Multiple deployments are making it tough on the home front
Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began in 2001, their tolls on families go beyond the sad tales of those who died fighting for their country. Since the beginning of these conflicts, 42% of military couples have divorced. That is why two non-profit groups—FamilyLife and Military Ministry—are trying to help lower that number.
One of the main indicators that red flag these divorces are when service men and women are deployed multiple times. When troops return home, civilians think 'OK, that's it. It's over.' But that's not true," said Valerie Gaff, a former Air Force senior airman and wife of Air Force Master Sergeant Todd Gaff. "The stress on our marriage of 13 deployments since 9/11 has been immeasurable."
According to a study done by Oklahoma State University, the chances of a military marriage ending in divorce gets higher every time the solider gets deployed. And once they're back, a laundry list of issues await them and their spouse to deal with—post-traumatic stress disorder, injuries, unemployment, re-deployment among others. That is where the non-profit's The Art of Marriage Ops campaign comes in.
The movement is hoping to help these couples in need of reconciliation through a day-and-a-half video event. Their focus is on telling real-life stories that many in their audience can relate to, and trying to show them the way to sidestep them. According to the group, it's already helped more than 100,000 couples get through their difficulties and rekindle their marriage. While the numbers are staggering, it is a great service they offer to those whose job it is to serve our country so they can come back to it just like they left it.