Most military couples would agree that military life offers a fair number of challenges. I reached out to some “real life” experts – military couples who have been around the block a time or two – to learn from their wealth of experience. Their marriages have collectively seen hundreds of deployments, PCSs, TDYs, and other major military family events – they have experienced ups, downs, and in-betweens – and they have some amazing stories to tell. I asked them to share the greatest challenges they have faced as military couples and the survival strategies that have kept them going.
Blog posts with the tag "Service Members"
While conducting workshops for decades around the world for many different types of individuals, both professionals and laypeople, the answer to the question I frequently pose to attendees—“Who here had a week recently devoid of problems?” leads consistently to an absence of raised hands. We all have problems—some small, and unfortunately at times, some being quite overwhelming. Based on this common sense consensus, we would all further agree that it is not abnormal or unusual to have problems.
When I was finishing up my clinical training on internship, I was co-leading a therapy group for WWII Veterans who had all been POWs while in theater. Here it was over 50 years since their military service and they all had the same complaint; they had not been able to get a good night of sleep since that time. This is unfortunately a common problem for Veterans and active duty Service members. There have now been several studies reporting high rates of sleep problems, in particular insomnia and nightmares.
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.
Over the past several years I have seen the same bewildered expression on the faces of numerous Veterans as they struggle to understand and explain their own actions. After several months of treatment, one such client was finally able to articulate, “It’s like there’s a switch in my head that suddenly turns on and it takes everything I’ve got to fight the impulse to do something crazy.”