Essay on Effects of Deployment on Families and Loved Ones of Servicemen

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Carnegie Mellon University
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In the past ten years, deployment in the United States has increased significantly due to myriads of terrorism eruption in several parts of the world. Often, the service member has been deployed to create peace and deter acts of terrorism, which have since become a global concern (Andrews, 2007). In the verge of deploying military officer to the war zones, most of them have been realized to develop various health and mental related issues, and more specifically, their families and children have shown to be psychiatrically affected by these deployments because there is the long-term absence of one or both parents or a loved one (Andrews, 2007). Deployment, therefore, refers to activities that are required to move military personnel together with the materials from a home installation to the specified destination mainly to help in combating acts of terrorism (Henderson, 2006). While constant moves, the absence of a military parent, as well as other stresses are common to military families, deployment of an officer to a combat zone result to challenges of different magnitude because there is increased family responsibilities, financial issues, isolation, loneliness and often, a feeling of being overwhelmed.


Deployment of active officers, reserve members, and the Individual Augmentee (IA) presumes three cycle that commences with pre-deployment, actual deployment, and post-deployment cycles (Horn, S. (2010).

Pre-deployment phase: this phase examines the activities that the service members are involved with before they are deployed. Together with their units, the service members undergo some traditional training in preparation to the conduct of the military duties (Horn, 2010). The officers undertake routine training, from the family point of view; this phase presents a normal life because the officers are at home, as they attend to work on a regular basis. However, the officers are prepared for a possible deployment upon receiving orders.

Deployment phase: the cycle starts with the movement of individuals to designated operation region, often, the phase is elicited a stressful moment for the officer and more to the family and the loved ones because they face the realities of deployment with the commencement of military duties in support of the mission (Tanielian, Jaycox & Rand Corporation, 2008).

Post-implementation phase: this comes near the end of deployment phase; preparations are made for the unit to return to the home installation, which culminates the units redeployment to the home

In between the stages of deployment and redeployment, several issues related to health and psychological befall the officers and more their families usually are found to suffer a great deal. Among the problems that the officers family undergoes include anxiety for a reunion with the absent partner, carrying out double roles of parenting, financial constraints, and most of them denting to depression when they are overwhelmed in the event the loved one did not come back at all.

Effects of deployment

The effects of parental deployment in the former war zones have indicated children as having increased behavioral problems coupled with sleeping problems that the children suffer from, higher stress levels, the decline in academic performance as well as maladaptive child behaviors. One survey showed that about 20% of military spouses accepted that their children had exhibited behavioral problems at home (Karney, Crown & RAND National Defense Research Institute, 2007). Thus, the story of war does not just present a combat to the problem but also depict the many fights that the family who remains behind is also fighting. Aimee Ybarra represents a composite case of one after fighting issue; the mother of two grade-school children realized that upon, upon returning home, the husband who had been deployed wanted to leave their 15-year-old marriage because he was not feeling like part of the family anymore (MacDermid & Riggs, 2011).

Suicide in the military

Suicide in the military has risen to substantial levels, most of the scenes that the officer encounter in the battlefields has long-lasting impacts on their psychological mindset (Slone & Friedman, 2008). Often, those who are not adequately canceled tend to commit suicide leaving their families in limbo, the aftermath of such unfortunate occurrence leaves one partner with difficulties regarding raising the children alone and struggling to meet the daily needs as well as coping with being alone. Apart from the loss of life, the majority of the officers sustain serious injuries that the family has to come to terms with because some are long term. These injuries sometimes turn to permanent disabilities rendering the officer incapacitated to return to normal life, when this happens; one spouse is thrashed o take caregiving role, which incidentally increases the risk of depression.

Depression in soldier and their spouses

Military officers and their wives have exhibited higher rates of depression as compared to the general population; depression is a condition, which is characterized by intense of the feeling of sadness for extended periods. A mood disorder affects their behavior as well as affecting their appetite and sleeping pattern (Matsakis, 2014). A substantive number of the servicemen who were deployed were found to have suffered and continues to suffer these problems, which elicits a feeling of incapacitation making them develop a sense that life is not worth living. When they are not taken through elaborated canceling procedures, some of them commit suicide and leave the remaining family members at their peril.

When the deployed member return

It is imperative to accept that change is the only constant, while the office is away; many changes are bound to take place within the familial circles. Children make this point more understandable because some of the partners are deployed when they are young and cannot comprehend the scenario (Matsakis, 2007). When the officer takes long in the deployment, a creation of distance occurs between the office and the child or children. Apparently, when the officer returns, family members have changed. Presumably, he/she might have developed new relationships with others feeling the pride of what they have accomplished while one partner was away. For some couples, infidelity issues may arise due to the prolonged absence of one partner and if the matter is not amicably resolved divorce or separation beckons. More often, integrating the officer back to the daily entails mixed reactions.


Information from previous conflicts and within the ongoing conflicts zones have indicated that the effects of the war spill beyond the deployed officer. Children and immediate families typically struggle with several changes that result from an absent spouse or parent as well as when the service member returns home. The mental health of the at-home partner dictates a crucial role in the adjustment of children during deployment. Moreover, the mental health of the returning officer also affects the children together with the family functioning, relationship interactions, and satisfaction. It is therefore important to ensure that the plight of the household is taken with the state covering up to subsidies the financial needs, providing amenities for conducting canceling o the offices to ensure their safety and that of their families.



Andrews, B. (2007). I miss you!: A military kid's book about deployment. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books.Eckhart, J. (2005). The homefront club: The hardheaded woman's guide to raising a military family. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press.

Henderson, K. (2006). While they're at war: The true story of American families on the homefront. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Horn, S. (2010). Tour of duty: Preparing our hearts for deployment. Nashville, Tenn: LifeWay.

Horn, S. (2010). God strong: The military wife's spiritual survival guide. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan.

Karney, B. R., Crown, J. S., & RAND National Defense Research Institute. (2007). Families under stress: An assessment of data, theory, and research on marriage and divorce in the military. Fort Belvoir, VA: Defense Technical Information Center.

MacDermid, S., & Riggs, D. S. (2011). Risk and resilience in U.S. military families. New York: Springer.

Matsakis, A. (2007). Back from the front: Combat trauma, love, and the family. Baltimore, Md: Sidran Institute Press.

Matsakis, A. (2014). Loving someone with PTSD: A practical guide to understanding and connecting with your partner after trauma. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Slone, L. B., & Friedman, M. J. (2008). After the war zone: A practical guide for returning troops and their families. Cambridge, Mass: Da Capo Lifelong.

Tanielian, T. L., Jaycox, L., & Rand Corporation. (2008). Invisible wounds of war: Psychological and cognitive injuries, their consequences, and services to assist recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.


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