New Publication: Health of Military Families

Hot off the presses!

The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health at the University of Minnesota is very pleased to announce the release of the summer 2010 issue of Healthy Generations on the Health of Military Families. Electronic of this (high resolution) issue and past issues are available to download at:   If you would like to request (free) print copies for yourself or your organization, please send an email to Jan Pearson at   If you are not on our mailing list, and would like to be added, please send a request to

In this issue….

  • Military Families: Diverse and Unique
  • The Health of Women in the U.S. Military
  • Homeless on the Homefront: Who Are Our Homeless Veterans?
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Uncertain
  • Estimates of Prevalence Medical Benefits for Service Members and Their Families
  • Sexual Stressors among Military Personnel
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It? Sexual Orientation and Military Service
  • New Perspectives: Changing Policies for Military Families
  • Stigma and Service-related Traumatic Brain Injuries: Experiences of Caregivers

Letter from the Editors

During his second Inaugural Address Abraham Lincoln appealed to a divided nation: “[L]et us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan…” In 2010 we are a nation still struggling to heed Lincoln’s call. While the conditions of war have changed dramatically since 1865, we still seek to heal wounded service personnel and to serve their family members.

Most military families are resilient and adapt to the unique circumstances of military life, which include family relocation, as well as separation and reunification with an active-duty family member. Military families face the same kind of financial and emotional stressors as civilian families, but the magnitude and the etiology of their stressors may be unique. For example, military families are more likely than civilian families to experience the death, prolonged illness, or disability of a young or middle-aged loved one. As deployments get longer, children in military families may move through important developmental periods without one—and sometimes both—parents at home. Military family members may also be exposed to negative and stigmatizing cultural norms about military engagement that could affect their ability to feel integrated in their communities, schools, and workplaces.

In this short volume we have highlighted some of the policies and practices that affect military families. We have attempted to consider the varied roles of women—as service-members and as civilian mothers and caretakers—and the dual roles of men and women who may be both service personnel and parents. We recognize that the breadth and depth of the experiences of military families extend far beyond our brief examination. Our intention is to reinforce interest in the millions of Americans who are members of military families.

As always, we welcome your feedback about this issue as well as topics for subsequent issues.

—Andrea Mayfield, Wendy Hellerstedt, MPH, PhD, and Julia Johnsen, MPH

NEXT ISSUE:  Our next issue will explore MCH in this new era of HIV/AIDS.  If you know of innovative programs, policies, or practices that should be highlighted, please let us know.