eXtension Military Families Learning Network Promotes ‘How to Help’ Series

Military Families

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is partnering with eXtension and the Military Families Learning Network to help equip communities to better serve military service members, veterans and their families with the How to Help Military & Veteran Families series. The Military Families Learning Network will assist in the national promotion and distribution of the How to Help series and provide opportunities for interaction through online social channels as well as coordinate and offer professional development associated with the series topics.

Military families can face especially intense challenges. Along with separation come additional stressors, such as concerns for the safety of a deployed loved one and the well-being of those left behind. When service members return from deployment the challenges don’t end. Families may encounter mixed feelings, and these emotions can make reunions both joyful and trying. Whether service members are single, living alone or with parents, married with or without children, they rely on support networks to help ease the anxieties involved. Assistance from a wide variety of support networks is critical and can have a lasting impact on service members and those closest to them. The hope is to help increase understanding of the unique stresses, obstacles and opportunities that often accompany military service and therefore strengthen communities by building their capacity to better support the military families within them.

The How to Help Military & Veteran Families series is a new set of publications developed by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. There are 11 issues in the series. Each issue provides evidence-based guidance on how a particular interest group can help military and veteran families, with short, practical suggestions and links that point to additional resources. Each issue has been carefully reviewed both by subject matter experts and military family support organizations.

The 11 issues are:
• Issue 1. Medical Professionals
• Issue 2. Extended Families, Friends & Neighbors
• Issue 3. Faith-based Communities
• Issue 4. Early Childhood Educators
• Issue 5. Teachers
• Issue 6. Employers
• Issue 7. Higher Education
• Issue 8. Financial Institutions
• Issue 9. Legal Professionals
• Issue 10. First Responders
• Issue 11. Mental Health Providers

Jessica Wright, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness (invited) and Dr. Catherine Wotecki, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics, will host a launch of the How to Help Military & Veteran Families series on April 15, 2013 at The Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C.

Look for the How to Help Military & Veteran Families series and associated resources at the Military Families Learning Network after the national launch. (http://www.extension.org/militaryfamilies; http://blogs.extension.org/militaryfamilies/; https://learn.extension.org/)