For the last month, we’ve asked military-connected individuals to complete our 2023 survey. We’ve told you how important it is to share your story. But after you’ve finished sharing, you may wonder, what’s next?
I’ll get straight to it: MFAN doesn’t leave our research findings on a shelf. In fact, your input, and the data distilled from your stories, land right on my desk — and I look to it for guidance every day.
My copy of the 2021 survey results has been through a lot.
It’s been stuffed in my carry-on while running to catch a flight to Killeen, Texas and Tacoma, Washington. It’s ridden shotgun for the drive to Fayetteville, North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia. All places where I have had the privilege of serving the community through MFAN’s food distributions, which came about as a direct result of our research.
I’ve used the phrase “According to our data…” or “Based on the feedback from families who completed our survey…” more times than I can count while working with our partners to offer support to military and veteran families.
I’ve read, highlighted, inserted tape flags, and added comments in the margins. A few pages have been chewed on or have paw prints (the dog pictured isn’t always well-behaved). There are coffee rings, messages my kids wrote me while I was on Zoom, the address of the new orthodontist, and notes from a call with our move coordinator on the cover. Your stories were in the do-not-pack pile for our final PCS move from North Carolina to Virginia this summer.
MFAN’s survey provides the opportunity to amplify your community’s lived experiences, shape the narrative around military family life, and inspire data-informed change. My highlighters and tape flags are ready. And by the looks of it, it’s time for a fresh report. I look forward to reading your feedback.