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Military & Veteran Resources

Members of the military, veterans, and their families are independent, resilient, and resourceful. By definition, they make sacrifices on deployments and on the homefront. But sometimes even service members need help – and both asking for help and finding it can prove to be worthy opponents. 

That’s where the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) comes in. A national nonprofit based in Virginia, the organization works to understand and amplify the needs of military-connected families and inspire data-informed change. It launched in 2013 with a mission to research the lived experiences of service members and their families, and use that data to support families in the ways they need it most – connecting them with the information, people, and resources they depend on to navigate military life – as well as to inform policymakers and relevant, change-making groups.

One crucial approach that sets MFAN apart from other organizations is its military peer network, which it cultivated to inform and support its efforts. The network includes military families who participate in research, and organizations like USAA, which offer operational and financial support, and an advisory board of military-connected members.

USAA, specifically, has provided financial solutions for veterans and military families for over a century. As part of its ongoing commitment, USAA sponsors an educational foundation designed to support people at every stage of their military lives. Its sponsorship of MFAN, meanwhile, extends its reach beyond its clients and customers, and has helped the organization continue to scale. 

MFAN’s advisory board, meanwhile, helps it stay connected to those it’s meant to serve, and continue to evolve and meet changing needs.

“Through our advisory board we’ve had the opportunity to build strong relationships with the military community in a diverse way,” said Shannon Razsadin, president and executive director of MFAN, and military spouse. “Across ranks, across branches, across different locations. So we’ve been able to leverage that – to hear from as many military families from across as wide a variety of backgrounds as humanly possible.”

Two of MFAN’s key areas of focus have been food insecurity and housing for military families. Through the organization’s research, they learned that one in six military and veteran families was food insecure. That figure, said Razsadin, doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of access to enough food, but the ability to afford fresher, healthier food. 

As a result, in 2021 MFAN launched its One Million Meals program, which provided meals for families in locations with the highest rates of food insecurity. The organization’s findings brought the issue to the attention of the Department of Defense, and has also prompted MFAN to seek out scalable solutions that help reduce the stigma of seeking out food support. Additionally, the organization is now researching the root causes, to understand the challenges that lead families to become food insecure. 

Another area MFAN focuses on is housing and navigating the specific demands of military life. At Fort Cavazos, Texas, for example, the organization launched the MFAN Network to help people with military moves. When families arrive, there’s a pantry restart kit with all the basics to get meals up and running. Plus, the Network has a survey for families to answer to help plug them into community resources for further guidance and support. 

Overall, the MFAN is striving to let military families know that they’re not alone and reduce barriers to entry for programs that can assist them. Much of that success stems from the authenticity and experience of the people who work with and for the organization and the dedication they have toward helping others.

“The challenges that my family and I have faced as a military family have definitely influenced my desire to work with MFAN and share my experience and be a voice for my community,” said Hana Romer,  Marine Corps veteran, military spouse, and MFAN advisory board member. “I like that now being part of MFAN’s advisory board I can advocate on behalf of those who may not know how to advocate for themselves.”

To see how MFAN can support you, start on their website. You’ll find resources for everything from housing to food, finances to health and wellbeing. And at every step, military-connected commitment and experience is available to guide the way. 


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