Aiming to highlight the unique challenges faced by military families, SSAFA surveyed the Forces community past and present on the impact that serving has on family moments…

The results have shown there is another level to the sacrifices they make for our Nation – and proved that these are not always understood by the civilian population.

Over a third of military families said that they have been separated for ten months or longer due to the demands which come with their choice of career – which can involve travelling to remote areas of the UK for training, deployment abroad and being on a tour of duty within conflict zones. 81% of the civilians surveyed had no idea that military personnel could be away from home for so many months.

Nearly three quarters of respondents from military families said they’ve not been together for significant family events like birthdays, weddings, funerals and anniversaries, with over half stating that they have missed major moments in their children’s lives, such as their first words, first steps, first day at school – and even the birth of a child!

With family time together being so precious, nearly half of military families said that when they do get to spend time together as a family they feel ‘pressured’ to enjoy time that they have, putting an extra strain on these moments to be perfect.