Impact of deployment on children


I’ve heard the children of the military called the youngest draftees – they are the ones who didn’t sign up for the life as a military brat, they were born into it, or their parent signed up and they were pulled along into it.

My son was a MilBrat – then we got out and he didn’t soak in the military (except for one weekend a month and two weeks a year) until later – then he joined up.  Now he’s out of the Army – Our granddaughter will only get the military lifestyle one level removed, her grandpa Chief is in and will be for a while.

I’ve talked to military spouses, who are coping with deployments, but watching as their children have trouble getting through yet another absence by that service member.  It’s hard to watch your child hurting – and it’s agony to watch your child’s child in pain.  The military has realized there is a problem.

Deployments since fighting began in Iraq and Afghanistan have affected nearly 2 million military children, and about 234,000 of those children currently have at least one parent deployed, according to a 2007 Defense Manpower Data Center report.

The Defense Department has programs for the children, as does Military OneSource; We all know about the Sesame Street DVD and I’m told having Elmo tell you something is very special (direct from the granddaughter’s mouth!) The Military Child Education Coalition website looked promising to me.

As grandparents of military children, we have a special role in their lives.  I remember that when we moved constantly (when my father was in the State Department), my grandparents were my constant, their house was always the same, I could find everything and my Omi was a rock who was there, always.  It’s an important role for us – any advice for your fellow MilParent?



3 Responses to “Impact of deployment on children”

  1. Mamaw on June 30th, 2009 3:57 pm

    It has not been easy with my son being gone and now his wife is divorcing him, she couldn’t deal with the separation, the changes in him upon his return from 2nd deployment, etc. so she sought refuge elsewhere. This left 3 granddaughters in limbo. During deployment one reverted to wetting the bed, the middle child became the parent and the oldest started to fear a lot of things and became “clingy”. I started with the Elmo DVD and ended up securing enough that I can now work not only with my granddaugthers but with others in the community. Love makes all the difference in the world to a child.

  2. Military-Law » Impact of deployment on children | Parents Zone on June 30th, 2009 5:46 pm

    […] Impact of deployment on children | Parents ZoneI’ve heard the children of the military called the youngest draftees – they are the ones who didn’t sign up for the life as a military brat, they were born. […]

  3. Parenting classes on October 15th, 2009 1:23 am

    Within the context of school activiities, baseball, etc. his son has earned a reputation for being “strange”. Another word which could be used is “unstable”.
    I’m afraid one day he’s going to “snap”.
    Dad has been told in no uncertain terms to “keep your son away from my child”.
    They tell me some of these concerned parents have called Child Protective Services regarding this issue.
    Dad has showed his 7 year old son hard pornography in an attempt to ensure he doesn’t become gay. Ironically, now the boy has a fascination with penis.
    Parenting classes would be in order.

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