The military family experiences several challenges in their working conditions. This ranges from culture, pressure they experience from work, low pay, and poor housing conditions among others.
Culture basically refers to people’s way of life. The military has been treated in the past time in a way that reflects that they live in a vacuum or space. Therefore the major challenge or crisis the military family experience is the stress they get on deployments. These people have physical and family separation when deployed in other areas. They feel that they belong to a different world where people do not exist. The military troops are also not expected to have their families with them. The frequent deployment has therefore made a lot of the military army to remain family less. They can have a family if in the real sense they would not have enough time for them.(Rhea,1998,p21).
The other challenge that has been raised by the American Military Service Personnel and their families is the stressful condition in the work place since the September 11, 2001 bombing. These people face psychological risks and mental health-related problems as a result of frequent deployment rates. Life within most of the military families has been constantly changing whenever a service member is deployed to a combat zone. Most of them have been killed with majority sustaining physical wounds and a range of permanent disabilities. Some of the disabilities included traumatic brain injury and eye problems. Some of the members who were deployed in the support of the GWOT returned from the combat zone with a lot of psychological injuries.
The military members also are faced to the kind life that changes in areas they are deployed. This was experienced especially those who were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Majority of them found themselves dead. Could be the kind of topography in this area outweighed their experience. They did not have the appropriate survival strategies which are highly adaptive in a combat environment. This was the biggest challenge to the families of these people. The family life was seriously affected by the exposure of the combat environment making the families suffer a lot of psychological stress (Stephen, 1985, p64).
A part from sustaining physical and psychological injuries, the military families also faced a number of problems as a result of frequent deployment. The living conditions where they reside is very poor and not worth for human health. These people do have families comprising of children who need special care. So in most cases a lot of health related problems do emerge among the family members of the military officers. This even makes them have a feeling of not having a family. Most of the houses they live in are just meant for survival since they are not permanent in areas they are deployed. Therefore poor housing condition is a major challenge faced by these families.
The other challenge faced by the military members and their families is lack of adequate medical care given to them. Generally it is very true that these people tend to live in remote areas where the climate is not friendly. Like in Iraq and Afghanistan the place is just too dry with extreme temperatures experienced during the day and night. Since they lack proper medication most of them return home with several diseases developed. (Sonia, 1999, p34).
The other challenge faced by the military members and their families is ineffective deployment timetable. Most of them complain of lacking time for their families. Therefore a suitable deployment timetable should be structured in such a way that their interests are catered for. These people are human beings just like us. Therefore they suffer from emotional stress when subjected to a lot of pressure and stress. It is the right for these people to have a family member. It therefore goes without a say that too much work make Jack a dull boy. Therefore some periods like holiday should be provided to the military troops to help them have time with their families. (James, 1997, p98).
Most of these military service men also complain about lack of motivation. There was no even proper and effective compensation that was given to family members who lost their people during the war and bombing attack. Those who were compensated were given a low pay that could not match the service offered so lack of compensation and motivation to the military officers and service men bring a lot of issues to be discussed.
Several measures have been put into place to address the challenges and problems send by the Military Family Association which is a non profit organization has been formed with an objective to influence the development and implementation of polices. The polices mainly focuses on the improvement of lives of the military family members. The National Military Family Association was also formed with a mission of serving the families of the seven unformed services through offering education, information and advocacy. This is basically offered by its staff who volunteers to help on military family issues.
In order to address the psychological needs of the military members and their families, the American psychological Association (APA) President came up with a task force to address the issue. The task force was given the responsibility to identify the psychological needs of military members and their families during and after deployment. The task force was also able to develop a strategic plan for working with the military and other organizations such as NMFA in order to meet the military members’ needs. Among the services the task force was to provide include medication to the members who reformed from the combat zone. (Barbara, 1996, p65).
The department of Defense Investigation general has also come up with a program to evaluate the military Mental Health systems to address the health related issues. The American Department of Defense (DOD) has also formed military compensation as one of the tools used to attract more people and even retain the solders in their work. Military compensation work on the principle that all service members including reserve and active ones should be treated fairly. This was a sign of motivation to the service members and their families.
The US president, Bush has also come with a good policy in support of the troops. There has been tax relief for the American military families. The military service men have been exempted from paying some tax thus the overall tax they pay is lowered. This is a motivation factor to make them feel loved by the people they serve. There has also been improvement on the pay for the military officers/personnel. The increase in pay is a way of encouraging and also motivating them to perform their duties with utmost good faith.
Health care improvement has also been initiated for the families of the military personnel and service men. This was to address the poor condition of those who returned from war with physical wounds. The other achievement that the department of defense has made is coming up with a deployment time table to serve the interest of the service men. Today many people are joining military because of the good condition of the work place the government has put into place.
Barbara, C. A. (1996). Family and Gender and Race; Family and Development Perspectives. London. The Haworth Press, Inc.
James, E. (1997). Fighting on Two Fronts: African, Americans and the Vietnam War. London: Barnes & Noble.
Rhea, V.A. (1996). Family and Gender among American Muslims: Issues Facing Middle Eastern; London; Temple University Press.
Sonia, P. (1999) Eat First – You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You; New York: Xlibris Corporation.
Stephen, M. (1985). The Trauma of War: Stress and Recovery in Vietnam Veterans. New York: American Psychiatric Publishers.