The results of the annual Blue Star Families Military Lifestyle Survey, expected to be released today, will surprise no one: all military affiliated respondents - active duty spouses, veterans and service members - care about pay, benefits and retirement above all else.
Military.com was given a sneak peek of the survey results. You can read my story about that over here.
The survey shows me one thing above anything else -- we are tired. We are tired of war. We tired of Congress messing around and threatening to break promises of pay, benefits and retirement. We are tired of fighting for our families' health and wellness. We are tired of looking for work and tired of feeling like our careers are getting nowhere because of the sacrifices.
We. Are. Tired.
Here are some numbers from the survey to back that up:
Active duty spouses' top five concerns are: pay/benefits, retirement changes, impact of deployment on children, military spouse employment and military life uncertainty.
84 percent of employed spouses said the military has had a negative impact on their employment.
Over half of the spouses who took the survey said they are not employed, and over half of those said they want to be.
67 percent of respondents said childcare had a negative impact on their ability to find employment.
39 percent of spouses who responded said they feel stressed either most or all the time. The biggest difference between these results and those from 2013 that I can see is how strongly people feel about the top issues. Last year, for example, among all respondents 35 percent said military pay/benefits was their top issue, 21 percent said retirement benefits and 19 percent said spouse employment opportunities.
This year? Among active duty spouses 73 percent said pay/benefits and 63 percent changes to retirement, while spouse employment came in as a close fourth at 42 percent behind "impact of deployment on children" at 43 percent.
Despite the extended length of the survey this year (some reported that it took them almost an hour to complete it), over 6,000 people took the 2014 survey, compared to about 5,000 last year.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.