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Military families—the spouses and children of members of the active-duty, National Guard, and Reserve forces—are an important part of the military community. In popular culture, military families are often portrayed as flexible, self-reliant, and adventurous, but the military lifestyle can be demanding and stressful for families. The recruitment, readiness, and retention of military personnel are affected by the living conditions and overall satisfaction of military families. Not surprisingly, during the era of the allvolunteer force (AVF), and especially after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the needs and concerns of military families have received a great deal of attention from the Department of Defense (DOD). Any widespread and prolonged crisis in the military family could affect national security. This entry describes the benefits and support ...

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