Analyzing Patterns In Mail Flow For Large Organizations Google Guard and Reservists Spouses – Hope Springs Eternal

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Guard and Reservists Spouses – Hope Springs Eternal

Your reservist partner is gone again and being a single parent has become difficult. Crisis can be anything from not being able to find a hair ribbon for your daughter’s cheerleader uniform ten minutes before the game to even life-threatening incidents. Example: You’ve been diagnosed with stress-related loneliness, and after a week of house arrest you get out of your car to run errands with your teenage daughter, who has just been fighting with her sister whose boyfriend is older. .

You stop at a traffic light on your way home, it starts to rain, and you tell your daughter that you’re going home because people are crazy about the weather. At the same moment a pizza delivery vehicle hits the car behind you and your chain collides in the middle. After hours in the ER, you “just” have a whiplash and a smash-up car.

Talk about having a very bad day. And where is your wife? In Kuwait.

Brian Myatt of Clovis, CA, faced the situation recently, working the graveyard shift as an airline mechanic while his wife, SFC Lisa Myatt of the 1106th AVCRAD, is stationed in the Middle East. So, overall, how is he handling it all?

“There are always going to be crises, and I can only take them one at a time and deal with them as best I can,” says Brian Myatt. With the help and support of his mother, his daughter’s godmother, and his wife’s unit’s family support group, Brian works through problems as they arise.

As Guard/Reservist pairings go, Brian is a bit unusual because of his gender, but not because of his attitude. SFC Terrence L. of the New Mexico National Guard. Padden’s wife Tylitha Padden says that while her husband was deployed in Iraq, the Albuquerque beauty salon she owned, “I didn’t have to think about talking to God, working out, and Friday nights at the movies,” helped her cope. Annie S. of Madison. Williams, Major Michael D. Williams’ wife, Maj. Michael D., who spent 10 months in Kuwait. Williams also credited prayer and his daughter’s interests for keeping her grounded and engaged: “I filled my time with extracurricular activities . . . gymnastics, dance, Kindermusik, piano, children’s choir.”

H is for hope

A well-adjusted spouse of Guard members and reserve spouses is the hope. These are the people whose emotional focus is on the size of their email inbox, for whom “You’ve got mail” is the sweetest music in the world. Communication, like the earliest definitions of faith, becomes for them “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hope alone is not enough. But the rest of the letters in the acronym HOPE indicate that these spouses — and experts who analyze such spouses — can offer advice to others on how to thrive during a Guard or Reserve spouse deployment.

O is for order

For Williams, life is more manageable when organized. While many spouses swear by keeping a calendar for the countdown days until the end of deployment, Williams soon gave it up because “time goes more slowly.” But she kept her husband’s memory alive in her daughter’s mind by constantly sending and receiving photographs, talking on the phone and watching videos of past family events where husband and daughter interacted.

In the absence of a presence, so to speak, sometimes something as soulless and simple as counting letters can be comforting. “You can’t control what’s going on where your husband is,” says “Ask April” advice columnist April Massini about assigned spouses, “but whether you hear it or not, you can keep him in your life and you in his by writing regularly. From him, And number your envelopes and letters so he knows if he missed one.”

For Myatt and Williams, who are elementary school teachers, maintaining order often means keeping chaos ahead. Each previously held down a full-time job and relied on their spouse to bring the children to school and help with extracurricular activities. Rearranging schedules and getting help from friends and relatives is working for them, but others are not so lucky. While many studies have examined the career and financial costs of Guard member or reservist deployments, “what is often overlooked is how many spouses compromise their own jobs and careers to support their military spouses,” Dr. James A. Martin, says Colonel. US Army (Ret.), Professor at Bryn Mawr College and Senior Social Work Officer in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the First Gulf War. “Child care requirements when a spouse deploys is an example where civilian employers need to be more understanding.”

P is for pro-active

There’s no doubt about it – having a deployed spouse is stressful. Other symptoms of separation anxiety include a lack of appetite or persistent eating, unexplained weight gain or loss, abdominal pain, and disrupted sleep patterns. An axiomatic part of Guard and Reserve deployments is financial and career uncertainty, with nerve-wracking results when statistically one-third of deployed personnel are required to take a pay cut to meet their service obligations long-term and away from home.

