The Big Story Blog

The needs of military families as Iraq troops return

Posted at 2:15 PM on December 13, 2011 by Paul Tosto

The health of veterans and their families is among the biggest worries after war. Data collected by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America details the specific needs its found. They include:

Employment: Spousal employment is one of the most important issues facing military families, with 26 percent of military spouses unemployed as of June 2011.

Housing: Foreclosures in military zip codes increased by 32 percent between 2008 and 2010. More than 20,000 service members had their homes foreclosed on in 2010.

Invisible Injuries: A large study of military spouses found that nearly 37 percent of respondents whose husbands were deployed had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder. Additionally, a 2009 study found that up to one-third of children between the ages of five and twelve who experienced parental deployment had a high likelihood of developing social and psychological problems.

Child care: Nearly 50 percent of military family members indicated that childcare was their top priority during deployments.

Education: Students with a parent deployed longer than 19 months cumulatively had lower test scores than students who had parents deployed for a shorter period.

Read the full report and recommendations here.

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Source: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.