While troops are deployed, they leave another kind of soldier at home. Their spouse. Often unmentioned and sometimes unappreciated, the families of the troops left at home go through another kind of battle while they wait for the safe return of their soldier. They fight loneliness, anxiety, depression, and more while their spouse is away. They do not receive the support that the men in the military do. They are the support. The loss of companionship has to be one of the hardest things for the spouses and families to cope with. They have to make it through day by day alone, without their partner to comfort them, talk to them, help them make decisions, and get through the everyday trials. They are not there to laugh with, watch their children grow, and fall asleep with. They spend holidays and birthdays alone. Communication is limited during this time, making it difficult to share feelings so as not to burden their spouse. They are the support system. Small physical sacrifices are made. For example, there’s only one parent to drive children to school, or sporting events and practices. In essence, they are now a single parent.
The income is affected. Homework, dinner, and taking care of sick children are all up to one person. Not to mention the responsibilities of a home, like yard work, plumbing, and cleaning, all become the responsibility of one as well. Sometimes they have to be ready to move at any given time, based on where their spouse will be stationed. Leaving family and friends is a huge sacrifice. The emotional stress may be worse than the physical sacrifices that are made. The anxiety over not knowing the state of the depolyed’s safety and wellbeing can tear a person apart.
Their spouse could be in life-threatening situations on a daily basis and they have to live with the worry that they may never see them again. Mothers and fathers have to stay strong and calm for their children, even when they may be falling apart inside. Feelings of depression and loneliness can surround them. It can be incredibly overwhelming to feel this way and still hold their composure and put on a brave face every day. Some sacrifices come when their loved one returns home. From physical wounds to psychological disorders, the deployed return home very much changed. Physical wounds can call for the spouse to change bandages to helping with a loss of limbs.
The soldier could come back depressed and psychologically disturbed by the scenes of battle. They could be dependent physically and emotionally. The worst case scenario is if the loved one does not return home at all. The spouse and family have to return to their live alone and try and move on. The family members at home should be recognized for what they have sacrificed at home to support the soldiers they have sent to fight for our country. They have contributed just as much as the deployed and we should be just as thankful for them. The worry and anxiety, along with the physical and emotional stresses can call for many sacrifices from these families. It is important to assist them in their time of need. Providing them with hope and optimism, in their time of fear and doubt, as they do for their loved ones, will hopefully help give them the support they have been lacking.