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Military families are an increasingly important element of our military, particularly since the advent of the all-volunteer force in 1973. Today, the majority of the active duty military, National Guard, and reservists are married and more than 43% have at least two children. While there are still traditional concentrations of military populations around the country at military bases, military families are also living in just about every city, country and state in America.
Strong military families will strengthen the fabric of America as well as our national security. There are clear benefits to spotlighting the resilience, community volunteerism, and patriotism of the military and their families, so that all Americans will have an awareness of inspirational examples and opportunities for service, community, and pride.
When service members are deployed, they are not the only ones affected, their families are impacted as well. Military families face all sorts of challenges – adjusting to military culture, transitioning to a single parent household or simply taking care of household duties that were once completed by a now deployed family member.
As we take time to honor and serve those who serve us, remember to include their families as well. Take a look at our list below or find a volunteer opportunity on Serve.gov. Be sure to read about successful projects on our Stories of Service blog and share your story.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Contact your National Guard State Family Program Director to learn how you can support National Guard families living in your area.
- Volunteer at a camp for military children. To find a camp for military kids in your state, go to MilitaryFamily.org.
- Create your own project using the toolkit, How to Help Military Families from AARP’s Create the Good.
- Check out the Sierra Club’s Military Families Outdoors program, which provides positive outdoor experiences for Armed Forces personnel and their families.
Check out these organizations to learn more:
- United Through Reading
- Little Patriots Embraced
- Hero Miles
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
- Operation Homefront
Are you a member of a military family?
The servicemember in your family isn’t the only one who can serve their country – you can too! Get started with the list of websites below or search for volunteer opportunities on Serve.gov
- The Joint Services Support Network is a great resource for military families. There, you can join an online community and find information about programs for you and your family in your area.
- Blue Star Families has a number of exciting ways to help connect, support, and engage military families.
- Learn about the Sesame Workshop’s Talk, Listen, Connect. Initiative for Military Families.
Find other resources and opportunities at National Military Family Association, Operation Child Care, Sierra Club’s Military Families Outdoors, and Girl Scouts Overseas. Additional information can be found through the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and The National Resource Directory (NRD).