Blue Star Families, a non-profit organization built by military spouses, conducts an annual survey about the quality of life for military families. This survey relies on the participation of military families for this information.

The Blue Star Families Lifestyle survey is thorough, collects valuable feedback, and acts as a voice for the military community. It reflects our collective knowledge and opinions, and provides a statistical snapshot of what life may be like as a military family. By participating in this survey, you are contributing your voice to this important research, which is necessary to make changes in our military family community.

Blue Star Families needs us to take the survey to collect this valuable data. It doesn’t take long, and it is anonymous!

Here are 5 Reasons why I participate in the Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey:

  1. I have a voice, and I want to be heard.

 This is my life, and while I don’t have much control over most of the adventures (and challenges) that come with being in a military family, I do have a voice. Sure, I’m a “dependent”, but that doesn’t define who I am, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t have opinions. I’m allowed to have thoughts and ideas. If I’m asked a question about my life, I’m going to be honest and offer my feedback with the hope that it will contribute to potential moves for improvements. This survey allows me to (anonymously) share my feedback on important issues, and contribute to something that could help other military families.

  1. Military Spouse unemployment and underemployment is a serious issue and is extremely important to me.

The data collected from the Lifestyle survey is used in reports, blog posts, and presentations. This information is shared with corporations, decision makers, policymakers, and the public. It can be used to create awareness of the needs and challenges of our military family community. For example, a presentation using this data can show corporations and businesses that they can support military families by simply hiring a military spouse.

Military spouse unemployment and underemployment is one of the topics addressed in this survey. In fact, I didn’t realize it was so much of an issue until I learned about the stats from a previous Blue Star Families survey. I recognized that military spouse employment was an issue, but I didn’t realize how common it was. The more I learned, the more I realized that I have a growing passion for creating solutions to solve this problem. More military spouse participation will help collect accurate and important data.

Most people don’t even realize that the military spouse employment (or lack thereof) is even a challenge for a military family. I’ve personally had several conversations with friends and family who were unaware that it is an issue, but when I explain the challenges using the past findings of the Blue Star Families Lifestyle survey, it is easy for them to understand.

Having statistical data can be very effective when explaining these important topics to individuals who may not comprehend otherwise, and this survey can provide this much needed data.

I encourage you to participate in taking the survey and share your employment status – your involvement and support is needed for collecting this important data.

  1. I want to start a conversation, to learn, spread awareness, and take action.

I mentioned previously that I have introduced friends and family to the military spouse employment/unemployment issue. I find that this is a topic about which I feel strongly, and I continue to educate myself on the subject. I am always finding new support groups and ideas to overcome this issue.

The more I learn about some of the topics addressed in the survey, the more I want to network and connect with other passionate military spouses to create potential solutions to the challenges at hand.

I have noticed that conversations of past survey findings have generated a “team mentality” within the military spouse network. Several military spouse groups have emerged to address many of the issues highlighted in past studies. These successful support groups, businesses, and organizations have been formed to provide resources, support, and jobs for military spouses.

We as military spouses are coming together no matter our location or branch affiliation, and have chosen to form our own organizations to create solutions and make a positive impact on the military family community. I’ve seen passion, comradery, and action in the military spouse community, and it makes me hopeful and excited for our future!

(I created MilSpouse Resource as a result of my frustration with the military spouse unemployment issue, and have my own version of a solution launching soon!)

  1. I want to participate in something that will benefit the military family community: My community.

It’s important to me to contribute to something that makes an impact. My small contribution is a part of a series of events that could result in awareness and change. And if it doesn’t move quickly enough to make an impact in my life, I’m hopeful that the actions will lead to challenge solutions for future military families.

You see, this military community is mine – ours, and I feel a common bond with other military dependents. We share an experience that is unique, and most others don’t understand what comes with the responsibility of being the member of a military family. We should stick together and help improve the quality of life in our own community. I believe that by participating in the Blue Star Families Lifestyle survey, I am helping my military family community move forward. I encourage you to take a few minutes to do the same, and I hope you will.

  1. To make a difference.

Instead of being unhappy with certain aspects of military family life, I hope to share my passion and voice to hopefully make a difference, or at least start a conversation. Even if it is a small difference, it’s still movement in the right direction. Will you join me? You can take the survey here.

Written by: Britni Miltner at MilSpouse Resource