Undoubtedly, our American troops are brave, strong, resilient men and woman who are appreciated and celebrated throughout the country for the dangers they put their lives in on a day to day basis while deployed to fight for us to keep the American way of life we live and love. However, while those men and woman fight for other’s ways of life, their own personal lives they had to leave home face a separate struggling battle of their own. That is, the families of those American soldiers who are left to struggle and cope with the whole made in their hearts by their loved ones deployment into harms way.
So the military families that make this sacrifice of having their loved one or loved ones departed from them for a specific extended period of time hardly receive the same recognition and appreciation they deserve. These struggling grieving worried families are invisible to the American society. The American military family faces numerous amounts of obstacles and challenges with being tied to the United States Military. One of the main challenges faced by the families of these soldiers is relocation.
Soldiers, depending on their job within the military, receive orders to move to different bases all over the country and occasionally to other countries. These orders can be given sporadically, either within a day’s, week’s, or year’s notice. So when theses families are moved to new and different places it puts strain on everyone connected to the family, not just the immediate family themselves. Being moved to a new home isolates the family, for a time being, from everything they know.
The family has no friends or other relatives in their new home, no one outside of their home to share a relationship with. Soldier’s wife or husband has no friends to talk with or confide or seek help with. The children of these soldiers have to deal with attending a new and potentially freighting school and making new friends while worrying about replacing the ones they had to leave behind. Truly relocating is a scary and challenging time for these military families. One of the biggest and most difficult and stressful times for these families is the deployment process of their loved on.
During deployment itself the soldier becomes physically and geographically separated from his or her family. Regardless of whether or not the family has to relocate, the absence of the family member can be stressful. The soldier’s spouse is now acting as a single parent. He or she may have sole responsibility for maintaining the household and raising the children and accomplishing the day to day duties. The family’s financial situation may also require the spouse to take on a new job or changing jobs.
If the deployed parent was a single parent to begin with, these problems are intensified. The children may feel isolated if they are unable to communicate with their deployed parent. They may worry about their parent’s safety. Because of the changed family structure, they may be experiencing inconsistent parenting, or changes in the family schedule, responsibilities and rules. Clearly the deployment period can be one of the most detrimental times for these troops and their families.
A darker, more unfortunate, overlooked challenge of military families is the reunion and readapting to normal life after an extended deployment tour. Post-Deployment is obviously a joyful time, but unfortunately it can also be a stressful and difficult process. Depending on the length of the deployment, the family may have learned to function without the military family member for several months or even years. Usually the family has adapted to the new structure and roles left for them, by the deployed parent, to pick up and learn to accomplish.
When the military member returns, it may upset the new balance that has been achieved by the family. The children of these soldiers may be hesitant to give up their newly acquired responsibilities that they feel in their minds, gives them power. Roles and chores may need to be redefined with the returning of the deployed parent. Returning military members may feel like they are no longer needed in their families like they are no longer at home even once they’re home. The home they had left is no longer the same home they return too.
Our American troops are brave, strong, resilient men and woman who are appreciated and celebrated throughout the country. However the battles their families fight and cope with at home go largely unspoken. So even if their struggles are not big enough news for the media or convenient enough for government to step into I hope they know that at least someone cares enough to speak out for their trials and tribulations even if it is only in the measly form of a college student’s essay. .