Despite the drawdown of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the United States will continue to rely on an all-volunteermilitary for global stability and security for the foreseeable future. The Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey takes a proactive look at the current needs and priorities of military families and service members and what can be done to support them. The goal of the survey is to provide concrete data and information about prominent aspects of the military lifestyle so that decisionmakers can make informed choices on their behalf. After all, the first step in recognizing the unique and substantial contributions military families make to this nation's security and collective strength, is to understand their perspective and experiences while serving. Each year, Blue Star Families collects data and disseminates the results so that stakeholders can address military families with a timely and relevant perspective. In doing so, decision-makers may be able to target efforts for better reception, applicability, and successful outreach to military families in communities across the nation and around the world. This report details the results and analysis of the fourth annual Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey. The survey, which was conducted online in November 2012 with more than 5,100 military family respondents, was designed to reveal key trends in today's military families by examining, among other things, feelings of stress, financial readiness, spouse employment, effects of deployment, levels of communication, behavioral and mental health, wellbeing, and civic engagement. !e results provide clear insight into the unique lifestyles of modern-day military families after more than a decade of continuous war.
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