The fraction of military members moved by the Department of Defense every year, according to a recent RAND Corporation report -- Tour Lengths, Permanent Changes of Station, and Alternatives for Savings and Improved Stability. The report looked at how much money could be saved if DoD reduced the number of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves by extending tours of duty. Because a variety of alternatives were considered, the estimated annual savings range was broad -- $19 million to $84 million.
As military spouse with three children and a clinical psychologist who works at a military hospital, military family issues are ever-present in my mind and on my heart. So, when I read about the Military Family Stability Act of 2015, my interest was naturally piqued. The Military Family Stability Act of 2015 was introduced to Congress by Senators Blunt (Mo.), Gillibrand (NY), Hirono (HI), and Burr (NC) as a bill “…to provide a period for the relocation of spouses and dependents of certain members of the Armed Forces undergoing a permanent change of station in order to ease and facilitate the relocation of military families.” By adding greater flexibility in key aspects of permanent change of station (PCS) moves, changes introduced by the bill would ideally mitigate some of the negative effects of relocation on military families. While the fate of this bill remains unknown, the content provides excellent material for some important conversations about military family life.
It was the summer of 2007 and I was in the homestretch of planning a wedding to my best friend, an active duty psychologist for the U.S. Navy stationed at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed Military Medical Center). We had chosen November 10th for our wedding date. I loved the idea of a fall wedding and my husband, also a former Marine, assured me that he would never forget our anniversary if we got married on the Marine Corps birthday.
Working with Veterans with PTSD is an intense experience where all focus can be on helping alleviate the Veteran's symptoms. What can sometimes get lost in this process is how the Veteran's family and relationships are surviving. PTSD does not happen in a bubble and can have very harsh impacts on relationships. These relationships will be changed even in the best case scenarios. On the flip side, aspects of close relationships will impact how the Veteran's PTSD symptoms are experienced. Following is a review of a recent research article which develops a multi-dimentional model of how relationship qualities can both be impacted by and affect the experience of PTSD.