Military Spouses and the Challenges of Military Life

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Running head: MILITARY SPOUSES AND THE CHALLENGES OF MILITARY

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Military Spouses and the Challenges of Military Life DANITZA JAMES Saint Leo University

MILITARY SPOUSES AND THE CHALLENGES OF MILITARY Abstract Army life is unique to say the least. The subculture, with its own language, rules, acronyms and ways, is foreign to the general population. The Global war on Terrorism has brought more awareness and certainly more curiosity about Army life. (Krajeski, 2006, 2008, p. 5).Today, more than ever, the military spouse is a pioneer who travels to strange lands, rears her

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family under nomadic conditions, and many times copes with the stress of surviving on his or her own. (Alt & Stone, 1991, p. 11) A military spouse must struggle trough understanding his or her role in the military life, learning how maintain the marriage a float, constant relocation, deployments and many other factors that are part of being a military spouse. In addition

MILITARY SPOUSES AND THE CHALLENGES OF MILITARY

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Today’s military is a military of families. About half of active-duty members are married as they enter their fifth year of service, and about three-fourths are married as they enter their tenth year of service. Therefore, in supporting the service member, manpower policy must often also support the member’s family. Family considerations are apparent in policies on housing, health care, child care, dependents’ schools, and compensation for separation from family members. Many military spouses work in the labor force and contribute to their family’s material well-being, yet at the same time they must accommodate the demands the military makes of the member in the form of training, drills, inspections, education, exercises, peacetime operations, and hostile deployment. Also, the member is periodically reassigned, and permanent change-of station (PCS) moves generally require the working wife to leave one job and find another. (Hosek, Asch, Fair, Craig, & Mattock, 2002, p. 6)

Army life is unique to say the least. The subculture, with its own language, rules, acronyms and ways, is foreign to the general population. The Global war on Terrorism has brought more awareness and certainly more curiosity about Army life. (Krajeski, 2006, 2008, p. 5). Today, more than ever, the military spouse is a pioneer who travels to strange lands, rears her family under nomadic conditions, and many times copes with the stress of surviving on his or her own. (Alt & Stone, 1991, p. 11) In addition the military spouse not only has to be able to understand the military world but the civilian word as well. The whole concept of being a spouse is redefined by the fact that it is the Military who plays the primary role in the relationship and in the way of life of a couple. The history of the military spouse goes back to the “Ladies of the Revolution” back in 1777 were some of the men would be joined at Valley Forge by their wives and families. Women

MILITARY SPOUSES AND THE CHALLENGES OF MILITARY of those times set the tone for many military families to come. (Alt & Stone, 1991, Chapter 1) Traditionally families would follow their husband to cook, care, and nurse for the wounded, beginning the service wives’ tradition of placing the needs of the military first.

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In a recent interview military spouses addressed how deployment, training and separation are taking a toll on their marriage. ." They love each other deeply, but Jodi says her husband doesn't understand how the family has changed, how the two babies he remembers aren't babies anymore. "He doesn't know them as growing children. He hasn't experienced what is going on here."(, 2006, Vol.148 Issue 17). Couples experience different aspects of relationship at a faster pace, for example; during a twelve month deployment a Soldier receives a nineteen day vacation often viewed as the “honeymoon of deployment “many spouses may argue this is not enough. Of all the interpersonal...
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