I need to write a essay on deployment. I'm having a hard time writing my thesis. I would like to write about the effects that families and service members deal with prior, during, and after they...

I need to write a essay on deployment. I'm having a hard time writing my thesis. I would like to write about the effects that families and service members deal with prior, during, and after they return home.

Asked on by javalos7

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Military families sometimes, depending a lot on the specific job of the military member (e.g. naval aviator, administrator, infantry, airman, etc.), experience a great deal of stress when the military member is preparing for, on, and returning from a deployment.  Especially in the case of protracted deployments, such as a one-year unaccompanied deployment to the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean Peninsula, or a six-month deployment at sea aboard ship, or deployment to a combat zone in Afghanistan or Iraq, the stress on families can be enormous.  Spouses accustomed to having both parents taking care of the home and children suddenly find themselves doing both alone, sometimes while also working a full- or part-time job.  

In the period prior to a deployment, the military member is usually devoting long hours to preparations for the assignment.  Training in preparation for deployments can be grueling and come at the expense of quality time spent with one's family.  The really difficult part, however, comes with the military member's departure from home and family to a potentially dangerous situation somewhere abroad.  The emotional stress on families back home knowing their loved ones are in a war zone where death or injury can occur at any time cannot be overstated.  That stress combined with the emotionally and physically demanding requirements of caring for children while working a job can often be too much for the spouse to take, resulting in tensions between spouses that, if communicated to the military member, can make his or her job all the more difficult. 

Some military jobs -- known as "military occupational specialities," or MOSs -- are more demanding than others.  Special Operations Forces, for instance, often deploy with little or no advance notification with the certainty that the mission will be dangerous.  Individuals who aspire to and attain membership in the SEALs, Army and Air Force Special Operations are uniquely qualified mentally as well as physically for the demands of those positions.  For spouses back home, however, the stress of rarely seeing one's husband and, when the husband is around, rarely being able to enjoy quality time together because of training demands and a mental preoccupation with preparing for the next mission can be too much to bear, resulting in alcohol abuse and/or divorce.

The post-deployment situation can also be stressful.  The initial joy of being reunited with one's spouse following a long deployment can be gradually eroded by the sudden presence of another authority figure in the home.  The spouse who does not deploy has grown accustomed to taking care of the children and home in his or her own particular manner.  To suddenly inject another parent, with his or her own ideas of how the children should be handled, into the home can be enormously stressful.  The children, similarly, have grown accustomed to life without that other parent, and may resent the military member's sudden, possibly unwelcome intrusion in their personal lives.

Deployments are an integral part of military life.  They bring with them, however, enormous psychological challenges, and any essay on deployments should stress that point.

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