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Stacey Chillemi

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The Soldiers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Suffer during Deployment


The Most Important Skills
You Must Learn
In Order to Survive the Stresses of Deployment
The Soldiers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Suffer during Deployment
“Learn how deployment affects children and their families left behind”
Did you know…?
Many people do not realize the harsh emotional stress put upon a family when a soldier is deployed. Deployment affects everyone (moms, dads, wives, children, girlfriends and friends).    Everyone in that soldier’s life is affected to some degree. However, did you ever stop to stink how much deployment affects children? Young children who need the guidance and security – knowing money and daddy are there for them and that they are safe too. 
A child can change a lot when a parent is gone for a few months; in a year or more, the impact is more severe and the emotional affects it leaves on a child could be devastating. Research has shown that young children suffer a lot more than older adolescence children.
Why children are affected so badly by deployment?
Deployed parents often miss important events of their children’s lives. Even though the children know that, their mom or dad has no control over their deployment and they would be home with them if they could it, still upsets many children and many develop inner anger caused by stress and disappointment. These special moments could be birthdays, school events, ranging from a prom to an entire athletic season.
A group of researchers in Virginia recently did a study after holding 14 focus groups with 107 youths to talk about their views of deployment. Here is what some of the children had to say…
·         “When my dad’s not there, I’m not ... the child anymore,” one said. “I have to ... almost fill in for the other parent because the only thing my mom really cares about is that I’m ready to baby-sit.
·         Forty-two kids said a military parent’s return led to a tough post-deployment reintegration.
·         “Mom had to pretty much do everything. It was ... a problem when dad got back, because you’re more attached to one parent now.”
The positive aspects deployment has on children
·         Researchers found that while such changes provoked stress for some youths, other youths saw them as way to excel in personal growth and maturity.
Why are so many people concerned about the affects deployment has on children?
Military families and child advocates worry about the increasing effects of stress in a war for both the soldier and their families. Will the constant worry and scaring from the war cause negative emotional damages and unhealed wounds that are unfixable for both the soldier and their families?  Will deployed parents be able to reconnect in the short times between deployments — and if not, what are the consequences?
The mental health of returning troops
Research on the effects of multiple wartime deployments is limited. This scares me because how can we find the right tools and techniques to help our soldiers and their families during and after deployment if there is limited research being done on this issue. This needs to change. Both the soldier and families will have emotional issues that should be addresses through programs, literature and counseling. This cannot be accomplished if the nation does not provide enough of funds. In addition, the nation needs to have departments and programs spending time, and research toward this issue too. 
There is a difference between struggling, stress, pain, and the development of positive growth in families. Our nation needs to become aware of pros and cons of deployment and the affects it has on soldiers and their families. One issue that should be addressed is the amount of deployments allowed in a year. Another is show long each soldier should be away for during each deployment. A study needs to be conducted to see the impact of multiple wartime deployments and then something needs to be done so families and soldiers are not hurt and mentally scared from the stresses of deployment.
Organizations to help families during deployment
·         The American Red Cross
·         The Boys and Girls Club of America
·         National 4-H Headquarters
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