Secure Families Foundation (SFF) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to educate and engage military partners, family members, and concerned citizens on matters of foreign policy and national security as they impact the military community.
Why Foreign Policy?
More than two decades of protracted conflicts abroad have had untold negative impacts on military readiness, as well as the physical and mental health of service families. Veterans suffer from a suicide rate that is double the civilian average. Frequent deployments and a wartime operational tempo mean that care-giving responsibilities fall disproportionately on spouses and partners. Military children are more likely than their peers to receive a mental health diagnosis and suffer from higher levels of stress and anxiety.
We have asked our military to sustain an unsustainable operational tempo for too long. Our country has a sacred obligation to protect and support our troops and their families. Rather than spend trillions on costly and unnecessary wars of choice, we must reprioritize our resources toward caring for those who have served here at home.
The Solution: Telling Stories
This is a solvable problem. But in order to get there, we need to reframe the way the country talks about war and peace. We believe one of the most powerful methods to effect change is to tell our stories.
Only 1% of the US population serves in the armed forces. Unlike the days of the draft, many members of the public don’t have any personal connection to the families charged with carrying out our national security missions.
SFF exists to bridge that informational gap between military families and the general public. While news organizations tell the stories of military action in black and white, we add anecdotal dimension to those facts and figures to create a full-color 4K image of how war looks on the homefront.
Secure Families Foundation has cultivated military family stories in numerous publications and leading military-focused media. For example, our volunteer Jennifer Barnhill was featured on The Independent in a pieced titled, “I’m a military wife whose father was in the World Trade Center.”
But the world needs more than just one type of patriot. Rather than knocking down doors in Afghanistan, we need leaders whose diplomacy and compassion for the humanity of our military families preempts the need for force.— Jennifer Barnhill