September 7, 2021
Service members (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve), veterans, their spouses/partners, family members, caregivers and community stakeholders are invited to complete the 2021 Arizona Veteran Survey. Conducted every two years by the Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF), the survey is designed to identify the needs and issues our state’s service members, veterans and families are facing to better inform decisions for programs and resources.
“As a veteran myself, I understand firsthand that service to our country can mean sacrifices at home for our families and effects that can last for years after our service ends,” said Thomas Winkel, Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families. “The more we know about the challenges and needs that exist within our state’s service member and veteran population, the better we are able to advocate for those needs, and design programs to support them.”
The survey, available at ConnectVeterans.org/Survey was developed by ACMF in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and Arizona State University.
“It’s vitally important to have a comprehensive picture of how our state’s military and veteran population are doing, especially as we begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said Col (Ret.) Wanda Wright, Director, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. “We would like to encourage traditionally underrepresented populations to take the survey so we can tailor resources to meet their needs. This would include female service members and veterans, veterans living in rural areas of Arizona and veterans who identify as minorities.”
Key findings from the 2017 survey indicated that 41% of respondents reported having thoughts of suicide in the prior year. Results from the 2019 survey showed an improvement in respondents’ access to careers, underscoring the important effect of the career navigation services expanded by ACMF as a result of the survey to support people at all stages of career development.
“The survey results we receive are instrumental in shaping the decisions we make about where to apply resources,” said Winkel. “We want service members, veterans and their family members to know that we absolutely want to hear their voice through this survey so that our planning for the next two years addresses their needs and provides the opportunities to grow their education, career advancement as well as their financial, emotional and physical wellness.”
ACMF operates the statewide Be Connected support line, answered by highly-trained, Arizona-based team members, many of whom are veterans or members of a military family. The support line is a gateway for service members, veterans, their spouses/partners, family members and caregivers to access a wide variety of services and resources for a multitude of needs including financial, educational, housing, employment and health. Services are accessed by calling the support line: 866-4AZ-VETS (866-429-8387).
For more information on the bi-annual Arizona Veteran Survey that will remain open through January 31, 2022, visit www.ConnectVeterans.org/Survey. To learn more about the support and resources available through Be Connected, visit ConnectVeterans.org.
About the Arizona Coalition for Military Families
The mission of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families is to connect the 500,000+ military members, veterans and their families in Arizona to the right resources at the right time through the Be Connected program. The Coalition is recognized as a national leader for its ability to bring together Arizona’s public and private sector partners in a unified effort. Launched in 2009, the Coalition works nationally and locally to advocate for service members, veterans and their families. The Coalition works collaboratively to build and sustain an Ecosystem of Support needed to sustain Arizona’s statewide capacity to care for, serve and support service members, veterans and their families. The Coalition’s membership extends across all levels of local, county, state and federal government as well as a vast network of private companies, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, higher education institutions and non-profit partners. To learn more about the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, visit www.ArizonaCoalition.org.
About the Be Connected® Program
Be Connected is the program of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families that links Arizona service members, veterans, families and community helpers to information, support and resources for employment, healthcare, wellness benefits and more. Be Connected includes a support line, a resource matching website, a statewide team of community-based navigators and no-cost training. Launched with the help, support and guidance of the late Senator John McCain, and now operated with support from the Governor’s Office, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other partners, Be Connected is available to any member of the military, any veteran and their family members regardless of era or length of service, discharge status or disability status. Anyone who served or anyone supporting those who served can call 866-4AZ-VETS (866-429-8387) for support. Organizations that want to support and join our efforts should begin by completing an application. For more information, to find support and learn more, visit www.ConnectVeterans.org.