National Council on Family Relations                                   Family Focus on . . .                              ...
Family Focus on...	                          Military FamiliesBuddy-to-Buddy: An innovative substitutefor family support a...
Family Focus on...	                             Military Familiesbuddy-to-buddy continued from page F2program carefully ta...
Family Focus on...	                          Military FamiliesAdvice to the therapists 		working with military familiesby ...
Family Focus on...	                             Military Familiesadvice to therapists continued from page F4advice to ther...
Family Focus on...	                          Military FamiliesMilitary Families Internship:Strengthening families and comm...
Family Focus on...	                              Military Familiesinternship continued from page F6a first-rate, volunteer...
Family Focus on...	                           Military Familiesinternship continued from page F7initiatives, and family su...
Family Focus on...	                           Military FamiliesWorld War II in people’s livesby Ralph LaRossa, Ph.D., Prof...
Family Focus on...	                          Military Familiesworld war II continued from page F9One thus cannot talk abou...
Family Focus on...	                            Military FamiliesMilitary service and the life course:An assessment of what...
2012 2 focus
2012 2 focus
2012 2 focus
2012 2 focus
2012 2 focus
2012 2 focus
2012 2 focus
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  1. 1. National Council on Family Relations Family Focus on . . . Military FamiliesIn focus // Issue FF52Reflections onintergenerational relations page F3 Working with the military by Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Sci-Who gets custody of ences; Director, Center for Families; Director, Military Family Research Institute; profes- sor, Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University, shelley@purdue.eduGrandma after the divorce? page F5The many faces of parental Since 2000, it has been my honor to lead the military programs forestrangement page F8 Military Family Research Institute at Pur- lacking sufficiently due University. This was an experience rigorous evaluationIntergenerational cultural I never expected to have, but I have found protocols. In at leastIn focus // atbonds: A look it to be among the most meaningful and some of these cases,Ukranian-American families page F11 intellectually engaging of my career. Today, there were goodBuddy-to-Buddy: an innovative the institute is actually misnamed because reasons that evalua-substitute for family supportBuilding intergenerational we now carry out not just research but also tion activities wereamong at-risk, returning veterans outreach with and for military families, limited, such as legalrelationships via an Elderof Iraq and Afghanistan page F2 working closely with military and com- restrictions on Shelley MacDermidService Partner program page F13 munity organizations. We often receive appropriate use of WadsworthAdvice to the therapists working calls from colleagues who are eager to learn funds. You should always assume thatwith military families inFamily stress and risk page F4 about working with the military, and so in your predecessors were smart, thoughtfulgrandparent-headed this article I share some suggestions. Some people who wanted to do a good job. IfMilitary Families Internship: of these were presented at a recent meeting you can find out about the constraints theyhouseholds Strengthening families page F14 of the Society for Social Work Research. faced, you will have a much better chanceand communities page F6 of improving on their effort. Go Back to the BooksWorld War II in There is a good chance that many of the Never Forget that It’s Not About You people’s lives page F9 research questions or intervention ideas you or Your Program are thinking of have already been thought of Military folks have an important mis-Military service and the life by others. Because research about military sion to carry out for the country. They arecourse: An assessment of families tends to wane between conflicts, completely funded by taxpayer dollarswhat we know page F11 the most recent research relevant to your and they expect accountability. They work question may have been published soon with academics to find better ways toMilitary families: what we know after the most recent large-scale conflict (the fulfill their mission, not because they areand what we don’t know page F13 first Gulf War in the 1990s). Considerable trying to help us publish articles, conduct research on military families is published in randomized trials of a new intervention, orReturning home: What we technical reports rather than peer-reviewed train students. If they learn of a resourceknow about the reintegration literature (because it is funded by military that they think will help them fulfill theirof deployed service members contracts), and thus you must search the mission better, cheaper, or faster, they needinto their families and “gray” literature as well as the traditional to pursue that option even if it means with-communities page F16 scientific literature (the Defense Techni- drawing support from existing projects. cal Information Center is a very importantTeaching about military families: Every day, military members are in harm’s source). Before you conclude that your ideaLessons from the field page F18 way around the world. Even in European really is new, make sure you scan the envi- cities on “regular” deployments, service ronment very carefully. The theme for the next issue of members have been targets of lethal vio- NCFR Report is “Teaching Family Remember the Old Adage that “Fools lence. Combat deployments are decreas- Science.” Deadline for submission is Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread” ing as troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan, It can be easy to find flaws in prior research but deployments for peacekeeping, natural March 21, 2012. Questions? Write the or intervention efforts. For example, many disasters, training, and many other purpos- editor at nancygonzalez@ncfr.org reports have recently criticized existing es continue. Thus, the children, partners, working with the military continued on page F2
  2. 2. Family Focus on... Military FamiliesBuddy-to-Buddy: An innovative substitutefor family support among at-risk, returningveterans of Iraq and Afghanistanby Christopher Jarman, MSW, Michigan State University, christja@med.umich.edu; Adrian Blow, Ph.D., Michigan State University;Marcia Valenstein, M.D., M.S., The University of MichiganSoldiers at war anticipate few events so much experiences uponas returning home to family, friends, and a returning home,sense of peace. Yet for many returning vet- however, are at besterans, peace eludes them as they begin new only loosely similarbattles with combat sequelae such as post- to those of their full-traumatic stress, depression, substance abuse, time counterparts.anxiety, traumatic brain injuries, and social Active-duty soldiersisolation, all of which can have devastating typically return toeffects on close relationships. For one group large military com-of recent veterans members of the Army Christopher Jarman Adrian Blow Marcia Valenstein munities replete withNational Guard these experiences appear to ticularly for NG soldiers. However, these specialized support services for reintegrationoccur at still higher rates and with greater family members are at times not able to (e.g., military hospitals, outpatient clinics,severity than the rest of the military. be ideal supporters. Frequently, service family support groups and programs, ad-Army National Guard (NG) soldiers comprise diction treatment, and military chaplains, members may choose not to speak withnearly a third of the nation’s 1.12 million to name but a few). Crucially, active-duty family members about their struggles outsoldiers. Working part time (one weekend a soldiers return to communities where they of concern for burdening these individu-month and a two-week annual training), these are surrounded