We fight for military families: the Association’s 2013 priorities, Part 1

We fight for military families: the Association's 2013 priorities part 1It’s always nice to know you have someone in your corner, someone you can count on who understands where you are coming from, someone who knows what your life is like, and who will stand beside you as you try to make life better for you and your family. The National Military Family Association is in your corner – in fact, our highest priority is to fight for military families.

We fight to ensure programs and benefits critical to the well-being of military families – our families – are authorized, funded, and implemented to be there when you need them. We know how important they are in maintaining your family readiness and empowering you to meet the challenges of military life.

Each year, at the beginning of the Congressional session, we gather information we have heard from you and develop a list of legislative and policy priorities that we will promote and advocate for on your behalf. Some of these priorities we will bring to the attention of Congress – those items that need legislative changes, updates, or fixes in order to better meet the needs of military families. Some priorities we bring to the attention of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Services, to recommend changes to policies or regulations to better serve military families.

We use these priorities as a basis for the testimony we prepare for Congressional hearings every year. You can find examples of testimony from previous years on our website. Our testimony is not just a list of requests. We use our testimony to share your story – the story of the Nation’s families. We talk about the importance of the foundation of benefits and programs that military families depend upon: quality, accessible health care; behavioral health support; spouse career opportunities; good schools for military children; quality, affordable child care; a secure retirement; and unwavering support if wounded, widowed, or orphaned.

We talk about what is working for military families – the programs and resources meeting the needs of families most effectively. How do we know? We hear from you. We talk about how programs need to be flexible and accommodate the diversity of military families – whether they are far from the flag pole in recruiting duty or the family of a citizen soldier who lives nowhere near a military installation. We also remind Congress that effective support for military families must involve a broad network of government agencies, community groups, businesses, and concerned citizens. DoD and the Services cannot do it alone.

In our next two posts in this series we will explain and outline our Association’s specific priorities for 2013. Read Part 2 and Part 3 here.

kathyPosted by Kathleen Moakler, Government Relations Director at the National Military Family Association


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  1. 1
    Mittie Lewis

    My name is Mittie Jones Lewis. I am the spouse of a deceased military veteran, due to the Vietnam War and serious illlnesses, physical and mental. Our children and I have paid the price for his tours of duty in Vietnam. We continue to pay. We have never had help in any way. My children had to grow up without their father and I had to live without the love of my life. Our lives have been empty and the least America could have done for my husband is to care for his family. We have never received one word about our loss…”I am sorry for your loss…” should be extended to all families of the wounded and deceased veterans.

    My sons are disabled veterans and they have not received their rightful entitlements. I had to suppport my children alone. I have worked as an educator for DODDS and within the United States. I must still help my disabled sons because of their limited incomes. We deserve better. I have never not served as a volunteer or supporter for causes that serve my fellowman.

    The wives and children of the Vietnam Veterans should be recognized. Have you moved every three years? Have you had to raise your children alone? Have you had to live off of the salary of an educator? Have u really looked at the faces of the wives and children of Veterans? Have you ever, even, checked on us…My husband saved lives in Vietnam and he sacficied his life to save yours…If he were alive today, I think he would say, I love God, my Family and my Country. You are alive what will you say?

    With God, I am able to endure the perpetual pain. If the reader of this reply is a member of Congress. Please tell me why the families of Vietnam Veterans are forgotten?

    M. J. Lewis

  2. 4
    Marie King

    What a wonderful site, I will definitely be bookmarking it. Personally, as a child of an aging Vet, I think one of the hardest things to understand is the VA System, how it works, and what benefits are available to my parents. Unfortunately I’m the one they look to for help because they aren’t very internet savvy, so trying to find information can be like running in circles. I’m in the midst of reading a wonderful book that I think others might find helpful, or at least a great resource. It’s called “Crack the VA” by Barbara Steinberg. You can check out her site and the book at http://www.blseldercare.com/. Thank you again for this post and website. It’s nice to know there are places to turn to for help.

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