Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a group has focused on issues affecting combat veterans, has expanded its mission to include military families.In a report released Wednesday, the group says the extended combat deployments have taken their toll on spouses and children, financially and emotionally, and government isn’t doing enough to help.
The report is called Unsung Heroes: Military Families After 10 Years of War, and IAVA officials call it the “first and most comprehensive of its kind” because it looks at a wide range of problems and suggests solutions.
During deployments, “spouses face an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression, sleeping problems and other mental disorders as the result of the stress of separation and fear for their service members’ lives,” the report says. Also children “face developmental challenges resulting from similar stresses, frequent moves and households managed by single parents.”
Challenges facing families don’t stop when the deployment is over, the report says. “In many ways, they are just beginning. The reunion of family members can be an exciting and happy time, but it can also cause stress and unforeseen emotional challenges.
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