both by military peers with als. In addition, service members may findcitizen soldiers lead more traditional lives similar experiences as well as the structure it very difficult to talk to family memberswhen not in uniform. During the 10 years of and close monitoring of their chain of com- about disturbing or traumatizing deploymentthe Global War on Terror, however, NG units mand; in short, they are relatively ensconced events. Family members themselves mayacross the nation have repeatedly been called by their “military family,” a significant have their own difficulties and as a resultto full-time duty, serving year-long tours far source of social support above and beyond they may not be receptive to the difficultiesfrom home and family. NG veterans’ reintegration services. of the service member. NG family members live in a civilian world and may not be as Guard soldiers, by contrast, return to largely understanding about the perils of war as theworking with the military civilian hometowns where they must quickly service member needs. In other cases, fam-continued from page F1 decompress from war while reintegrating ily may be absent from the lives of service into their civilian jobs and communities. So- members by virtue of distance or strainedparents, and other people who love military cial interactions with members of their units relationships, leaving the service membermembers will continue to watch, wait, and often decrease precipitously, and many NG with limited support. Whatever the reason,worry. Over the past decade, we have added veterans report a sense of isolation and disil- it is increasingly apparent that in some casesmillions of men and women to the veteran lusionment with the more mundane, day- service members are more easily able topopulation, and the costs of caring for the to-day experiences of civilian living. Poten- talk to their fellow service members aboutservice-connected illnesses and injuries tially contributing to the challenge, many struggles with deployment and reintegration,of these individuals will not peak for sev- young soldiers are unmarried or unpartnered and in cases where family is not ideal as aeral decades. As educators, scholars, and and no longer live with their families. These support, the military family takes on a muchpractitioners, we are obligated to pay atten- veterans are at potentially even greater risk larger significance.tion to this new demographic group. of negative outcomes by virtue of social iso-I am proud to be among many wonderful In response to growing awareness of the lation and lack of close family support. Forcolleagues around the world who are doing struggles facing National Guard veterans, soldiers struggling with the traumatic effectsthis work and we at MFRI are eager to col- our team of researchers, clinicians, and of war, their “military family” may becomelaborate with students and faculty who share military leaders in Michigan felt compelled as important as their family of origin.our interest in gathering and analyzing data, to respond. After several years of close col-strengthening programs, and educating new Often, family members (spouses, parents, laboration we developed what is known ascolleagues.  and extended family) are the first lines of Buddy-to-Buddy, an innovative peer support support for soldiers when they return, par- buddy-to-buddy continued on page F3F2 family focus // spring 2012
  3. 3. Family Focus on... Military Familiesbuddy-to-buddy continued from page F2program carefully tailored to meet the chal- soon received grant funding from the Robert tions with soldiers, available resources, andlenges and needs of our National Guard R. McCormick Foundation’s Welcome Back limited training regarding symptoms sug-veterans. By enhancing the effectiveness gestive of the need for further evaluation. Veterans initiative and began regularly meet-of these soldiers’ “military family,” we are ing to set a course for enhanced support forSoldiers are then assigned a panel of four tohoping to improve outcomes among these returning soldiers in Michigan. 10 soldiers in their units whom they contactdeserving veterans. each month by phone or in person. During Through an iterative process among group these conversations, B1s rely on a list ofThe military has long been aware of the members, the collaboration between MSU, 11 potential problem areas to guide them.struggles of returning soldiers and provides UM, the VA, and the Michigan National Importantly, these volunteers do not servesoldiers in the NG and active duty alike with Guard eventually developed a peer-support as mental health counselors or case manag-considerable support. Despite these resourc- program for units returning from Operation ers and do not diagnose conditions. Instead,es, fear of stigmatization, a warrior ethos, Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Endur- B1s provide soldiers in need or at risk withdistrust of healthcare professionals, and ing Freedom (OEF). Our intent was not to an opportunity to speak to a trained, trustedcareer concerns persist as powerful barriers develop another mental health program, but peer and with substantially reduced concernsto seeking care, and more than half of those rather a unit-level mechanism for identify- about stigmatization, breeches of confiden-in need choose not to seek it. ing soldiers with needs and confidentially tiality, or career implications. If B1s haveIn response to these alarming realities connecting them with available resources. A concerns about one of their soldiers, theyamong returning veterans, various organi-zations in Michigan began considering a In response to growing awareness of the struggles facingway to augment existing support programs.Michigan which has no active-duty military National Guard veterans, our team of researchers, clinicians, and militaryinstallations, but a relatively large National leaders in Michigan felt compelled to respond. After several yearsGuard presence was rife with opportunities of close collaboration we developed what is known as Buddy-to-Buddy,to serve returning veterans. In 2005, facultyat Michigan State University (MSU) began an innovative peer support program carefully tailored to meet thedeveloping tailored programs for returning challenges and needs of our National Guard veterans.veterans and their families through what areknown as Reintegration Weekends. These variety of hurdles including concerns about can contact NG mental health personnel forNG sponsored events provide soldiers and confidentiality, ambivalence regarding treat- consultations and referrals. Such concernstheir families opportunities to reconnect ment, relational issues between the NG and cover an array of matters, however, andwith their “military family” while simultane- nonmilitary organizations, respect for the may include financial issues, employmentously receiving briefings and referral infor- NG chain of command, programmatic feasi- concerns, substance abuse problems, maritalmation for common needs. The MSU faculty bility and effectiveness, and “in-unit” versus difficulties, and so on.sought to enhance these events by providing “out-of-unit” peers required negotiation and The second tier of volunteers consists of vet-soldiers and families with information and creative solutions. The result of these early erans no longer serving who are selected andassistance grounded in the latest research. efforts became known as the Buddy-To- supervised by VA and UM staff. These vol-At many of these events, two of Michigan’s Buddy Veteran Volunteer Program, or B2B. unteers are selected because of their demon-Vietnam veterans volunteered to provide Designed specifically for service members strated maturity, responsibility, interpersonalinformal, unstructured outreach efforts to returning from OIF and OEF, we developed skills, knowledge of mental health services,soldiers, typically by giving talks about their B2B to improve outcomes by activating and trainability in more nuanced strategiesown experiences with the challenges and veterans’ “military families.” for motivating soldiers to seek and remain inpitfalls of reintegration. The