Resilience in Military Marriages Experiencing Deployment
Separation due to deployment is a hallmark of married life for military couples. As a result of U.S. military engagement in the Middle East since 9/11, known as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), these separations resulting from military related deployments have become more frequent and longer. According to recent Department of Defense statistics, since September 11, 2001, over two million service members have been deployed, with nearly 800,000 deploying more than once. In total, U.S. troops have deployed 3.3 million times (Tan, 2009). Since 56 % of the nearly 1.5 million service members are married and 71 % of all officers in the military are married, the vast majority of military couples have experienced one or multiple deployments. The most dominant narrative related to the effects of military service in general, and specifically to deployment to combat zones, is that deployment harms personal well-being and marriages, often irreparably (Dao & Einhorn, 2010). However, there is also evidence that deployment seems to have little effect on marital stability (Karney & Crown, 2007), and many report that deployment strengthened their marriage (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004). The purpose of this chapter is to begin to understand and describe how some marriages are able to be resilient following the stress of deployment.
KeywordsPtsd Symptom Service Member Active Duty Marital Stability Kaiser Family Foundation
This manuscript was supported by a grant to the third author from the United States Air Force Family Advocacy Program through a contract with U.S.D.A.
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