VA Offers Marriage Retreats for Returning Combat Veterans.

http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20120223a.asp

Following is a quote from the above VA link.

“Research shows that 70 percent of our combat Veterans are experiencing marital problems,” said VA Chaplain Ron Craddock. “Twenty percent of them decide to divorce before they even return from theatre. This is staggering. The toll on the individual Veteran is staggering. The toll on his family is staggering.”

It is most encouraging to see the VA take more focused steps toward including family members, spouses, partners, and loved ones in counseling.  In my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, my entire family experience following WWII was highly toxic and without treatment or guidance by professionals.  Yes, it was true and still is a fact that the starting point for treatment is with the returning combat veteran.  But family members must be engaged before, during, and after deployment, especially children who can be affected the most.  Sesame Street Workshop http://archive.sesameworkshop.org/tlc/ is another resource, which offers an excellent DVD series to help both adults and children of military families facing deployment.  To help our soldiers while they are away and the families who serve too, it is critical to provide ongoing proactive steps to create awareness among family members and to encourage communications.  My family lived and coped for many years without knowing anything about the symptoms of PTSD or understood my father’s behaviors following WWII.  The results of not knowing and the tragic consequences destroyed our family over a period of 70 years.  In today’s environment there are many opportunities to mitigate the challenges of family life after war.  All military families should take comfort in knowing that the community of veterans and the professionals who provide support and resources do care.  Never hesitate to ask for or to seek out help sooner rather than later.

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story