veterans’ talks Today, Buddy-to-Buddy is a two-tier peer- care. B2s receive two days of intensive train-had a powerful effect on soldiers as well as support program run by within-unit soldier ing, including the use of Motivational Inter-visiting faculty members, who were intrigued volunteers (Buddy Ones, or B1s) and vet- viewing (MI), an empirically validated tech-by their approach. The two veterans’ status eran volunteers external to units (Buddy nique for effectively responding to ambiva-as relative outsiders to formal systems en- Twos, or B2s). This tiered design provides a lence. B2s often interact with their assignedabled them to deliver their message of hope balance between effectiveness and the con- units at training weekends and reintegrationwhile bypassing the resistance so common cerns mentioned above. Buddy One soldiers events, and soldiers know they can call B2samong returning veterans. Soon, University are selected because peers view them as directly if they prefer. B2s also receive sol-of Michigan (UM) and Veteran’s Administra- informal leaders to whom they willingly dier referrals from B1s, military chaplains,tion (VA) investigators joined the MSU fac- turn for advice or support. These volunteers commanders, family service organizations,ulty at reintegration briefings, and by 2008, receive roughly four hours of training on and other sources. Each Buddy Two receivesdiscussions about more deliberate outreach the Buddy-to-Buddy program, their roles as weekly supervision teleconferences with anprograms based largely on the concept of B1 volunteers, open-ended questioning and experienced clinician in the VA.peer support were ongoing. The collaboration reflections to sustain and enhance conversa- buddy-to-buddy continued on page F4family focus // spring 2012 F3
  4. 4. Family Focus on... Military FamiliesAdvice to the therapists working with military familiesby Angela J. Huebner, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Human Development,Virginia Tech, ahuebner@vt.eduThe military conflicts in Iraq and Afghani- emotions can shift into feelings of indepen- access to a wide vari-stan mark the first time in our nation’s dence and control as the deployment wears ety of mental healthhistory of military service that we have on. Finally, reintegration occurs when the supports. These sup-attempted to maintain such an involved service member returns to the United States ports can includeforward deployment with an all-volunteer and is reunited with his or her loved ones. counseling throughforce. To date, about 1.8 million troops have This period may start as a honeymoon, but behavioral health,been deployed. This translates into 2.7 mil- end in the reality of renegotiating roles and chaplains, or Militarylion family members who have experienced getting to know each other once again. OneSource. Despiteseparation from their service member for Service members ranked deployment length the availability of sup-extended periods of time. and family separation among their top ports and the docu- Angela Huebner noncombat-related stressors. Other studies mented impact of theThe experience of deployment can be di- have documented the impact of deploy- stressors of deploy-vided into three distinctive phases, each ment on family members, noting the shifts ment, studies suggest that service memberswith its own associated stressors and emo- and their families are often hesitant to seektions. First, predeployment begins when the needed for adjustment. For some children and youth, parental deployment has been mental health services. Service membersservice member receives his or her orders. associated with depression, anxiety, lower cite concerns about confidentiality, fear ofIt typically involves extended training and appearing weak, and negative repercussionspreparation for the upcoming mission. Fami- grades in school, and increased familial conflict. Deployment has also been linked to on career advancements (including threats tolies may become more distancing and argu- depression, anxiety, isolation, and sadness security clearance) as reasons for not seek-mentative during this phase of deployment ing mental health support when needed.as they vacillate between denial and sadness for some nondeployed spouses. Not surpris-about the service member’s departure. Sec- ingly, the adjustment of the at-home parent Therapists outside the military communityond, deployment occurs when the service (the nondeployed spouse) has repeatedly can be a valued support to service membersmember begins his or her actual mission in been shown to have the greatest impact on and their families precisely because they areor in support of the theater of war. Families the overall adjustment of the children. unaffiliated with any military branch. Thistypically experience a wide variety of emo- Depending on their geographic location, nonaffiliation can be helpful in assuringtions during the actual deployment including service members and their families can have confidentiality but it may also be accompa-relief, sadness, numbing, or anxiety. These nied by a lack of understanding about the military culture, which can compromise thebuddy-to-buddy continued from page F3 therapeutic alliance.B2s encourage soldiers to open up about for several thousand veterans, qualitative in- Understanding Military Culturetheir problems, seek help when needed, and terviews of soldiers, leaders, and key infor- How can therapists become the “inside”remain in care if necessary. They also pro- mants in the program, and analysis of health outsiders for service members and theirvide soldiers with confidential information data. Preliminary data is already enabling families? The following suggestions areabout a wide range of resources, all without the Michigan National Guard to improve the designed to familiarize the militarily naïveinvolving the chain of command. program’s reach and effectiveness. The data therapist to the military culture and potential issues of special concern for military serviceAfter the initial development and implemen- are also providing encouraging evidence that members and their families.tation of the B2B peer-support program, the the concept of an extended “military fam-Michigan Army National Guard assumed ily” can help struggling veterans survive and One of the most important things to recog-control of the program and has assigned even thrive under truly challenging circum- nize when working with military servicean officer and noncommissioned officer to stances. We hope to continue supporting this members or their families is what has beenconduct training and implementation. NG wonderful group well into the future through termed the “warrior ethos.” Service mem-Bureaus in other states have expressed inter- our close relationship with the National bers and their families pride themselves onest in the program and efforts to disseminate Guard. While we do not wish to supplant the their strength and ability to successfullyBuddy-to-Buddy are ongoing. We are cur- role of family in providing support, we hope confront challenge. The notion of askingrently conducting a multistate evaluation of to extend the picture to include the valuable for help or support often carries with it thethe program, including longitudinal surveys support found among close peers.  stigma of weakness. In our studies, serviceF4 family focus // spring 2012
