Up & Coming Weekly

March 05, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 11 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 6-12, 2019 UCW 11 Military spouses often have to maintain disrupted households, raise children, work outside the home and take on duties their partners normally tend to. Military family advocates say some disturbing trends related to deploy- ments have emerged in a recent survey. Only 19 percent of spouses indicated they had excellent or very good military support during their service member's most recent deploy- ment. at's lower than what spouses reported in 2015. Deployments have become commonplace during nearly 18 years of warfare in Afghanistan. Twenty-three percent said readjust- ments have been difficult for their service members upon return from deployment, also higher than 2015. "What that tells me is that some- thing's going on in a bad way with the level of support offered families during deployments," said Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association. "I think families get more isolated," she added. e survey, a scientific random sampling of spouses, was conducted by the Defense Department across the U.S. military establishment. e results can be generalized to the entire spousal population. It explored topics ranging from spouse employ- ment and childcare to finances. Of the 45,077 active-duty spouses selected for the survey, 9,813 completed it, or 17 percent. Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen Pence, is using her position to help wives overcome the challenges that come with being wed to active- duty servicemen. Karen sees spousal happiness as key to military readiness. Unhappy spouses lead to unhappy service members who eventually will quit. She wants to launch a campaign to elevate, encourage and thank mili- tary spouses. Karen's effort is reminiscent of Joining Forces, an initiative that promoted military families. It was led by former first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden. Karen said Join- ing Forces made a lot of progress for military spouses in making the states aware of uncoordinated licensing is- sues. It prompted legislative changes. But a recent study by the Univer- sity of Minnesota found that, while state laws may have been updated, information provided by occupational boards is sometimes lacking. e study found that some employment applications omitted questions about military status, and some websites had no information about transfer op- portunities for military spouses. e survey also found that loneli- ness was a problem for military wives during their husbands' most recent deployment. e increasing sense of loneliness and lack of connectedness is a finding echoed in results from the 2018 Blue Star Families' Military Family Lifestyle Survey. A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for family policy, said it struck her that nearly 50 percent of the spouses of soldiers holding the paygrades E1 to E4 soldiers reported loneliness as a common problem during deployments. "Helping our newest service mem- bers learn how to connect is one of the best things we can do to help with resiliency," she said. Keeping military spouses happy by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS A recent survey reveals some disturbing trends related to deployments and military spouses. NEW Housing-Limited space! $450 per month (includes utilities) Amazing location! "Make A Difference" Walk to local restaurants & entertainment Student Residents First month rent FREE! Apartments 4 bedrooms 3 full baths Laundry room Large kitchen and den Furnished common living areas Central Haymount Pavilion with fireplace, restrooms & brick oven Private parking Students living & sharing life with young adults with (I/DD) disabilities (independent living) for more info or to apply: visit www.FriendshipHouseFayetteville.org 910-826-4699 (includes utilities) $450 per month

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