Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Supporting Soldiers

If you are a regular reader, then you probably know that I am going through a rough time personally. I have been deployed nearly 7 months now and have had plenty of time to think about my situation in Iraq and back home. This morning I considered the problems I am facing on a larger scale.

There are several organizations and programs out there dedicated to supporting soldiers that are deployed. BookForSoldiers is one that I, myself, had submitted my name. I received support in letters and CARE packages from several people, to whom I owe a great debt of appreciation. Each one of you that directly supports a soldier makes it just that much easier for us to deal with life here in Iraq. But there is a component missing for many of us married soldiers.

Many soldiers in my unit and others I work with, have found pictures on the internet of their spouses dancing at clubs, have spouses that have run their family in to debt despite the extra pay we receive for being deployed. Some of us suffer the indifference of a scared or selfish spouse. Whatever the problem back home, it is a cancer that slowly eats at the soul of the soldier; degrading morale and motivation. Divorce rates in the military have sky-rocketed, homocide rates and domestic disputes during R&R and return home have increased significantly. Spouses find themselves alone, possibly frustrated, and with extra time and money on their hands. This leads, apparently many, to fill the void in a destructive way.

My solution to this is simple. Keep supporting soldiers directly through the wonderful programs available but also take this extra step. If there is a military member in your family, anywhere in the family tree, or you have friends that are military, support them first. If they are married, then support the spouse by holding that person accountable financially and socially, by extending your contact to them so they don't feel so alone, by helping them keep a structure to their lives that maintains the homelife that the soldier has left to serve his duty. Take a personal interest and get involved in their lives.

Spouses often get overlooked, even though there are support groups available, such as the FRG (Family Readiness Group), at the batallion level. If their time was filled with support from friends and family, with visits, phone calls, emails, whatever, then there would be less likelihood of a marital breakdown.

Every soldier deserves a warm sincere welcome home from any deployment.

7 Comments:

Blogger Saije said...

Good to see you back blogging.

Important topic too. I hope it helps those who need it.

00:26  
Blogger Carnealian said...

Thanks, as always for changing the perspective and educating us. It's nice to have you back.

09:31  
Blogger InterstellarLass said...

My soldier support plan includes putting together another care package for you shortly. In addition, I started my new job this week at Perot Systems. Whatever anyone has to say about Perot, he is a true patriot. The hallways here are decorated with memorabilia and artifacts out the wazoo. Just 20 feet down the hall from me...a few items on the wall:

1) An Iraqi flag taken in 2003 from outside a bank in Baghdad.
2) Part of a rotor from a helicoptor that crashed in Somalia.
3) Dogtags from a soldier killed in Iraq.
4) An Afghani headscarf

And, as I walk up and down the hall, a quote has caught my eye more than once.

For those who fought, and almost died, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.

I've been here three days, and each time I pass, I stop to look at something new on the War Wall. I've nearly been brought to tears several times.

And yesterday, I got an invitation to stuff bags and make signs to greet soldiers at DFW Airport. That's next week. Then, the week after, I'll be taking time off to go to DFW and hand out these bags myself, to your fellow soldiers Dorman. I have a feeling I'll be needing a box of tissues.

11:22  
Blogger Carnealian said...

OMG! That's awesome what your company is doing. I need a tissue. As far as Ross goes, I can only picture Dana Carvey doing his impersonation on SNL which is hilarious!

12:10  
Blogger Super Quad said...

That is a great idea my friend! It's gotta be hard on everyone.

01:08  
Blogger Sean from DocintheBox said...

Good write up, I've covered this too.

10:21  
Blogger mattandriver said...

Leave it to dorman to open some more eyes. Thanks!

19:17  

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