  5. 5. Family Focus on... Military Familiesadvice to therapists continued from page F4advice to therapists continued on page F5 posts. Those in the Navy are called sailors majority have been involved in or witnessed and their installations are referred to as trauma but may not be willing to share thismembers have reported concerns about bases. Marines are affiliated with the Navy information unless explicitly asked. Theappearing weak in front of their peers or but are referred to as Marines. Those in the service member and his or her family needcommanders; commanders have reported Air Force are airmen or airwomen and their to know that you are aware of the reality ofconcerns of appearing weak to their subor- installations are also called bases. Referring combat exposure and that you can handledinates. In a culture where respect and team- to someone in the Army as a sailor or to hearing about it.work reign, such fears are not unwarranted. someone in the Navy as a soldier lessens the Depression and SuicideNo one wants to be considered the “weakest therapist’s credibility and can be interpreted The growing rate of suicide in the militarylink” and many believe their families to be as disrespectful. has received increased attention. Given thea direct reflection on them. These beliefs,which help make our military strong, can A service member’s rank can provide infor- warrior ethos, it is not surprising that servicealso place service members in a double bind mation about his or her education, income, members would be hesitant to talk aboutwhen they do find themselves in need of and job description. For example, those suicidal ideation even if it were occurring.support, especially when that support entails in the enlisted ranks usually have no prior Again, be specific in asking about this.mental health services. It is imperative that college degree. Commissioned officers Survivor Guilttherapists have an awareness of this tension have either completed a college Reserve Many service members may be experiencingif they are to successfully work with military Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), a degree survivor guilt. “Why did my comrade stepservice members and their families. from a U.S. service academy, or officer on the IED and I didn’t?” “Why did their training school. Noncommissioned officers convoy get attacked and mine didn’t?” It isAs with any culture, the military has its own have ascended up the ranks from enlisted toset of acronyms and terms that flow through-out their everyday conversations. Whileit is not necessary to become completely Identifying service members by their proper branch is a sign of respect.fluent in “military-ese,” an understanding For example, those in the Army are called soldiers and their installationsof common terms can go a long way in are referred to as forts or posts. Those in the Navy are called sailorsestablishing a therapeutic alliance. Several and their installations are referred to as bases. Marines are affiliatedwebsites provide excellent primers in thisregard (e.g., http://www.militaryfamily.org/ with the Navy but are referred to as Marines. Those in the Air Force areget-info/new-to-military/military-culture/). airmen or airwomen and their installations are also called bases. ReferringSome frequently used terms include: OEF to someone in the Army as a sailor or to someone in the Navy as a soldier(Operation Enduring Freedom); OIF (Op- lessens the therapist’s credibility and can be interpreted as disrespectful.eration Iraqi Freedom); PCS (PermanentChange of Station or moving to a new loca- enlisted officer status, but they still remain important to explore this issue and to helption); TDY (temporary duty going away for part of the enlisted culture. In establishing the service member make sense of the expe-a conference, education, or training); MOS a therapeutic relationship, it is important to rience and surrounding feelings.(Military Occupational Specialty); CONUS acknowledge the rank initially (as a sign of(located in the continental United States); History of Trauma (Military and Nonmilitary) respect), then to make it clear to the client As suggested above, ask about trauma ex-OCONUS (located outside the continental that you view him or her as a person, ratherUnited States); IA (individual augmentee,  posure experienced during deployment. But than a position. don’t limit the inquiry to this period of time.a service member who is deployed with aunit other than the one with whom he or Assessment According to Seifert and colleagues (2011)she has trained); FRG (Family Readiness Several specialized areas of assessment may 46% of service members report a history ofGroup, provides support for spouses and be needed in working with military service childhood physical abuse; 25% report bothfamilies left behind, especially during de- members and their families. Note that these physical and sexual abuse. Those who expe-ployment); and “in theater” (in the location suggestions are meant to supplement regular rienced both have a higher rate of develop-of the conflict or battle). assessment of strengths and social supports ing PTSD. Additionally, for female service as well as issues of depression, ATOD, members, it is important to query about theirEach service branch brings with it its own violence, and the like as appropriate for the experiences of sexual harassment or assaultculture and pride. Each specializes in dif- presenting issue. during deployment. Murdoch and colleaguesferent contexts of battle (land, sea, sky) and (2003) reported that incidents of sexual ha- Deployment Experienceeach operates different lengths of deploy- rassment were reported by 80% of the mili- Ask the service member about his or her ex-ment, ranging on average from 6-15 months. tary women in their study. In other studies, perience with deployment. Ask specificallyIdentifying service members by their proper researchers have suggested that 28%-30% of about combat exposure and trauma expo-branch is a sign of respect. For example, female service members have experienced a sure. Estimates are that between 77%-87%those in the Army are called soldiers and rape while in military service. of OEF and OIF veterans had combat expo-their installations are referred to as forts or sure (i.e., shot or were shot at). Thus the vast advice to therapists continued on page F6family focus // spring 2012 F5
  6. 6. Family Focus on... Military FamiliesMilitary Families Internship:Strengthening families and communitiesby Sally Koblinsky, Ph.D., professor, koblinsk@umd.edu, and Zainab Okolo, M.A.,undergraduate coordinator, University of Maryland, College Park,When men and women serve our country, Multiple and longer deployments straintheir families also serve. Supporting and families, especially when the stress of warstrengthening military families is now a affects a service member’s reunificationnational priority. Fewer than 1% of Ameri- with family members and readjustment tocans have served in the armed forces during civilian life. Some post-9/11 veterans havethe last decade, yet they and their families sustained serious physical injuries, includinghave borne the burdens of our nation’s lon- amputations and traumatic brain injuries.gest period of continuous conflict. Among Others have unique behavioral health needs.our current troops, 55% are married and more According to a RAND study of militarythan 40% have children. Although family members who served in Operation Iraqi Sally Koblinsky Zainab Okoloseparations are an intrinsic component of Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Free-military life, the post-9/11 wars have been dom (OEF), one in five reports symptoms of problems among military children and morecharacterized by special challenges, includ- post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. mental health diagnoses among Army wives.ing the increased number, length, and unpre- Greater cumulative length of deployments While our U.S. military continues to recruitdictability of deployments. has also been linked to more emotional internship continued on page F7advice to therapists continued from page F5 person. Unprecedented access to the InternetSuch experiences may be particularly dif- they being physically aggressive with others and cell phones even in theater makes suchficult for female service members to make or getting into physical fights? concerns real. Be ready to assess for Internetmeaning of, given that the assault came Risk-Taking Behavior pornography use and potential addiction.from those who were supposed to be on Many returning service members reporttheir side. Financial Difficulties difficulty adjusting to “normal life.” After It is not uncommon for families to experi-PTSD Symptoms having survived at a heightened sense of ence great changes in their family incomeCheck for symptoms of PTSD, noting even alertness for such