Over two million Americans have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 45 percent of these service members have children. Research shows that combat deployment leads to a range of responses by military families and children that extend from risk to resilience. This continuum of reactions suggests the need for a broad intervention strategy that supports health, screens for risk, and actively engages those with poorer outcomes.
On October 1, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution released the latest issue of The Future of Children, on the topic of military families. The nine articles in the issue aim to promote effective policies and programs for military-connected children and their families by providing timely, objective information based on the best available research. Volume co-editor Stephen Cozza provided an overview of the issue’s contents. Ron Haskins of Brookings presented findings from an accompanying policy brief that examines the efficacy of prevention programs designed to help families with a service member who has served in a war zone, and offers recommendations on how the programs might be tested and improved. Following their presentations, U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier General Russell Sanborn, Director of Marine and Family Programs, presented his views on how these families can best be supported, and discussed what the Marine Corps is doing to ensure that the nation’s obligation to them is fulfilled. A panel of experts will then responded to the recommendations in the policy brief and offered their own thoughts on meeting our responsibilities to these families.