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A Servicemember’s PTSD Affects the Whole Family

 Although our combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, as our servicemembers return home, they and their families will be coping with the fallout for years. Maybe even decades. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 25 percent of vets returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are suffering from PTSD. That’s about 500,000 veterans. And while PTSD gets a lot of well-deserved media coverage these days, the focus is almost exclusively on the servicemembers who are suffering from it. But it’s far more complicated than that. When a servicemember has PTSD, his or her condition often rubs off on the reset of the family as well. Children have problems in school, civilian parents may feel depressed and anxious, and tempers seem to get shorter every day. So if we count everyone who’s affected by PTSD, that 500,000 figure is probably just a third of the problem. In this article, we’ll explore some of the unexpected ways PTSD affects the families of our returning veterans.

Military Families Spotlight10

Why Spouses Need More Education

Monday March 31, 2014

With all the moves military families tend to make, finding--and keeping--a job can be a real challenge for military spouses. And those challenges are magnified when jobs require certifications that don't easily transfer from state to state, or when the spouse doesn't have the advanced skills that might help her or him start a new job somewhere other than the bottom of the ladder. In "Benefits of Pursuing Higher Education: Options for Military Spouses Pursuing Education," we talk about why military spouses should consider going back to school and how they can use distance learning to achieve their career goals.

Discovering the New Normal

Monday March 31, 2014

Having dad or mom return from a deployment can be great for everyone in the family. But after the initial "honeymoon period," many kids--especially those who were very young when the deployment began--can have a lot of trouble adjusting. And plenty of parents--whether they were deployed or stayed at home--have trouble too. In "Returning from Deployment: Helping Young Children Cope," we talk about the four stages families go through when a parent returns from deployment. The last one is the "new normal," but getting there isn't easy. Read the article for some practical tips that can help everyone adjust.

Summer in the Military

Monday March 31, 2014

It seems strange to be talking about summer vacations when it's still snowing in many parts of the country, but a quick look at the calendar makes it perfectly clear that school's almost out. And that means the kids will be home. In "Summer Camps for Military Kids," we talk about the great benefits--to kids, parents, and families--of sending the kids to summer camp. We also talk about some great options specifically designed to help military kids cope with the unique challenges they face.

Reenlisting Affects the Whole Family

Monday March 31, 2014

Although only one spouse's signature is on the reenlistment contract, the decision to stay in uniform for another six years is one that affects every single other person in the family. In "When Your Spouse Reenlists," we discuss the many factors that any family considering reenlistment should consider.

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