an extended period of during deployment. Finances can oftensubclinical levels and their impact on the time, a service member may be tempted to become a point of tension. How have moneyservice member’s behavior and interactions engage in risk-taking behaviors in an effort issues been handled during the deployment?with others. Also be mindful of the impact to get the adrenalin rush that was such a part Are couples able to communicate about theirof vicarious trauma among family members of everyday experience in theater. These needs and the status of their finances?of service members. behaviors may be consciously intentional or not, but can include driving recklessly, not Youth Internalizing and Drug Use Externalizing Behaviors wearing a motorcycle helmet, drinking tooAssess the client’s use of licit, illicit, and Explore changes in behaviors and emotions much, engaging in fights, and taking otherprescription drugs. Remember that admis- among the children in military families. Fall- chances.sion of use of illicit drugs can be grounds ing grades, withdrawal, depression, anger,for discharge, so service members may be Couple Communication How often were the service member and and sleep issues are all common responsesparticularly hesitant to be honest about their to deployment. Some studies suggest thatuse. Don’t forget to ask about prescrip- spouse able to communicate during deploy- ment? How well do they communicate now youth have more difficulty with the re-tion drug use, both in theater and at home. integration phase of deployment than doSpouses may also have turned to drug use as that the service member has returned home? Look for changes from predeployment to parents, in part because they are concerneda coping response during the deployment. about the potential for redeployment. reintegration phases.Sleep Habits Summary Infidelity (Physical and Emotional)Check with service members and spouses The need for military-savvy therapists has During long separations, the threat of infi-about their sleeping habits. Disrupted sleep never been greater as the stress of repeated delity is high on both service members’ andcan be sign of PTSD and other issues. deployments takes its toll. Knowing some- spouses’ minds. Normalizing these concernsAnger/Rage thing about the culture and specific issues and assessing for extramarital relationshipsCheck to see how service members are can go a long way in brokering the relation- is important. Note that such relationships ship of mutual respect needed for a success-managing any issues with anger. Are they can be Internet-based, with emotional at- ful therapeutic experience. verbally lashing out at family members? Are tachments formed at long distances or inF6 family focus // spring 2012
  7. 7. Family Focus on... Military Familiesinternship continued from page F6a first-rate, volunteer force and large num- gram leaders, researchers, and family mem- military bases and military-focused agen-bers of military families exhibit resiliency, it bers together to identify ways to increase the cies had previously accepted our studentsis important that family professionals better effectiveness of military family support and as interns, most students’ lack of familiarityunderstand the challenges faced by military readiness programs. Our program also com- with military culture and lifestyles created families and apply this knowledge to im- plements two other internship programs in a steep learning curve that limited their con-proving their well-being. the USDA/DoD Military Extension Part- tributions to the internship sponsor. he T nership that recruit interns from across the current demands on military agencies furtherMilitary Families Internship nation. Purdue University’s 4-H Military In- restricted the amount of time they couldOne of the challenges involved in promoting devote to sifting through student requests toresiliency among OIF/OEF military person- ternship places student interns in child care and youth programs on military bases in the intern at their sites.nel and their families is the short supply offamily science and behavioral health profes- United States and overseas. North Carolina To address these issues, family sciencesionals who have been trained to identify State University’s Project Y.E.S! (Youth Ex- faculty initiated contact with nearby militaryand meet military family needs. To address tension Service) engages students in a year bases, health centers, and agencies servingthis shortage, the University of Maryland’s of service to provide youth development military families to solicit their interest inDepartment of Family Science created a programs for military children nationwide. hosting an intern. We informed potentialMilitary Families Internship program in fall of 2011. This internship prepares senior One of the challenges involved in promoting resiliency amongfamily science students to enhance the readi- OIF/OEF military personnel and their families is the short supply of familyness, resilience, and well-being of service science and behavioral health professionals who have been trainedmembers, veterans, and families. Studentsreceive training to help military families to identify and meet military family needs. To address this shortage, thedeal with deployments and family reunifica- University of Maryland’s Department of Family Science createdtion, gain access to services and benefits, a Military Families Internship program in fall of 2011.and advocate for their needs. Major goals ofthe program are to: Increase students’ knowledge about mili- While Maryland’s Military Families Intern- supervisors/mentors that all prospective stu- tary culture and military family strengths ship shares many of the goals of the national dents would be screened by our internship and challenges; programs, it recruits students from our uni- directors and matched with bases/agencies Familiarize students with the range of pro- versity and puts them to work with military seeking their skills. All of the interns were grams and services available to military families in the local community. Students required to complete an online, 10-module, families; gain real-world experience with military Military OneSource course on military cul- Develop students’ skills for planning, culture and increase community capacity to ture and military families (at no cost) prior foster and sustain resilient military families. to beginning their internships. As in our implementing, and evaluating programs Maryland’s internship places some students larger internship program, Military Family that support military families and military in military child/youth programs, but also Interns must complete a contract with their children/youth; prepares students to work with military supervisor/mentor specifying professional Improve the capacity of local communi- families in family readiness and human learning goals, career fit, internship duties, ties to serve military families; service and family life education programs a supervision plan, and a schedule for prog- Build and enhance university partnerships that focus on health, financial management, ress reviews. with state military installations, military housing, employment, parenting, caregiving, health centers, health/social service agen- During their placement semester, students and other family issues. The program is one cies, and nonprofits addressing military attend bi-weekly seminars taught by fam- model for land grant and other institutions family needs; and ily science and other university faculty who seeking to strengthen community capacity- Increase the number of family science are engaged in research and service projects building in support of military families and professionals in the workforce who have involving military families. Seminars pro- develop a local workforce of professionals the knowledge, skills, and experience to vide an opportunity for students to share prepared to meet military family needs. assist military families. their experiences and to learn about timely Internship Basics military issues, such as effects of the de-The goals of our internship program ad- The Military Families Internship was an ployment cycle on families, post-traumaticdress major priorities of the recent National outgrowth of our required senior internship stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, andLeadership Summit on Military Families. In program in family science. After taking pre- evidence-based interventions for building2009, the University of Maryland partnered requisite courses in family science and hu- family resiliency. Local experts who directwith the Department of Defense (DoD) and man services, students complete a capstone, military youth programs, behavioral healththe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 120-hour (minimum) internship where they internship continued on page F8to bring military family policy makers, pro- apply classroom learning in professional positions in the community. Although a fewfamily focus // spring 2012 F7
