Working with Military Families During Deployments
The U.S. military has an extensive history of deployments in peacetime, wartime, and for training missions. These deployments have included wartime operations such as World War II, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, and the Grenada mission. Various units have also been deployed for extended periods for peacekeeping missions such as in Bosnia, Somalia, Kuwait, Haiti, and other areas of the world. Individual members of active duty units and U.S. Reserve units have also been deployed for various reasons such as the Vietnam War. Past researchers such as Hill (1949), McCubbin et aL (1975), Segal, Kammeyer, and Vuozzo (1987), Rosen et aL (1995), and others have studied the impact of these deployments on families and soldiers. These studies have found that families and soldiers varied in their adjustment to the deployments and later family reunifications subsequent to the deployments. The studies have also suggested various treatment and prevention strategies that social workers and other providers can utilize to assist families in these adjustments. This chapter will summarize the research done on family members and their reactions to deployments and make recommendations for various strategies and interventions that active duty and civilian social workers can then use to assist the families and soldiers.