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Military Families and Veterans Initiative

About Us

The Sierra Club's Military Family and Veterans Initiative (MFVI), formerly Military Families Outdoors (MFO) is a part of Mission Outdoors, the Sierra Club's campaign to ensure that America gets outside! MFVI helps American military service members, veterans, and their families use the land they defended.

How do we do it?

  1. Increasing opportunities for military personnel and/or their families to have quality outdoor experiences.

    1. Our partnership with the National Military Family Association ensures that families returning home from deployments can spend a week in a structured outdoor setting.

    2. Leadership training and development! In 2012 we are launching three listening sessions in Seattle, Colorado Springs, and Washington, DC, to enlist military families, service members, veterans, and spouses in developing the best possible outdoor programming and leadership training program possible for the military and veteran community.

    3. Research. There are over 100 program slots available for military service members, veterans, and spouses in 2012 to get outside! We will be conducting before and after surveys in partnership with the University of Michigan so that we can quantify the positive results of the outdoors for our military and veteran communities!

  2. We network with a diverse set of coalition partners to showcase that outdoor experiences are critical in helping heal and empower military veterans and their families. Many of these are our partners through leadership development and research. We are excited that in September of 2012 we will all be meeting to discuss how we can work better together moving forward.

  3. Engaging public officials about the challenges military personnel and their families face as well as the healthful benefits of the natural world.

MFVI provides a variety of opportunities for military service members and their families to find adventure, camaraderie, a sense of mission, and relaxation through outdoor experiences. An entire family can reconnect at a retreat; a returning veteran can participate in a paddling, climbing, mountaineering, fly-fishing, or other outdoor adventure. Military children of deployed parents can find empowerment by going to camp.

A 2005 study by the American Institute of Research shows that children gain self-esteem and personal responsibility from outdoor experiences. MFVI program will provide these experiences for military children at a crucial time in their lives.

The goals of the Sierra Club's Military Families and Veterans Initiative are to

  1. Utilize the leadership and resiliency skills members of the military and veteran community (including families, spouses, and kids) have to get outside and lead the rest of America and the military / veteran community outside with them.

  2. Raise awareness of the challenges military personnel and their families face and how the great outdoors they defended can and does help them overcome those challenges.

The Sierra Club is proud to connect military families making the greatest sacrifices for our country with the healing powers of the land they defend.

In addition to the programs offered through MFVI, check out:

  • Your local Sierra Club Chapter Outings Program to learn more about getting outside with the Sierra Club in your state.
  • Enjoy these deeply discounted or free multi-day adventures and expeditions for our military and veteran communities! See a list of outings.
  • We also offer a 10% discount on our national outings (the trips you see in Sierra magazine)! Let the administrators there know you're a military family or veteran. They will need to see a copy of your DD214 or identification card.

For more information please contact Stacy Bare, Mission Outdoors Director, stacy.bare@sierraclub.org


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