While the conflicts have long since faded from the headlines, service members and their families may continue to feel the effects of deployment after it has ended, and not only when a veteran returns with a permanent physical disability or severe psychological trauma.
Even when we are not at war, military families often deal with stresses such as frequent moves or the absence of a parent. Deployment to war creates additional issues for a family to handle. Families face a number of challenges before, during, and after deployment. This emotional cycle of deployment begins when news of deployment is released to the family.
It starts with a short period of strong emotions, such as fear and anger. As departure grows closer, a period of detachment and withdrawal may occur. This can happen to prepare for the person being physically gone. During the deployment family members have a range of feelings and experiences, including: Concern, worry or panic Added family duties and responsibilities Learning new skills, making new friends Fear for their service member's safety Feeling overwhelmed Dealing with problems on their own Understanding what your loved ones have been through Concern over being needed and loved Children's reactions to a parent's deployment vary with each child.
Reactions depend on age, maturity and any other behavioral or mental health problems the child might have. The mental health of the at-home parent often affects the child's distress level. This is especially true for young children. If parents successfully handle the stress of deployment, their children are less likely to have mental health or behavior problems.
What happens after the deployed service member returns?
Experiences during deployment have helped make your family and service member more responsible. You have grown but you have also faced many challenges. Remember, readjustment following deployment takes time. Even if your service member has been called up before, you may find that new challenges arise with each reunion.
Reunions can be happy and stressful. There is usually a "honeymoon" phase shortly after demobilization, but it will probably be temporary. Your service member has been through traumatic experiences. You have had to face new situations in your service member's absence.
You might also feel angry because you had to handle so much on your own while they were away. Family members at home have changed, too. You may have developed new relationships. You may be feeling pride in what you were able to accomplish while your service member was away. For some couples, issues of infidelity may have arisen.Members of the military actually report better family environments and greater parenting satisfaction during deployment than before or after—“possibly,” the researchers note, “because they are removed from the day-to-day challenges associated with family life.”.
Depression and Family Planning. Deployment -- or planning for a deployment -- can increase depression in pregnant spouses of military personnel, according to Washington-based research published in "Obstetrics and Gynecology" in Psychiatric Annals | The continued operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought the mental health effects of military conflict to public attention.
Most studies of . What Are the Effects of Military Deployment on Children? Pin Flip Email Search the site GO. More in Parenting Access those resources for your family and connect with other military members who understand your circumstances.
The impact of military deployment on children: Placing developmental risk in context.
Jennifer Anderson. The Struggles of Military Deployment and the Effects It Has on their Family. As a society member, people have rights, freedoms, and responsibilities.
children with their parent’s deployment, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) developed Operation Purple Camp (OPC), a summer camp program that children with a deployed parent attend free of charge.
In this pilot study, we surveyed families attending.