I made the rank of Msgt E7 in 13 years with 24 points to spare and Never had so much as a letter of counseling. I also had received 3 Meritorious Metals even though they just handed me the last one.. The Air Force was my life, that until I was stationed at Elmendorf AFB Alaska. I had to take a drug test less than 30 prior to going to Alaska which was Ok. I may have taken 2_3 day leave between being reasigned. But after getting to Alaska I was given a drug test by a Sgt E5 in my squadron that gave me an opened lab cup top off. I have monitored women in the past, so i questioned the open cup, with top off and was told that’s how we do it here. Her sworn written statement during the Trial stated she followed all guidelines; But was proven a lie by two other witnesses of my testing procedures and the fact that only certified medical staff can monitor or give a Drug test to someone that out ranks them. When I monitored women I gave them a lab cup enclosed in a plastic bag. My court martial lasted 6 days and I was found guilty of the above offense.The only evidence was a drug test that first stated that my urine contained 17 nanograms of marijuana, but the second test of the Same Urine stated 11 nanograms the cutoff being 15. HOW COULD ONE TEST STATE 17 AND THE OTHER LATER STATE 11 OF THE SAME URINE UNDER LABORATORY CONTROL.Even the pathologist during the trial stated that the 2 test run on the initial sample was off ” it was like someone sprinkled pepper on a slice of pizza.” Then there was two test run on the initial sample that had been stored and the result were 11 nanograms. HOW ? My punishment was $1800 dollar fine,90 days hard labor without confinementand reduction in rank to Ssgt E5. I did approximately 85 days of my punishment & attended all drug classes required then I was told i had to go to a Discharge Board. I ask why and was told because of the Court Martial conviction. I CONSIDERED THAT DOUBLE JEOPARDY. Stating no that i could not be rehabilitated because I would not admit to the use. But the instructors of the Drug class stated to me that they felt a mistake had been made in my case. A Member on the Court Martial board requested I do my punishment at her duty station because she thought I was innocent of the charges but was out voted by the board, I later found out that the vote was 3 (2 (1 Cornel 06) & (Captins 02) quilty & 2 (Majors 04), not guilty of which one of the not quilty votes was by a forsenic police officer..The decision was rushed because some of the officers did not want to miss there (Dining in party). Then they (1Sgt) tried to get me to sign a Bad Conduct Discharge form which refused because I knew if the Court Martial Board did not kick me out, the least I could get was a General Under Honorable Condition Discharge..They got away with taking the my character of discharge was Drug Abuse, Not Cannabis or Marijuana So finding a job was hard with that type of discharge everyone thought I was a drug abuser and I realize that marijuana is listed as a schedule one drug but it was not necessarily view that way by society. I loved the Air Force , but if someone with enough rank wants you they will get you at all cost. Sad but true there were those that were upset about the black Tsgt moving up. I just want my name cleared.

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