There are precious few surveys I spend time telling you to take these days. Your time is short and valuable, right? So you need to only use it on the things that matter -- like the Blue Star Families survey 2017, open through May 19.
Few programs can say that their data is directly used by lawmakers and Defense Department officials to make decisions about our military lives. But Blue Star Families, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University which partners with them on the project, can.
And that's why it's important to weigh in. Because without you -- your voice, your input, your perspective, your experience, your help -- the survey means, well, nothing. If we want change, we need to stand up and get our voices heard. And this is a great avenue for doing it.
The survey takes a time investment -- about 30 minutes, the organizers say. Everyone who finishes it is entered into a drawing for one of five $100 Visa gift cards.
Last year the survey results showed a deep wariness in the community after more than 15 years of war. It also showed that military kids need more help than we are currently giving them. Over half of active duty family members who took the survey said the support services provided by the Department of Defense were inadequate to help military children dealing with deployments.
That kind of message is only delivered with your assistance. It can only be heard if you add your voice. Last year more than 8,300 respondents took the survey.
Let's make that number bigger this year. Go. Take the survey.