  8. 8. Family Focus on... Military Familiesinternship continued from page F7initiatives, and family support activities and organizes warrior visits for distin- Wood Johnson Foundation to coordinate andpresent their work at the seminars. A panel guished leaders and visitors. strengthen military and civilian services forof the university’s veteran students also of- troops, veterans, and their families. The in- Easter Seals Military Familiesfers advice on working with military fami- tern is helping to map community resources Respite Programlies. Finally, interns complete a journal and a and create a user-friendly, online navigator Easter Seals interns work with a respite careposter project that enable them to reflect system that will enable military families to program for military families who haveon their work as emerging professionals ad- locate and access needed services. children with disabilities. They acquaintdressing military family needs. military parents with the program, recruit Other internships engage students in a va-We began recruiting students for the Mili- caregivers, provide training on quality child riety of military family activities, includingtary Families Internship in the fall of 2011. care, and make unannounced site visits to organizing family health/wellness work-Forty-five students applied for the 20 place- evaluate respite caregiver interactions with shops; developing and implementing curri-ment sites. The authors interviewed all children. cula for Operation Military Kids/4-H pro-applicants to assess their interest in military grams; working with families on financial Operation HomeFrontfamilies, familiarity with military life (e.g., management; creating a peer support and Operation Homefront internships involveparent or spouse in the armed forces), and advocacy network for women veterans; and identifying services and sources of emer-relevant experience. The response of one helping service members reintegrate into gency financial aid for families of deployedstudent was representative of the group: “I civilian and family life. service members and wounded warriors dur-realized that these guys are my peer group ing their period of recovery and transition. Conclusion… and they’ve been through so much. … Interns assess service member and family University of Maryland’s Military FamiliesI feel like working with wounded warriors needs, acquaint them with community re- Internship program can be replicated by oth-and their families is a way for me to give sources, organize family events, and monitor er colleges/universities interested in servingback.” One of the student interns is an Air use of transitional housing. military families in their local communities.Force veteran and several have relatives in The program educates students about mili-the military. Many of the students who were Ft. Meade Army Community Service tary family strengths and challenges, pro-not selected (generally because they were Interns at Fort Meade work in the cultural vides opportunities for meaningful service,not graduating in May 2012) will serve as awareness, employment readiness, mobi- and prepares family professionals to meetinterns in summer or fall 2012. We also have lization/deployment, or volunteer services military family needs. Through the work ofplans to increase our military internship sites program. Two students are planning military student interns, communities increase theirand expand the program to seniors in public family readiness activities, including classes capacity to improve military families’ well-health. that introduce families to the culture of being. Although many institutions may not Afghanistan and programs for children/youthInternship Placements have the diverse network of military bases whose parents will soon deploy. Another stu-Our Military Family interns are serving in and agencies found in the Maryland-Wash- dent is developing onsite and online volun-a variety of military and civilian organiza- ington, D.C., area, most communities have teer programming for base families, as welltions, including Walter Reed National Mili- veterans’ groups, behavioral health agen- as helping to plan and evaluate a volunteertary Medical Center, Fort George G. Meade, cies, or youth programs that serve military services fair. These interns also work withAndrews Air Force Base, Operation Military families, including the National Guard and family support groups and connect militaryKids/4-H, Operation Homefront, Operation reserves. A community-based military in- spouses to programs that address their em-Second Chance, Easter Seals Military and ternship program can provide students with ployment, education, and health needs.Veterans Services, Women Veterans Interac- valuable knowledge, skills, and apprecia- Serving Together tion for the dedicated service of our nation’stive Foundation, Serving Together/Mental The Serving Together intern participates in military families. Health Association of Montgomery County, a county-wide project funded by the RobertUniversity of Maryland Office of VeteranStudent Life, and the Maryland Departmentof Health and Mental Hygiene. Below arebrief descriptions of selected internships:Walter Reed Warrior FamilyCoordination CellThe Walter Reed internship involves ad-dressing the daily needs of wounded war-riors and their family members in inpatientand outpatient settings. The intern also plansand coordinates events for warriors and fam-ily members, works with nongovernmentalorganizations assisting wounded warriors,F8 family focus // spring 2012
  9. 9. Family Focus on... Military FamiliesWorld War II in people’s livesby Ralph LaRossa, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Georgia State University, rlarossa@gsu.eduSeventy-some-odd years ago, in the wake employer (e.g., in one of its ads, the Ameri- Several years ago Iof the December 1941 attack on Pearl Har- can Thermos Bottle Company, manufacturer embarked on a proj-bor, the United States of America became of vacuum bottles and lunch boxes, claimed ect to research Worlda combatant in World War II. The country that “the man with the lunch kit and the man War II. I wanted towould remain at war until 1945 when first with the gun are equally vital to America’s better understandGermany and later Japan surrendered. In war effort”). Children, too, contributed to what the war meantcommemoration of the war, many in the the war effort by being messengers in the for fathers and theirUnited States and throughout the world will U.S. Citizens Defense Corps and by solicit- families. The projectperiodically stop and think about the war’s ing monetary donations as “Victory Volun- began as a sequel ofbattles and its overall impact. What we will teers” (“Won’t you buy a war bond, Mister, sorts to a book I had Ralph LaRossaremember will include (but not be limited so’s my Daddy can come home?”). written on the history of fatherhood duringto): Presidential Executive Order 9102 the Machine Age (1918-1941). Quickly, In short, the majority of Americans during(signed into law in March 1942) establishing however, the venture expanded to include World War II, regardless of whether theythe War Relocation Authority and leading a lot more than this. The conversations I