H.E.R.O.E.S. Care June 2015 Newsletter
- H.E.R.O.E.S. Care
Military Spouses: Burdened and Alone
"I will not break. I cannot break."
Those are the words I repeated to myself when my husband returned from Iraq and we tried to determine our new "normal." The words I sometimes still find myself fighting against while I lay in bed at night alone during his current deployment to Afghanistan. The same words uttered by countless other military spouses who are expected to hold everything together despite their lives having been flipped upside down.
The Army told me I must be strong, I am the backbone. The uniformed men, one after another, said that if I break, my husband would break. It is my responsibility to make sure that does not happen. Not on this deployment or the next one or anytime in between.
After more than a decade of war directly affecting roughly two million service members, our military families are just as weary as those who have served boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. A study published by Military Medicine in 2008 found that military spouses presented with mental health concerns, including suicide, at the same rate as service members. Since the release of that study, however, not much progress has been made to combat military spouse mental health issues. We are failing our military spouses, who too often feel burdened and alone. Something must be done.