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The Heart You Carry Home
A novel about surviving on the home front and the limits and limitlessness of...
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How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

Created: 10/28/15

Replies: 9

Posted Oct. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do you think that modern civilians are more understanding of the soldiers’ struggles after they return home than earlier generations may have been for returning veterans? What has or hasn’t changed?

(please see separate topic to discuss the experience of returning veterans)


Posted Nov. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

I think the impact to the families of soldiers is as deep as to the soldier in the actual combat zone. They have absolutely no control over whether or not their family member will ever come home, what shape that person will be in when/if they do return, and how that person will fit into the family unit that has evolved in their absence. It takes a very strong family unit to survive a deployment without lasting consequences to all concerned.


Posted Nov. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cm28015

Join Date: 11/01/15

Posts: 26

RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

I would agree. Family, friends, co-workers are affected to the degree that the vet is affected. They often are not aware of what their family member has gone through - seen, heard, done - as well as adjusting to a foreign environment. Today, there are many options to stay in contact (or not when prohibited) so families hear quicker about mental and physical conditions. There is also much more discussion about PTSD and other disabilities as a result of service. It isn't easier, but maybe more support and awareness.


Posted Nov. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

I agree that the whole family is affected by a soldiers deployment. Conditions today are better, but not great. Mostly the soldiers returning today are treated with respect, this was not true of the Vietnam vet. He was spurned by his own country and government. Today we do have more knowledge of PTSD, and many organizations to help the soldier, yet many are weak, sick, jobless and homeless and still little is done.


Posted Nov. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 279

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RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

I think things are somewhat different for soldiers and their families now, in that there's a recognition that some need help recovering from their experiences. In the past, soldiers were encouraged to just "get over it" and to not say anything about their experiences. I do think that society as a whole now respects returning vets for their service, definitely more so than they did for veterans of the Vietnam War.

But of course we're not there yet. The high rate of suicide among soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, high divorce rates, high number of mental health issues, etc. point to a continuing problem. But at least they're trying to solve it as opposed to just ignoring it.


Posted Nov. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
saraht

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 11

RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

kimk above says it well. I agree.


Posted Nov. 09, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judithj

Join Date: 04/15/15

Posts: 45

RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

It's not easy for family when their loved ones are in harm's way. They want to take the pain away but don't have the capabilities. Hard for everyone involved.


Posted Nov. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 26

RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

I doubt it's ever been easy for families of soldiers since the beginnings of war itself. I think progress has been made, but we have a long way to go. Treatment comes only when asked for, and then they have to wait. I don't think they address issues soon enough. Then everyone is affected.


Posted Nov. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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kellilee

Join Date: 11/18/14

Posts: 48

RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

I believe PTSD is a major problem for many of our soldiers, and I've learned from reading Mac McClelland's Irritable Hearts (through Book Browse) that families of PTSD sufferers (especially families of soldiers with PTSD) can suffer from a secondary form of PTSD after being exposed to the PTSD of their returning soldiers. Think of Becca's experience with Ben when he was suffering from his severe PTSD episode. How many times can a wife withstand such abuse before the wife starts to suffer emotionally? But then if a wife leaves the situation, she is leaving someone she loves dearly and the guilt will eat her alive. There is no good that can come from war, and I know we have much more war to come with the continued threat of ISIS terrorism in our world.


Posted Dec. 15, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 78

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RE: How are the families of soldiers impacted by their experiences and how do they cope? Do modern familes cope differently. What has or hasn’t changed?

Everyone has given excellent responses so I will not repeat what has already been said. I do think things have changed to a degree in that PTSD is at least recognized. In past decades, there was some talk of "shell shock," etc. but not a whole lot of help for the veteran or much understanding by the family.


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