Each year, I genuinely look forward to the Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey findings. Partially, this is because I love data (fortunately I’m in good company here at CVN!) and partially, this is because I feel a strange comfort in seeing my family and friends reflected back to me in the results.
The truth is, many Americans remain unaware that less than 1% of the nation makes up our all-volunteer force, and even fewer understand the challenges veteran and military families face, so it’s refreshing to feel recognized.
And clearly, I’m not the only one feeling disconnected from my civilian counterparts. The Blue Star Families survey revealed that only 8% of respondents feel the general public understands them. After nearly two decades at war, it’s disheartening that our military community feels so alone.
Fortunately, there are a lot of people working to change this.
For example, at Cohen Veterans Network, we have dedicated ourselves to cultural competency, so when you walk in our doors, you don’t have to explain yourself. We know the lingo. We understand your unique challenges and strengths. In fact, many of us are veterans or military family members ourselves.
Our teams will always strive to bridge the civilian-military divide by developing partnerships within our local communities, launching awareness campaigns like #BeyondTheThankYou to engage those outside our walls, and hosting public webinars and trainings to equip other professionals and providers.
While the findings demonstrated that “Female veterans are more socially isolated than male veterans” and “54% of female veterans report that they’re not prepared to navigate resources in local community”, the proportion of female veterans seen at Cohen Clinics is significant (28%) and we are committed to creating clinic spaces that ensure female veterans – and all veteran an military family members – feel safe, heard, and recognized.
By Nicole Meek
CVN Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Note: This is a part two in a two-part series. To catch up on part one, click HERE.