When Uncle Sam Calls

When Uncle Sam Calls

What impact does military deployment of a parent have on a family? The United States has fought many wars in the past, but the most recent efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have disrupted families in ways that were not typical in past deployments. The majority of soldiers did not come through a draft of young men. In the Vietnam and Korean Wars, the average soldier spent less than a year overseas and was a young recruit or draftee. In Iraq, much of the burden has fallen on older reservists, National Guardsmen—family men and women (Skipp, Ephron, & Hastings, 2006). As the recent war winds down and deployed family members return home, the Arrendos’ experience will be common across the nation.

Photo 1.2   Family members serving in the military leave more than emotional voids behind them.


Source: ©iStockphoto.com/JaniceRichard.

The Arrendos (name changed for privacy) agreed to share their experience with our readers. Kathy and Mike were young professionals with two small children, ages 2 and 3, when Mike was called to duty. Kathy shares how her needs and resources changed during the course of her husband’s absence. Payne’s (1998) five resource categorizations are used as a framework for understanding.

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