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Military Families In Mourning Subject Of New Pentagon Study

The Pentagon is looking for participants for its new five-year study on how losing a loved one affects a military family.

Lead investigator of the study, Dr. Stephen J. Cozza, told American Forces Press Service:

“This is an opportunity for recognizing that military service has certain unique challenges, certain strengths, certain risks or potential protective factors. So this is an important opportunity to really understand the experiences of surviving family members and by understanding, to inform future policies.”

The Defense Department’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is conducting what's being called the National Military Bereavement Study.


Researchers need about 3,000 volunteers to participate. Qualified applicants are spouses, ex-spouses, children, parents, and siblings who've had a family member killed since 9/11 who was serving as active-duty military. All causes of death are considered - not just combat-related. The study is seeking participants who've lost a military family member to accidents, illness, or suicide.

For the first phase of the study:

Participants will be asked to fill out a questionnaire... Then, they will be asked if they and their families will participate in the second phase, which studies families, including children ages 6 to 18, with in-person interviews.

If you are interested in participating, you can visit the National Military Bereavement Study website at