Here’s Why Taking the Military Family Lifestyle Survey Matters

Here’s Why Taking the Military Family Lifestyle Survey Matters
Lt. Cmdr. Roberto Johnson greets his family March 4 after completing a seven-month deployment aboard amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Melvin Fatimehin/Navy)

Each year, Blue Star Families (BSF) collects survey responses from thousands of servicemembers (active duty as well as Guard and Reserve), veterans, and families on the issues that matter most to our community. The 2022 Blue Star Families annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey recently launched and is open until July 10. This is a great opportunity to share your voice and offer anonymous responses to the issues that are on your mind!


This 30-to-35-minute survey asks questions about health and wellness, mental health care and education of dependents, community experiences, moving, education, employment, access to food, policy issues, and more.


Survey data informs organizations like MOAA on the challenges, experiences, and issues our servicemembers, veterans, and families are facing. This vital feedback allows MOAA to fight for the military and veteran community through advocacy efforts. MOAA’s 2022 Advocacy in Action campaign included the Stop Copay Overpay Act and a push to ensure a competitive military pay raise examples of issues raised by the findings of the survey.  


[RELATED: MOAA Interview: This Army Spouse Brings Fitness and Families Together]


We know that access to mental health treatment and military pay are affecting our military. Our servicemembers and families are not getting the care they need due to lack of access and increasing copays. Over 40% of active-duty family respondents of the 2021 survey expressed that the mental health of their oldest child was fair, poor, or very poor, and 21% want to receive mental health care, but do not. Additionally, military pay was a top five concern for active duty and National Guard families.


This year’s AiA efforts targeted these very issues. With the rising cost of goods, fuel, and inflation, our servicemembers, veterans, and families are not able to fulfill their basic needs.


The data and responses coming from the BSF survey help inform our advocacy efforts and move from awareness into action. As a mental health advocate and nonprofit leader, I too use these survey results to inform our organizational advocacy and decisions. I know it helps nonprofits, veteran service organizations, military leaders, and our elected officials understand where to direct resources, what programs to invest in, and find gaps and barriers to support and services.


It is also important to note that veterans and their families are encouraged to complete this survey. Many of the same issues that the military and their families experience are carried into their transition out of the military. In order to create more upstream approaches to address these issues, we have to know what the issues are. Your voice matters and will help improve the lives of our servicemembers, veterans, and families.


Take 30 minutes of your time to fill out the survey today. Learn more about the survey at this link.  


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About the Author

Betsey Mercado
Betsey Mercado

Mercado, a member of MOAA's Currently Serving Spouse Advisory Council, has over 20 years of experience volunteering with a number of Army and military units, as well as various nonprofits. She is a co-founder and executive director of the Objective Zero Foundation.