How YOU Can Make a Difference

Hand on computer keyboard

It’s hard to get a good handle on what military families are thinking and feeling. We’re an incredibly diverse population, spread all over the world with needs, feelings and desires that we proudly wear. We’re strong willed and proud of it, darnnit! So how are policy makers supposed to figure out what we want them to do?

Ah, a survey.

But researchers tell us how incredibly hard it is to get people to respond to surveys. At a recent spouse survey day held here at Fort Campbell, a researcher from Walter Reed Army Medical Center told me the participation was so low that they were going to need to figure out a way to extend the project. Bummer.

Since there are so few broad surveys of military families, the ones that are out there are cited again and again by policy makers. The information in them DOES make a difference. It IS important. And YOU can be a part of it.

The annual Blue Star Families survey for 2013 is now open and waiting for YOU to give answers. The results of this survey have been used by the White House and Congress when reaching out to military families. If you want your voice heard, this is the way to make it happen.

Please, take the survey here today. The little bit of time you invest in it will make a difference.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

3 Comments on "How YOU Can Make a Difference"

  1. Done! Took me about 10-15 minutes FYI :)

  2. Done! and I agree, it is important to take the 10-15 minutes out of our lives and let our voices be heard. It's all too easy to assume others will do it, or it's too much of an effort. It's worth the time!

  3. 1 of 4 Parts

    Amy, what you are doing here so incredibly important. Start the dialogue of Military cultural engagement. In my observations, for anything to rise to the top of the relentless pressures, unpredictabilities and worries associated with just living and then on top of that living the Military life, the opportunity to get involved in anything has to become part of the every day culture or it has little chance of being recognized as worthwhile and then used. I support what you do and the following comments/opinions are offered collaboratively to that good end:

    “Surveys” are a magnificent example of an easy thing to do for someone who is already web savvy but who just cannot see it as useful enough for them to even click to start. In my opinion, there are many things that could be done to accomplish the same mission and indeed may be necessary just to keep from hitting the same wall with the same well-intentioned heads. Everything would be purposed to make this “survey-type function” a part of the culture, and everyday thing to adopt as one's own. I believe it has to be a natural as clicking on a web site to see what is THERE FOR YOU TODAY. They must take ownership.

    “Ownership” is obviously what your site Spouse-Buzz seeks to stimulate for loyalty, more permanent engagement and certainly for referrals, growth and influence. If you could stimulate and sustain “ownership” for elements within Spouse-Buzz then those would have a sustainable cumulative effect of developing “ownership” for Spouse-Buzz, itself. I suggest that the “function” of reader/subscriber engagement for mutual benefit of the reader and of the general population is the paramount element to focus upon. That means that interactions, opinions, feelings and thoughts from one are useful to the many. That sounds like a BLOG but I am suggesting it is absolutely not.

    This “element” cannot be a blog and should not be called a “survey” because that means public opinion, and few Military Spouses I deal with think anyone wants their opinion or that it serves any purpose to give it. That does not mean that they would not like to give it, but their perspective seems to be turned around about when and where it would ever really be worth going out of their way to deliver. It’s not part of their culture to do so…..and certainly not to feel its value. Therefore, the participation numbers in many things from activities to surveys are miserable.

    For example, any Brigade has exactly the same problem in setting up at great expense wonderful functions and resources for their Members and Families. They set it up, and few show -unless it is mandatory. The services and opportunities they offer just do not seem to be well integrated into their population as a continuity of recognizable services, part of the culture. In other words for instance, if the single Soldiers and Families do not feel the benefit of the opportunity every day, it becomes just a remote, periodic option……and they just cannot get around to engaging, and that is to the constant frustration of the organizers.

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