Deployed dads: Strengthening military and veteran fathers, families, and communities


This white paper was written by ICF's Richard Lewis and presented at the 13th Annual National Fatherhood and Families Conference. The paper serves as a starting point for assisting military and veteran fathers in accessing available resources to help strengthen their families and communities. Military and veteran fathers have a wide variety of issues and concerns that other dads do not face. Deployments, moving from one location to another, nontraditional hours, and training demands can put additional stress on these fathers and their families.

The discussion is designed to:

  1. Bring attention to the unique challenges and strengths of America's military and veteran fathers and families.
  2. Share information and create greater connections to ensure that military and veteran fathers and families have the opportunities, resources, and support they have earned.

The discussion concludes that the challenges of military and veteran fathers and their families are distinctive.

The United States converted its military to an all-volunteer force in 1972. As a result, the armed forces have transitioned from a body overwhelmingly comprised of unmarried men without family obligations to a force that includes both men and women—the majority of whom have family commitments. These significant changes have had broad implications for military and veteran fathers and their families. Maintaining an effective and efficient military demands ensuring the health, well-being, and economic stability of service members, veterans, and their families.

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