Stages of Deployment and Their Impact on the Family | My Paper Hub
Military families experience a lot of
Military families experience a lot of
emotional trauma when one is deployed. The impacts of the deployment on the
family can be classified into five stages which take place since the
appointment of a soldier to deployment to their return home after the mission.
The first stage of the process is the pre-deployment stage. The pre-deployment
stage takes place weeks or months to deployment until the actual departure of
the soldier to the mission. The stage is characterized by many factors which
include anticipation for loss and denial, training, physical and mental
preparation, and arguments (p. 155). The expectation for loss and denial
happens to the spouse of the servicemen being deployed and to some extent their
children. As the time for departure gets close, the spouse of the individual
may start asking questions like if the individual has to go really or they
could replace him or her with someone else. Questions like this are typical as
the spouse is in denial and they are anticipating to let go of their
significant other. When the idea starts to sink, the couple begins putting
things in order. Things like: car maintenance, paying bills, taking care of
children and many others. Another characteristic of the stage is lots of
arguments and may be catastrophic to the relationship especially for a young
couple. The stage is also characterized by a lot of training for the servicemen(Pincus,
Leiner, Black & Ward Singh, n.d.). The training process, therefore, means
that the individuals may spend more time away from home. At this point, the
soldiers tend to talk more about the mission which cements their bond which is
essential for their mission ahead. It may, however, increase the sense of
separation for the spouse and in many situations, a spouse is found wishing
that the soldiers are gone already. Reason for this that the soldier is
physically present but psychologically absent. The final thing that takes place
in this stage is preparation on the way the couple will be communicating while
one is on the mission.
The pre-deployment is followed by the
deployment period where the soldier has left home and is on the mission (p.
157). The stage lasts for about a month into deployment. For the spouse, this
is a challenging stage where the first month of deployment the spouse may
experience feelings of loneliness, numbness, sadness, and worry. At this point,
the spouse starts to feel that a hole has been left and may be concerned of
their ability to get over the feeling. Some military spouses have reported
being overwhelmed and disoriented. Anxiety and worry may be overwhelming for a
family especially if the soldier is not able to make the first call to the
family weeks into deployment. At this point, a couple may not want to worry
each other about the problems they are facing like financial problems for the
one at home or a problematic supervisor for the one on the mission. A lot of
things may go unsaid at this stage which may cause psychological problems for
each one of them.
Sustainment follows deployment.
Sustainment stage takes place between the first month of deployment to the
18th. Individuals at this stage look for ways to deal with the current
arrangement (p.158). They may be involved in a church-based organization or
just a couple of friends or family with whom they might talk. Communications
with the spouse in the mission may be filled with filtering of information not
to worry the other person. The stage also has an impact on the children
according to age. The children under one year may show listlessness, those
between 1 and 12 years may show irritableness and sadness while those between
12 and 18 may show apathy and anger which may be manifested by the use of drugs
and isolating themselves.
The stage that follows is re-deployment
which is the month before the member of the family is said to return home,
usually 17th through 18th month. The stage is characterized by high
expectations and excitement for the homecoming of the individual on a mission(Pincus,
Leiner, Black & Ward Singh, n.d.). There is also a certain burst of energy
where an individual finds it necessary to complete some tasks before the
arrival of a loved one. The spouse at home may also have some worries that the
soldier might not be pleased with the changes he/she has made at home. There
may also be worries of losing independence. The whole stage may be overwhelming
and as a result, present some difficulty in making decisions for the
The final stage is the post-deployment
stage where the soldier arrives at home and is received by members of the
family. It is a stage characterized by a honey-moon face for a couple and
excitement in the entire family for the return of the soldier. The soldiers at
this stage might find the need to maintain connections with fellow soldiers as
they have been a lot together and can support each other. It may leave the
spouse frustrated as they expect the soldier to spend more time with family The
period lasts between 6 to 8 months after return before everything goes back to
Leiner, Black & Ward Singh, n.d.).
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