Posts Tagged ‘ military children ’

Reflections on 9/11 By A Military Wife

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

As the 10th¬†anniversary of 9/11 approaches, everyone who experienced this event is flooded with recollections of that day, its aftermath, and our current thoughts and feelings about it. By virtue of my prior posts about the lives of military families — including the challenges of being a non-deployed parent and being a child with a deployed parent — I have had a unique opportunity to listen to the voices of military wives. I have found that we all share a mission of bringing awareness to the sacrifices made by those who serve in the armed forces and their families. To that end, I am honored to feature in this post a blogger — Laura @ semperfimomma — who writes eloquently about the life of a military wife and mom. SemperFiMomma.jpeg

I asked Laura to share her reflections on 9/11. Here they are:

When we hit our 11 year anniversary, my husband and I both agreed that the time had flown by so fast and it almost felt like yesterday we were married. Looking back and thinking about the attacks on September 11th, 10 years ago, feels a lifetime away to me. On a family fishing trip, I remember standing there staring at the television watching the second plane crash. I was in total disbelief. I thought to myself, “Life is never going to be the same.”

The ironic part is that to talk to anyone now, I don’t feel like my life is very different. Like I was then and now, I’m a military wife. We, just like our husbands, adapt and overcome all the obstacles and challenges in our lives. It’s what we do, not just as military wives but as women and mothers as well. We’re human. We evolve. And so do our children. Most of them don’t know any different of a life. Having their fathers gone for 6 months or more at a time is ‘normal’ to them, though that doesn’t make the absence any easier to bear.

This week Laura featured thoughts on 9/11 by three military wives on her blog — I encourage you to click here to read these moving pieces.

I’m very grateful for the chance I have had to start a dialogue with a number of military wives. My next post will focus on tips that Laura @semperfimomma offers us to help support military families as they take on their daily challenges.

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Deployed Soldiers’ Kids: How War Affects Their Adjustment

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Unlike prior generations, many soldiers are parents. A new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine reveals that when they are deployed, their children may suffer.

Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of over 300,000 children who had a parent or parents in the US Army from 2003-2006. Two findings stand out.

First, kids of deployed soldiers had higher rates of adjustment, behavioral, depressive, or stress disorders, as compared to kids whose Army parents were not deployed during that time period. Second, the length of deployment was an important factor — kids who had a parent deployed for 11 months or more suffered the most in terms of mental health and adjustment.

In an essay accompanying the scientific article, Dr. Stephen Cozza discussed the importance of the problem. He suggests that approximately 44% of active duty members have children, and around 43% of selected reserve members have children. The majority of these children are younger than 12 years of age. He estimates that since 2001, about 1.76 million children have experienced the deployment of a parent.

The families of deployed soldiers face a number of stressors. The children are without a parent; there is obviously anxiety about the safety and welfare of the parent; and overall family functioning is disrupted. In upcoming posts I will be discussing other studies that delve into the challenges that military families face, with the hope of raising awareness so that we all can try to support the families of soldiers who risk their lives serving all of us.

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