Many Canton, Ohio, residents are aware of some of the modern difficulties facing military families in recent years. In addition to having to spend time apart while fathers and mothers are sent to Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple deployments, many of these families face very difficult problems once the military service member comes home.
Recent news reports have chronicled many of the problems soldiers face when they move back home from a deployment. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, issues related to combat-related injuries and trouble integrating back into society. It has also been reported that the suicide rate among veterans has risen, as has the military divorce rate.
The divorce rate is reportedly at its highest point since 1999.
The Pentagon has reported that 3.7 percent of military marriages end in divorce each year. This is not too different than the civilian rate of 3.5 percent, however, in the past military marriages have generally been considered more resilient than civilian marriages.
The divorce rate has been said to have been influenced by PTSD as well as increasing stress levels among the spouse who stays at home. According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, wives of soldiers who are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are much more likely to have mental health issues and suffer from depression than wives of soldiers who are not deployed.
The Army is aware of these issues and is reportedly working on ways to provide soldiers and their families the support they need. It is important, too, that residents of Canton support their military friends and family who may need it. It is vital that U.S. service men and women, and their families, have the support they need after during deployment and here at home.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Military families also pay price for repeated tours of duty," Adam Ashton, May 14, 20112