were in the armed forces, lived with the warto the imprisonment of more than 110,000 had with my parents about the war did little on a regular basis. “Military families” thusresident Japanese men, women, and chil- to prepare me for the heart-wrenching and included not only those that happened todren (many of whom were U.S. citizens); heartwarming stories I came across. have a son or father or uncle (or daughter orthe congressional debate (in the spring and mother or aunt) in uniform, but also those in What stood out were both the magnitude summer of 1943) over whether the six mil- which a member of the family was engaged of the conflict and the enormity of its reach.lion fathers who had conceived a child on or in war-related work. My parents’ war was not a confrontation thatbefore the date of the Japanese attack should touched only a fraction of the populationcontinue to be exempted from the draft Postwar conversations about while the rest of the country remained largely(eventually it was decided that they should the war thus could be difficult, not just unscathed. Rather, as its name implies, Worldbe among the pool of potential recruits); War II was a full-scale conflagration, thethe Allied invasion of Normandy, otherwise for the men who did not consequences of which are still being felt.known as D-Day (in June 1944); the battle want to dwell on the terribleof Okinawa (April to June 1945); the fall Central to understanding World War II wasof Berlin (in May 1945); and the dropping things they saw and were forced the diversity of people’s experiences. Someof atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Naga- to do, but also for the men who have suggested that the singular impact ofsaki (in August 1945), which ushered in the the war on the domestic front was the eco- could not honestly offer the talesNuclear Age and redefined what it meant to nomic boom that it initiated and the speeddestroy something. of bravery that family and friends with which it put Depression-era men back so much wanted to hear. to work, as if war was only about grossWith the United States currently at war, national production. Men in the 1940s alsowe can appreciate, to some extent, what My father served in World War II (as an Air have often been characterized in monochro-Americans were confronted with in the Corps radio man on B-series bombers). So, matic terms, with the impression given that1940s. But we must understand, too, that the in a way, did my mother, in that she was all were (a) drafted or volunteered, (b) sentbreadth and depth of World War II put it in employed for a while in a Brooklyn factory overseas and into combat, and (c) welcomedan entirely different realm. Today, approxi- that manufactured gyroscopes for planes home as heroes when they returned. Suchmately 1.5 million men and women are on and ships. I remember as a child asking my generalizations, however, ignore the myriadactive duty. During World War II, more than parents about the war and being captivated ways that the war was felt and perceived and16 million were. Today, tens of thousands by what they had to say. I remember, too, the significant differences that existed fromof civilians are engaged in homeland secu- playing war games and simulating combat one group to the next. The social meaning ofrity (particularly at airports and seaports). with my elementary school buddies in the World War II varied substantially by (amongDuring World War II, the number was sig- small field across the street from the house other things): race, ethnicity, social class,nificantly higher, especially if we take into where I grew up. My friends and I would gender, age, geography, religion, whetheraccount those who worked in munitions “shoot” at each other and, every now and one had or had not seen combat, and the par-factories (e.g., “Rosie the Riveter”) and the then, fall down and pretend to be dead, only ticular relationship one had with the casual-fact that everyone had to ration and get by to miraculously arise a few seconds later ties (e.g., as a father or mother or sibling ofwith less. In the 1940s, even if a person’s to fight again. Little did we realize how far a soldier who died or who was injured).job did not seem to be connected to the war, removed our antics were from the actuala link nonetheless was often made by an horrors of battle. world war II continued on page F10family focus // spring 2012 F9
  10. 10. Family Focus on... Military Familiesworld war II continued from page F9One thus cannot talk about the war’s eco-nomic effect without acknowledging theJapanese Americans who, in U.S. govern-ment-sponsored roundups, were forced toabandon their homes and leave behind mostof their possessions, and who, upon theirrelease years later, were unable to return tothe jobs they once had or find new jobs com-mensurate with their skills. As one JapaneseAmerican woman reported, “My fatherkept looking for work [after the war], and guished themselves on the battlefield. Said a but also for the men who could not honestlyhe couldn’t find anything. … He never was corpsman who was wounded on D-Day, “No offer the tales of bravery that family andable to get back on his feet. …” one asked me if I was gay when they called friends so much wanted to hear.Nor can one speak of the pride that men out ‘Medic!’ and you went out under fire Geography was a factor, too. Today, Ameri-gained from being in the military and be- and did what you were expected and trained cans in large cities are especially prone toing given a chance to defend their country to do.” In the immediate postwar years and feel vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Newwithout acknowledging the fact that Black especially in the 1950s, thousands of men Yorkers, many of whom personally wit-men initially were barred from enlisting, and and women, many of whom were veterans, nessed the fall of the Twin Towers, are in-that when they were allowed to participate were fired from their jobs if it was discov- clined to have a heightened sense of alarm.they were told they would have to serve in ered that they were gay. The freedoms that During World War II, Americans who re-noncombat roles. Even when African Ameri- many had fought for were not made avail- sided in cities and towns on the East Coastcans were eventually permitted to join or be able to all. or West Coast were more likely to believedrafted (the United States could ill afford The social meaning of World War II also they were in immediate danger because ofto continue to exclude them if it was to win varied by how close a person got to battle. the assumption that the country would be in-the war) and even though many were in Of the 16 million Americans who were on vaded from the sea. Their fears were fueledthe thick of battle (the decorated Tuskegee active duty, only about 10% saw combat. by the buildup of shoreline artillery batteriesAirmen constitute only a small proportion For these soldiers, the brutality of war was and by the success of German submarinesof the Black soldiers who fought), they witnessed up close. One infantryman, who in waters around America’s harbors. In earlywere not revered when they returned, as had seen action in the Pacific, wrote in a 1942, U-boats patrolling off the East CoastWhite soldiers were, but sometimes were letter to his father and mother about “mor- sank 216 ships, and it was not uncommonscorned. To cite but one example, in 1946, tar shells dropping in on heads and ripping for bodies from the torpedoed vessels toIsaac Woodward, traveling in uniform, was bodies” and how “faces [were] blown apart wash up on shore. We can only imagineon his way home by bus to South Carolina by flying lead and coral” on the beach. “The what it was like for World War II-era fami-and, at one point, asked the bus driver, who Catholic Chaplain,” the son reported, “was lies to stroll on the beach, ever watchful ofwas White, if it would be possible to stop killed as he was blessing each foxhole. An what they might find in the sand.the vehicle so he could use the bathroom.