The Effects Of Deployments On Military Families

Military families have some of the strongest bonds, because they will invariably go through many unique hardships. Will what a military family goes through be more difficult than the life of those not involved in the armed services? Well, that’s debatable in singular instances; but in aggregate, it’s no contest. Military families as a group must deal with substantial difficulties.

One of the hardest is known as “homecoming”. Even the most psychologically and emotionally balanced individuals will be shaken in certain deployments. Those who aren’t injured, or who don’t see friends die, or who haven’t had to make the decision to end the life of an enemy, will still have to deal with the shock of time and societal shift.

If you’re away from a place for a year, and suddenly come back, much has changed. Living patterns have shifted—not entirely, but beyond what’s familiar. There’s a point in maturation where the schedule of daily life tends to “settle” in the mind. So a soldier coming back from deployment may remember things going one way, and suddenly the family has moved beyond that.


Also, the rhythm of civilian life is difficult, and that’s a hard adjustment. In the worst-case scenario, all these factors will play a part in creating emotional unease in the family member who has been deployed. Now certainly the soldier returning may put a strong face on it, but there is much to be said for therapeutic options, and taking a careful approach in handling homecoming.

Everyone Must Contend With The Pain

Friends, family members, children, spouses, and even pets will experience the emotional and psychological discord that can accompany homecoming. When a man has killed, and nearly been killed, and seen death, it can have a very tangible effect. A soldier who has had to kill attack dogs may see the family hound and have a flashback, even spooking the pet.

When you’re dealing with homecoming, know that everyone is going to have some adjustment. The pain of returning and the joy of returning will come and go like a roller-coaster. You want a support network. It makes sense to get advice and direction from other military families who have regularly dealt with such situations.

Continuous Travel

Something else you want to keep in mind is that, even beyond deployment, a military lifestyle is replete with moves on a regular basis. For several years you might be in San Diego, then for a decade, you might be stationed on Lake Michigan near Chicago, then suddenly find yourself in South Dakota. This also has a psychological effect on the involved participants.

When you’re constantly uprooting your social circle, it means the family must be more close to one another, it also means you’ve got to forge and cut social bonds with regularity. It can be a challenge, and one thing you might do is institute methods of recognizing and rewarding stalwart behavior in such situations. This can be a psychological support.

Keeping Psychologically Centered

You might check out this site, where there is a challenge coin for every situation, and you have the ability to create coins for specific needs. Perhaps each move will result in a challenge coin being handed out to the young ones. Perhaps you could use such a coin to show your deployed loved one how much you care, and give them something to remember you by tangibly overseas.


Psychologically, you’re going to have a lot of challenges as a military family; but if you know this, tackle them head on, surround yourself with a support network, and stick together, you’ll be able to handle anything life throws at you.

Stephanie Bates

Stephanie Bates

I am a military spouse and travel and food blogger. I’ve lived in nine homes in the past ten years due to Uncle Sam. Learn more at and follow Stephanie on Instagram

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