The Effects of Combat Deployments on Military Marriages and Families
The United States Military has been involved in armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan for over ten years. A growing segment of the population has been exposed to combat in these nations. While much progress has been made in the field of psychology to assist those who were directly involved in combat; the toll it has taken on the families is an often neglected subject. There should be stronger programs instituted by not only the military, but by civilian therapists as well. Statistics exist regarding the divorce rate among military families, surveys involving how soldiers feel before and after deployment in regards to their families, and firsthand accounts by therapists who have treated these individuals. These all point to the need for a better transition program for soldiers that are reunited with their families after combat deployments.
Combat deployments can be extremely difficult for a soldier for a variety of reason. The damage done during deployment can be external and internal as well. This damage can continue to adversely affect the individual long after they return home, and even after they leave the armed forces. However, the soldiers themselves are not the only people affected by combat deployments. These deployments can also have an adverse affect on the soldiers’ families. This effect can occur when the soldier leaves and continue when they return home. Some families decide that they cannot deal with the difficulties of having their spouse gone, or they cannot cope with the changes that have occurred in the spouse due to combat deployment. This can ultimately lead to divorce and breakup of the family structure. While there have been many programs put in place to assist the soldiers in coping with the return to civilian life; assistance for the families is still quite lacking. Family stability plays a major...