The nonprofit Blue Star Families surveys military families and identifies their Top 5 concerns. Other concerns include shrinking retirement benefits and the effect of deployment on kids.

By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer
May 14, 2012
The Christian Science Monitor

Troops at Bagram Air Base listen to President Obama speak during his visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

A new survey that ranks the top struggles and worries of military families finds that after more than a decade of war, soldiers and their spouses are feeling isolated and financially strapped.

The vast majority – 95 percent – point to a civil-military divide, agreeing with the statement that most Americans “do not truly understand or appreciate the sacrifices made by service members and their families.” Another 40 percent say their community “did not embrace opportunities to help military children.”

For the first time, post-traumatic stress was a top concern for families – a development that the survey’s creators found “most surprising,” says Stephanie Himel-Nelson, spokesman for Blue Star Families, the nonprofit made up of troops, veterans, and their spouses that conducted the survey.

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