“Hell no!” the driver told him. “Dammit,” artillery shell cut him in half at the waist.” More than 400,000 U.S. soldiers were killedWoodward replied, “you’ve got to talk to me Some soldiers, though near battles, were not in World War II. Kids suffered the loss oflike a man.” Furious that Woodward would in any immediate danger, while others, far their parents and siblings; parents grieved thechallenge him, the driver called ahead to the away from the front lines, never fired their loss of their children. Yet another gruesomepolice who at the next stop beat Woodward weapons or were fired upon. Youngsters statistic in the arithmetic of war is the numberso hard as to render him blind. often wanted to know what their fathers did of soldiers missing in action, lost at sea, or interred as unknowns. (A mother, mourn-Consider, too, that although the armed forces in the war. In many cases, they yearned to learn whether their fathers had killed any- ing her child, exclaimed, “If they could justwere (by law) desegregated in 1948, the one. Not fully appreciating the import of find him so I could bury him I don’t want theprivileges that White veterans enjoyed were what they were asking, the children hoped in birds picking on his body.”) To this day, thenot offered in equal measure to Black veter- remains of over 70,000 American G.I.s fromans. G.I. Bill benefits, which provided educa- their hearts the answer was yes. One young World War II have never been officially re-tional and housing opportunities for millions man, finding out that his dad was not in covered or identified. For the families of theseof White veterans, were frequently denied to combat, said that he “felt cheated.” (“After everything the rest of us went through so veterans, the war, in some ways, is not over.Black veterans. New York’s famed suburb,Levittown, which began construction in 1947 he could go off the war, he never even got Noteand flourished throughout the 1950s, system- shot at.”) Postwar conversations about the This essay draws on the research and refer-atically excluded African American families. war thus could be difficult, not just for the ences reported in Ralph LaRossa, Of War men who did not want to dwell on the ter- and Men: World War II in the Lives of Fa-Gay soldiers also fought in World War II, rible things they saw and were forced to do, thers and Their Families (2011). as they had done in wars before, and distin-F10 family focus // spring 2012
  11. 11. Family Focus on... Military FamiliesMilitary service and the life course:An assessment of what we knowby Jay Teachman, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Western Washington University, Jay.Teachman@wwu.eduOver the last 60 years, at least 1.5 million Crime and Delinquency vein, it is importantmilitary personnel have been on active duty Research on crime and delinquency illus- to note that variationin each year, affecting 10% to 70% of rel- trates well the importance of time and place and changes in theevant birth cohorts. The peak participation when considering the impact of military ser- civilian environmentfigures are for birth cohorts affected by war vice. The available literature suggests that facing veterans andand large-scale conscription (World War service during World War II acted to reduce non-veterans may be asII, Korea, Vietnam), but military service is the likelihood that veterans would engage in important to considercommon even for peacetime birth cohorts. criminal or delinquent behavior (Sampson as variation and changeFor example, a recent study estimates that & Laub, 1996). For veterans of the Vietnam in the military environ-17% of Black men and 14% of White men era, however, this was less true, and there is ment that act upon Jay Teachmanborn 1965-1969 have served in the military even some evidence that Vietnam veterans veterans. Thus, alterations in civilian oppor-(Pettit & Western, 2004). If men experienc- were more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs tunities for educational and economic suc-ing incarceration are excluded, nearly one than nonveterans (Bouffard & Laub, 2004). cess are likely to be as important as changesin four Black men of this generation has More recently, veterans of the AVF are more in the nature of selectivity into the military and the nature of military service. As we An often-ignored fact is that the military remains the single largest shall see, points two and three are important employer of young men in the United States. Thus, military service is not considerations for other outcomes of mili- tary service. an anomaly or an isolated event in the transition to adulthood, even during the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) era; it is a common event that occurs Marriage, Divorce, and Cohabitation An important component of the life course at ages during which many men (and increasingly women) are involves family transitions. Most research making decisions about education, careers, and intimate relationships. in the field has tied military service to the likelihood of divorce, with much less atten-served in the military. An often-ignored fact likely to experience contact with the legal tion being paid to marriage or cohabitation.is that the military remains the single largest system than comparable nonveterans (Bouf- Moreover, much of the literature tends to beemployer of young men in the United States. fard, 2005). contradictory. For example, one study foundThus, military service is not an anomaly or that military service during World War II As important as it is, the available research raised the risk of divorce (Pavalko & Elder,an isolated event in the transition to adult- is limited in several ways. First, the data 1990), while another finds a decreased riskhood, even during the All-Volunteer Force sources for earlier cohorts of veterans are of divorce for the same period (Ruger, Wil-(AVF) era; it is a common event that oc- restricted to small, specialized samples. son, & Waddoups, 2002). Such variationscurs at ages during which many men (and The limitations of these samples (lack of in findings are likely due to differences inincreasingly women) are making decisions geographic, racial, and socioeconomic varia- datasets and analysis procedures and high-about education, careers, and intimate re- tion) make it difficult to identify the true light the difficulty in specifying an effect oflationships. Military service also occurs at pattern of change across time. Second, these military service on life course behavior.an age when service members are forming studies continue to struggle with appropri-lifelong habits that will affect their health in Research on veterans of the Vietnam era ate procedures to deal with selectivity intothe future. tends to be more consistent. This literature the military. This is an especially importantGiven the continuing importance of mili- concern for any life course outcome given generally finds that service during the Viet-tary service in American life, it is important the fact that the military has always screened nam era had little to no effect on risk ofto understand its relationship to important recruits on criteria such as health, education, divorce (Ruger et al., 2002). The literaturecomponents of the life course. In this report mental aptitude, and criminal history. This is also reasonably consistent in finding thatI consider the relationship between military means that military recruits are far from be- combat exposure increases the risk of di-service and several life course outcomes, ing a random subset of all Americans. Third, vorce among veterans of this era. Evidenceincluding crime and delinquency; marriage, the mechanisms through which military for the post-Vietnam era indicates that di-divorce, and cohabitation; socioeconomic service may influence crime and delinquen- vorce rates while serving in the military areattainment; and health. I also indicate some cy remain poorly specified, both within and generally lower than for comparable civil-important limitations in our knowledge base. among different cohorts of veterans. In this the life course continued on page F12family focus // spring 2012 F11

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