The New York Times, in a series of articles titled "A Year at War," addresses issues related to the personal impact of deployment into war zones upon American service members. Today's article takes a look at the toll upon families--left-behind children, spouses, families, and also the toll upon family members who must suddenly accommodate their lives to become caregivers for the children of single parents.
There were a lot of adjustments for Brian's boys and also for Shawn’s three children. Sharing bedrooms, the family computer and, most of all, their parents’ attention created a strain upon Shawn's children. Brian's boys both missed and worried about their father.
This is not an unusual phenomenon around the country since nearly 6 in 10 of the troops deployed today are married, and nearly half have children. Needless to say, it is the families — more than a million of them since 2001 — who have borne the brunt of the psychological and emotional strain of deployments. Siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles have become surrogate parents. Spouses have struggled with loneliness and stress. Children have felt confused and abandoned during the long separations. All have felt anxieties about the distant dangers of war.
I see this in my practice and my colleagues in family law practices also see the increased pressures deployments have brought to the families we serve.
You may read the entire NY Times article Families Bear Brunt of Deployment Strains here. A one-time sign-up may be required.
Thanks to Paula Aylward, family lawyer in Marshall, Michigan for the heads-up on this series.
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