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Family forums – Health care, education, finances, employment

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

AUSA Family Readiness continued its focus on outreach to Army families by providing 12 Military Family Forums in 2016.

Reaching out to Army families at the local level allowed us to address issues and concerns specific to the communities’ families.

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Military spouses gather at a 2016 Family Readiness Forum held in the Conference and Event Center at AUSA headquarters. AUSA’s Family Readiness Directorate held 12 family forums thoughout the year. (AUSA News photo by Luc Dunn)

During the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, three Military Family Forums were hosted by the Family Readiness Directorate; “An Update on Military Kids: How are They Doing? What do They Need?,” “Preparing for Life In or Outside the Army through Financial Readiness, Spouse Employment,” and “Entrepreneurship, Army Senior Leaders’ Town Hall.”

Distinguished panelists included then- Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning; Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey.

Three additional Family Readiness forums were held in the Conference and Events Center at AUSA headquarters, and we hosted our first family forum at the AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exhibition, which we intend to host again in 2017.

Also, two Army installations and three National Guard sites were selected based on the level of interest from their local AUSA chapters and the family assistance center staffs.

Many of the events hosted by Family Readiness this year were streamed online, helping expand the reach of these events.

Military Family Forum topics included:

  • “Preparing to Reconnect: Learning Lessons for Successful Reintegration”
  • “The Future of Military Healthcare”
  • “Listen, Connect and Share: Communication Strategies for Military Families”
  • “Military Families for High Standards: How Military Families and National security are Impacted by Education Standards at the Local Level”
  • “Living with Post Traumatic Stress: An Update on Issues and Resources”
  • “Military Spouse Employment: What You Need to Know”
  • “Learning and Leaning In: Military Spouse Led Non-Profits Supporting One Another”
  • “Spouse Talks”
  • “A Battleplan to Support Military and Veteran Families”

In addition to the on-site forums, AUSA once again hosted Army moms at a Mother’s Day brunch, sponsored and co-hosted by the Washington, DC, Marriott Marquis. More than 450 Army family members joined AUSA for a morning of fun celebrating Army moms.

Featured speakers included Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, USA, Ret., and the Military Spouse of the Year, Natasha Harth.

Future plans include expanding the presence of family forums at larger AUSA off-site events and creating a summer podcast series featuring the stories and voices of currently serving military spouses.

In addition, products and programs for military children and the parents of soldiers will be explored.