New resource supports Indiana military families, veterans

September 16, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Neighbors, faith leaders, educators and businesses in Indiana who want to better help military families now have an online resource through Purdue University that provides suggestions and information that can benefit veterans and military families.

The How to Help Military and Veteran Families series is available in a print format and online at

A related webinar, "How to Help Military & Veteran Families: Some Answers to Your Questions," also is available at 2 p.m. on Oct. 7, and information can be found at

"More than 70 percent of military families live 'outside the gate' away from military bases, and this means the support and services they often receive are from non-military personnel," said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of the Military Family Research Institute and professor of human development and family studies. "These civilian helpers, who could be neighbors, religious leaders, teachers or financial advisers, may not realize the special circumstances or needs of military families and veteran families. This new series provides tips and advice that are based on research findings and supported by experts in the subject matter dealt with in the issues."

Online resources currently posted are for early childhood educators; extended families, friends and neighbors; financial professionals; and higher education staff. Additional resources will be posted soon for employers, faith-based leaders, legal professionals, mental health providers, medical providers, first responders and teachers.

For example, tips for extended family members include how to support the immediate family and military service member before, during and after deployment. Information and resources also are available for financial professionals to better understand military members and family financial needs.

The information for Indiana is available through the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue and the College of Health and Human Sciences. The series, which was announced last spring, is a partnership between Purdue's institute, several federal agencies and the National Military Family Association.

The April 2013 launch of the How to Help series was part of the two-year anniversary of Joining Forces, an initiative to support military families led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of the vice president.

The Military Family Research Institute is working with its partners to help other states make this series available nationwide. The United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is distributing the publication to cooperative extension offices in every state, and each state has the option of customizing the content to include state-specific information.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, 765-496-3403,

Related websites:

Military Family Research Institute annual report

Related news release:

MFRI, partners collaborate to create new resources

Faculty-Staff News

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