Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thank you for your Support Part II

I wrote about how this administration is failing the every day soldier here. It is a sad tale about abuse and neglect and much more. The story carries over further into the civilian world, however, and a study has been published on how this illegal horror that is being called a war is affecting those left behind.

This study was for the Army only, not the AF, Marines, or Navy, so there is no way to know if these results are common across the military, or possibly even worse for other branches of service. And, according to the story at Time.com , this is only enlisted personnel (or at least that is the way that I am reading it). The study shows that the parent that is left home with the children (or just a child) when the active duty member is deployed is not dealing well with the stress of single parenthood.
"Rates of neglect and abuse of the children of servicemen
and women rose 42% within the family when the enlisted
parent was deployed on a combat mission,".
FORTY TWO PERCENT. Holy shit. The study blames stress for the fact that parents who normally do not abuse or neglect their children ARE abusing and neglecting their children.

The part that is not explained in this story and the part that I am most interested in is the age of the abusers/neglecters. While it is great to allow 18 year olds to fight for their country(oil) and it is legal for them to marry, they are not equipped to deal with parenting a small child or children alone, across the country from their support network. Yes, the military (or at least the AF) has a system in place to help those under a great amount of stress, but these kids may be ashamed, embarrassed, or, frankly, may not know the system is there.

DSD loves that show, "The Unit", he will not even speak to me while it is on except during commercials. I am not sure he would leave the house if it were on fire. And while I have no experience being on a super secret Delta Force like mission, I can tell you from experience that the stories about the women/wives left behind is absolute pure BS. That isn't how it is for the average soldier/sailor/marine/airman's wife/spouse. It is about trying to find your way around a new town, not knowing a sole, trying to find a job/daycare/something to do with and for the kids.

I was alone with my son from 3 days before his 1st birthday until he was over 17 1/2 months old. It wasn't easy & I was luckier than I could ever believe possible because my parents were only 2 hours away and I had friends on the base. I could pack up the 2 of us and head to Mom and Dad's when my stress level got too high. When they got on my nerves, I could go home. When I caught the stomach 'flu, Dee across the street came over and took care of my son for the morning. When I started crying and couldn't stop, Karen from down the street came and got him and let him play with her kids.

I had help, and a lot of it. I had plenty of support and it was still a stressful time. And my ex was having the time of his life in Key West, not in a Combat Zone.

I am not shocked by these numbers, although they make me sad, but I have been mad, sad, shocked, appalled and sick over the atrocities committed by this administration for years. All I can do now is hope this does not have long term effects on these poor kids.

2 comments:

Pete Bogs said...

too often we neglect a war's impact on the homefront...

LeftLeaningLady said...

This administration (as you well know) neglects everything except their cronies.

Sad sad place we've gotten to.