“After 12 months, he calls me and he’s like, ‘That’s it, I can’t do it anymore.’ He’s on the verge of tears he’s so emotional and stressed. And that’s when I started fighting for him. I went and talked to the battalion sergeant major and it was the worst experience of my life up to this day.”
Impact on Family
Among other topics, the service-members and veterans on this page talked at length about the strain deployment and military life had put on their family relationships.
“Prior to going, our unit was so low in numbers that we actually took soldiers into Afghanistan who were on crutches. We’re walking fifteen, twenty cliffs a day at 10,000 feet elevation through the mountains. The guy just got off crutches and you expect him to be able to do that?”
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, something is not right.’ He sounded like a whole different person. My friend was there, and I sort of dropped the phone to her and said, ‘Hold on, I need to get some fresh air.’ It was that drastic of a difference.”
“There is a schoolhouse about a block and a half away. And on Sundays during the school year they’ll test their fire alarm. If my wife is asleep when that sound goes off, she is hearing an alarm for incoming rounds. And I can’t count the number of times she’s thrown herself over me trying to protect me from some round that is forever incoming.”
“My care began when I was in Iraq, after an incident where I pointed a weapon at somebody, and I had to go see a shrink. They had my weapon back in my hands within three days.”
“I get punished all the time, for fighting uphill battles to try and take care of them. So much that I don’t want to be in the Army anymore. I’m just fed up with it. And then all these other soldiers now are stuck with the NCOs who don’t care. They’re here for a paycheck.
…There’s no reward for taking care of soldiers.”
“We do have one soldier that was handed to me, who actually went to seek help, and he got the help that he was needing. But now they’re looking at trying to chapter him out because of the help that he had to get, and the things that happened to make him finally turn around and say, ‘Hey, I need help.’.’”
“You do take the survey, you do sit down with what they say is a physician. But you sit in a little cubby and they ask you “Are you depressed? Have you hit your head? Have you done this?” And that’s it.”
“My husband talked to everybody that was important. He knew that would help us. We had to extend my leave after my brain surgery. My company only approved 90 days for me, while my doctor had said I needed 120 days to recover, if not more. They were trying to get me back to work, but I couldn’t even walk. I still can’t walk now, barely.”
“I think that war affects the soldier very much, I have no doubt about that. But I think it equally affects the family. Equally, because I could not even describe to you the pain in the wife’s point of view or the child’s point of view, when the soldier acts out.”