Family and Community
The Military believes a strong family, community and self are as important to the success of a service member as training or certification.
Support for Families
With 53 percent of active-duty service members being married, and approximately 39 percent of families with active-duty service members having children, programs that address every aspect of family life are an indispensable part of military life. Current resources that help strengthen the quality of life for service members and their families include topics like:
- Affordable family housing and shopping
- Military spouse education
- Child care and education
- Family health care
- Family advocacy and counseling
- Services for families with special needs
- Family citizenship
- Financial guidance
- Relocation services
A number of affiliated but nonofficial organizations also offer programs, services and tools for military families.
Follow a growing military family as they discuss how on-base amenities and entertaining activities provide them with a comfortable life.Length 0:42 View Transcript
Specialist Tachina Williams, U.S. Army: Being an active-duty Soldier and a full-time mom, it can get very stressful, but the Military helps us live more comfortably by providing a ton of activities that we can do with the kids right here on the base.
Specialist Dante Williams, U.S. Army: My kids love going to the park. They almost ask me every day, “Daddy, Daddy, can you take us to the park?!”
Tachina: We can go to the skating rink, or to the movies or to the bowling alley.
Dante: When we bring them to the pool, there’s also a little splash pit.
Tachina: If I mention anything dealing with fun, I will never hear the end of it until I take them. Our kids are really happy here.
On-Base Family Recreation
Support For Service Members
Service members are expected to work hard but also have time and opportunities to relax and socialize. For example, many military bases offer gyms, movie theaters, parks, recreational sports leagues and more.
The Military also works with Armed Forces Entertainment to provide more than 400 music, comedy and theatrical shows around the world each year.
Additionally, the Services’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs help service members keep an active social life with activities, facilities and opportunities that include:
- Arts and crafts
- Bowling tournaments
- Alpine skiing
- Whitewater rafting
- Bike trails
- Hunting areas
- Paintball fields
- Picnic sites
- Boat rentals
- Organized sports teams
Learn more about the MWR programs:
It’s a common misconception that having a pet in the Military isn’t allowed. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This video explores how many military posts provide helpful services for both pets and their owners.Length 1:15 View Transcript
Captain Jo Karge, U.S. Army: I got Shiner after I had already joined the Military. I got him about six years ago. And I've been in the Military for eight years now. Things I like to do with Shiner on base is, uh, I like to take him over to the dog park and let him run around, throw the ball for him. I'll take him to the pond sometimes. He likes riding in the back of the truck.
Jo: You have to check with your specific housing to see which pets are allowed. For example, they don't allow pets in the barracks, but currently in the apartment complexes I believe it's just dogs and cats. I do feel fortunate to have amenities on post. They have not only a vet but also a boarding facility on post. Everybody that works there is super nice, and just makes the whole process a lot easier. I think people think that you can't have a pet in the Military because people think when they go into the Military they just are always deployed or never home, but that's not true. It's just like having a pet as a civilian.
Jo: It's important to me that Shiner has a good life because he keeps me centered and happy. He brightens my day when I get home.
Support for Parents
Being a parent with a child in the Military can be stressful, but there’s strength in knowing you’re never alone. Today, there are specialized programs, resources and thousands of other parents to connect with who can help support you and your child.
Support for Veterans
When a service member retires or decides to leave the Military, the support doesn’t stop. Organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs and the TRICARE health program continue to look out for service members by providing financial assistance, disability compensation, life insurance and home loans.