After the dreadful fall of the Twin Towers in 2001 the United States Military has started operations in support of Operation Iraqi and Enduring freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. When these operations kicked off some members of our military spent up to 15 months away from home. While away from home these service members miss out on the opportunity to see their families grow i. e. children crawling and taking their first steps. Families left behind at home may not be facing the same dangers as their deployed service member, but they are left to face the roles and responsibilities the service member used to do at home.
For instance wives now have to cook, look after the children and animals as well as maintain the yard and bills. As Minton stated in his article service members move among comrades in arms while the families left back home move among people with no concept of deployment stress. Felling trapped and alone with that stress many families break up which cause more stress on the situation and burden on any children in the immediate family. Before deploying the service member, spouse and children all should sit down and come up with a plan for the duration of the deployment.
Balancing family and supporting the mission during deployment for some service members as well as family members is a tough task. According to Minton service members move among comrades in arms while the families, especially Reservist families, move among people with no concept of deployment stress (Minton 2008). To help cope with this issue the Army adopted a program called the Family Readiness Group or FRG. This program is specifically aimed at helping the families left behind while their soldiers are deployed.
It consist of a group of spouses, usually the higher ranking soldiers spouses are the leaders and they organize meetings to help ease each others mind about the stress of being home and not worrying about the status of their deployed soldier. Many military personnel return home from deployment struggling with physical and/or psychological injuries that challenge their ability to reintegrate and contribute to marital problems, family dysfunction, and emotional or behavioral disturbance in spouses and children. Service members returning from deployment often experience depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, interpersonal conflict, and aggressiveness (Riggs 2011). This is a cause for another issue within the military today, domestic violence. Service men and women today have many roles to fill; they have families to please and a country to protect. Spending so much time away from home can cause can cause a healthy relationship to go on the rocks, which causes service members to lose focus on the mission. Thanks to programs like the FRG most service members are able to return home to a happy family.