STRENGTHENING OUR MILITARY FAMILIESPosted: May 25, 2013
by Allen Dale Olson
As the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center begins its third year of operations, it is fitting to review our Mission and Vision to assure that we are indeed bringing “together people with shared experiences showcasing and honoring those who also served – American Military Families.”
We learned from a report of the National Security Council just two years ago this month, that less than one percent of Americans serve in uniform today, but they bear 100 percent of the burden of defending our nation. More than 2.2 million service members make up the all-volunteer force in the active, National Guard, and Reserve Components, and more than two million troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than half the force is married, and almost 40% of them have at least two children. Only 37% of their families live on military installations, which means that more than 60% of all military families live in over 4,000 communities nationwide.
Combat injuries, multiple deployments, and reintegration of returning veterans all have serious effects on these families and on the communities in which they live. These effects prompted the President to direct the National Security Staff to develop a coordinated Federal Government-wide approach to supporting military families and the First Lady to call on the public to find ways to support and engage military family members.
Our Museum serves as a forum for the spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and others who have loved and supported a member of the military. We collect and preserve the stories of people who have lost loved ones to military service and who minister to the special needs of wounded and troubled veterans. We call attention to the spouses and children who give up or change careers and who move to a different school every two, three, or four years. We provide a resource for family members seeking information and/or comfort from the experiences of others.
In short, our Museum fills an important void; no other museum or organization focuses exclusively on the challenges and achievements of the military family. We want the general public to understand that behind every man or woman in uniform, there are unrecognized people behind them – wives and mothers, fathers and husbands, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.
Our Mission and Vision are on target.