And then there’s the toll on marriages and relationships. Dr. Walter Schumm, a retired colonel in the Army Reserves who is now a professor of family studies at Kansas State University, says that “marital satisfaction as a function of deployment has not been well researched,” but debunks the myth that only weak marriages cause breakups. The scene he saw in the desert storm. He cites a study that found a 21% divorce rate and an additional 6% risk in stable marriages during deployment.

For those who see the deployment as coping well, Schumm cites recent studies at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth that showed spouses’ frustration was directed “more at the situation than at their soldier,” adding, “They weren’t happy campers, but they were. does not blame their husbands directly.” However, “sometimes couples fight a lot before deploying as a way to separate,” he says. He cautions that such emotional outbursts are sometimes unwarranted and recounts heartbreaking stories of wives angered by the uncertainty of their husbands’ deployments who say or do hurtful things — with tragic consequences.

The good news for Schum is that, while long separations are more stressful, repeated deployments can actually have a positive effect. “Spouses learn from experience how to deal with (number of plans) but their partners don’t like being gone for so long (number of months).”

Experts agree on the beneficial effect of connection as an essential ingredient in keeping the home fires of mental health burning during deployments—staying in touch with spouses, family, clubs and faith-based groups, anyone who is positive. and beneficial effects. For nearby bases and/or large communities, such assistance is plentiful. But people in rural areas can also benefit from programs like “Operation Military Kids,” which collaborates with organizations like 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs and local Country Extension Services to meet the needs of children of deployed Guardsmen and reservists who might otherwise not be in need. “Fall through the cracks.”

In addition to local community support, a strong virtual community exists in cyberspace. “Just do a Google search with the phrase ‘military spouse,'” advises Martin. “Many military spouses support each other in this Internet community.”

Activism can demand creativity. When her partner was first deployed, Tylitha Paden couldn’t find the yellow ribbons, so she made some for the car, prompting her new friends and supporters to want the ribbons. She put her husband’s multiple deployments to good use by sending announcements of support to spouses of deployed soldiers through the local Church of Christ in her area, and formed her own city-wide support group. She felt alone (“After 24 years of marriage, I felt like half of me was gone — and it was,” Paden says) so she sent packages to overseas servicemen and women overseas who also felt alone.

E is for expectations

One of the most unrealistic aspects of hope is the element of expectations. For some Guard members and reservists who may have seen the potential for some short-term local deployment as occasional weekend warrior duty that some of the signatures signed up for, getting orders to Iraq was something they hadn’t mentally signed up for. The wake-up call was deployment, which also rattled the spouses to the bone.

However, knowing what you can expect can be beneficial, Dr. Z. says Benjamin Blanding, retired Army lieutenant colonel and clinical psychologist and director of Rowan University’s Counseling Center. He calls deployment and return “two very transitional life events” that are critical points of greatest stress. Knowing that most people handle the time between these events well, Blanding says, can make the last one easier — after all, if your partner is already deployed and the time of separation is the easiest of the three, you can focus on it. – Emphasis on reunion time.

According to columnist McKinney, deployment means a spouse can give a soldier a mental and emotional “free pass.” “Remember that you don’t really know what’s going on there, and he may be stressed about things he’s not telling you. It’s probably not about you.”

The delicate balance between need and freedom is difficult to maintain. Annie Williams advises, “You have to have faith. You have to keep things going for you, your children, and your partner to be proud of. It’s a fine line because you don’t want your partner to think he or she doesn’t need it. On the other hand, your partner You want to not worry. .

In the long run, being realistic in your expectations of yourself can be the key to success. “If your military spouse is overseas, you are currently a single parent,” says Mickey Michaels, author of Successful Divorce and Single Parenting. “Don’t try to be a cleaver June. She’s never had to deal with problems like you.”

It all counts

“Everywhere I go and people find out my wife is deployed, they say, ‘Well, God bless her and do you need anything?'” says Myatt, reflecting on car accidents, teenage problems and deployments.

“I am very proud of my wife. She is a wonderful mother, wife and American soldier. She could have retired but chose to go to Kuwait and will probably be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan this year. She is an American. Soldiers are her personal needs. Aside from…serving her country and fulfilling her mission of bringing freedom to a part of the world that has never known what true freedom is.”

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