March 15, 2019 – The National Military Family Association (NMFA) announced today Executive Director Joyce Raezer will retire this summer. A visionary leader and advocate, she has served military families for 25 years at NMFA.
Joyce came to NMFA as a military spouse and volunteer who understood the needs of military families. While still a volunteer, she fought for increased funding for schools educating military children. As Government Relations Director, she successfully led the fight to expand the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program to military families overseas; increase the Family Separation Allowance for deployed service members, secure in-state tuition for military family members; shape Tricare For Life; and affect landmark caregiver legislation.
Forever a champion of military families, Joyce led NMFA through a period of expansion, growing its advocacy work and creating NMFA’s Operation Purple and Military Spouse Scholarship programs to meet the needs of families at the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the Association’s foremost accomplishments under her leadership was the commissioning of the first large-scale family study of the effects of the Afghanistan and Iraq deployments, following 1,500 military children and their mothers for one year.
“We had to do more. Advocacy is at the heart of NMFA, but at the start of these wars, we saw military families who needed help immediately. Seventeen years later, they still need our support. As we continue to fight for military families on the Hill – fights that take time – our programs provide immediate impact to make families stronger and better prepared to face their next challenge.”
Under Joyce’s leadership, NMFA awarded more than 6,100 scholarships for military spouses to achieve their dreams and better support their families. NMFA has also given more than 65,000 military family members a chance to connect and support each other away from the stressors of military life through the Operation Purple Program.
“It has been an honor to serve the families who sacrifice for our country day in and day out,” Joyce said. “I leave behind a strong team who is ready to tackle the road ahead.”
“Joyce Raezer is a one-of-a-kind leader and advocate,” said Tina Jonas, Chair of the Board of Governors for NMFA. “On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Joyce for her many accomplishments and those of her team. We celebrate her service. She leaves NMFA stronger than ever. We will miss her passion and unique perspective and look forward to continuing to do this good work for years to come.”