Helping military families requires collaboration

San Diego’s military families face a host of challenges these days. Among them, the transition back to civilian life because the various branches are downsizing. There are a host of agencies to assist, and they met Friday to try and improve their efforts to coordinate military assistance.

Marine Brigadier General Edward Banta, the new head of Marine Corps Installations West, got a laugh and a lot of empathy from a crowd at Liberty Station when he said he was on his family’s third move in four years and he could use all the help he could get. The general had come to the right place: across California, the average number of military children per county is 1,600; in San Diego County, military children number 60,000.

The annual conference of the San Diego Military Family Collective took place Friday at Liberty Station, a collaborative that is the umbrella of over dozens of agencies that assist military families daily. For example, they help kids settle into new schools or help parents with healthcare issues.

Long deployments are always a challenge, especially when the service member is going into harm’s way. But the issue of 2014 is military downsizing, hence transitioning to civilian life when it wasn’t necessarily their choice. Collaborative coordinator Joe Buehrle was live on “Good Morning San Diego”:

“A huge emerging trend is active to transition piece the re-balancing of the military in San Diego. Alone, about 15,000 Marine and Navy transitioning out. We’ve seen it at the job fairs for military – the challenge post-recession. We, at the collaborative, are trying to create a warm handoff between organizations. Is there an opportunity to scale? Efficiencies, and what is their core competency at the end of the day? What do they really do well that other’s can’t, and allow people to do the other stuff? We’ll be more successful.”

Categories: KUSI