Influencers Meet in Washington, DC to Address Key Military and Veteran Family Needs.

Military Family Advisory Network Hosts Solutions Summit in Honor of Fifth Anniversary

WASHINGTON — The Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN), a national non-profit of military spouses, marked its fifth anniversary by convening its current and former advisory board members as well as leaders from the Armed Forces, White House, Congress, and private sector to address three timely and compelling topics that affect military families, as identified in the 2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey: military spouse and veteran entrepreneurship, food insecurity among the military and veteran community, and the effects of frequent military moves.

The current and former advisory board members, who represent a diverse cross-section of military families, traveled from across the country to participate in this Solutions Summit. “The convening power of MFAN is what sets our organization apart. We live this life, we experience the challenges and opportunities firsthand, and our connection to those we serve is personal and authentic,” said MFAN’s executive director, Shannon Razsadin. “This weekend we celebrated our accomplishments by doing what we do best — bringing the right people together to make a positive impact on the lives of military and veteran families.”

Military family issues have long benefited from bipartisan support. On Friday, Second Lady, Mrs. Karen Pence invited MFAN to breakfast at the Vice President’s Residence. “The Military Family Advisory Network serves an important purpose to our Armed Forces,” said Mrs. Pence. “I am encouraged by the organization’s commitment to address some of the greatest challenges facing military families such as military spouse employment, education, and the effects of frequent moves.  Their work on these issues will play an important role in helping to identify how we can better assist military families.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., congratulated the group at the Solutions Summit via video message, “Through MFAN I’ve met several incredible military spouses whose stories have helped me and my entire team advance bipartisan efforts focused on spousal employment, PCSing, childcare, and Military OneSource,” said Senator Kaine, “I hope that you take time to reflect on the work that you’ve done to advance the cause of military families.”

In addition to the focus groups, the event included keynote remarks from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Mrs. Ann Thomas (A.T.) Johnston, “I am humbled to be here today. Everything that you do, and we do together, helps our military family members, and that truly touches my heart,” said Johnston.

At the event, MFAN released a preliminary report from research conducted in July on the impact of frequent moves. “Research is at the foundation of all we do at MFAN. We survey the military community to ensure that we understand the gaps in support,” said Shelley Kimball, Ph.D., MFAN’s director of research. “We use the results to find unique solutions to the problems we uncover. That formula has served us well for five years, and we look forward to bringing even more people into the process.” MFAN will produce three reports that outline the outcomes from the Solutions Summit with next steps.

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The Military Family Advisory Network is a nonprofit dedicated to building a community of military and veteran families at home and abroad who are well-informed about the resources designed to serve them, equipped with tools for success, connected to leaders who serve the military family community and embraced by the public. To learn more about MFAN, visit www.militaryfamilyadvisorynetwork.org