Over the last several years I have learned A LOT about resources that are available to military families. After all, that is what this blog is all about. But, what I’m learning is that not all resources are supported by all services. Why is this happening? Well, for starters most military supported programs need a partnership and the branches will look at their members’ families needs and pick the programs based on those needs. But, more times than not ALL families can benefit from those same programs, like Military Child Education Coalition. This program is sponsored by the Army but ALL military children can benefit from it, right? The title does say “Military Child” not “Army Child”, right? The program wants to sponsor ALL military children but because of funding they can only service areas with at least a 25% Army population. How fair is that? It’s not but it’s the Army’s money and they can make that decision. The larger question is, “Why isn’t this a DoD sponsored program?” So, that leaves me wondering how can we change that? How can we make all military related programs “purple” meaning for all branches. I have a few ideas not sure they will work but it’s always worth a try.
1. Write the programs directly and express your desire to use the program. Expressing your need of the program can help because sometimes they are run by personnel not always associated with the military or it was a program created because someone in one particular branch noticed a need and went from there.
2. Talk to an advisor who would be responsible for engaging with the program. Sometimes talking to someone “in the know” helps because they will know exactly who to contact to help make change like a SLO (School Liaison Officer). Their job is to assist families with education related concerns/questions so they would best be suited to know who to talk about making MCEC a purple program.
3. Engage your husband/wife’s Change of Command. If there is one thing I know and believe is true for the majority of the military leadership is that they really care about their member’s families and their well being. They don’t always know how to make things better BUT having your husband/wife talk to them about a program need can help make them aware and therefore the CoC will do their part to help facilitate change.
These are only three ideas I had; ones I would use. Whether or not they would actually work would be determined if you tried them and change either happened or didn’t. I do want to make clear that often times programs that aren’t “purple” are still available resources for ALL military families. However, they don’t have the ability to do things like workshops or pre/post deployment briefs and that is because of their lack of funding.