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Richard
07-11-2013, 09:03
An on-going dilemma for those who take the path of an SF soldier.

Richard

Special Forces' Marriages On Shaky Ground, Survey Shows
USAToday, 13 July 2013

Marriages among many of the nation's elite troops Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers and others are so damaged after years of war that one in five commandos say that if given the chance, they would have married someone else or not at all.

The results of a first-ever survey of special operations forces, troops drawn from all four branches of the military, show a highly trained force where small sectors are struggling with alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, anger and emotional numbness. As many as one in four admit sleeping five or fewer hours each night.

The elite troops have conducted the most secretive combat missions of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including the 2011 raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed.

An executive summary of the survey results was provided to USA TODAY.

They echo concerns raised in recent years by Navy Adm. William McRaven, who leads the nation's 66,000-member Special Operations Command, that his force has become "frayed" after more than a decade of persistent conflict.

"I think that's a gentle way to articulate what's happening," says Navy SEAL Capt. Thomas Chaby, appointed by McRaven to lead an effort to restore the force. " 'Frayed' I don't think captures how dire some of the findings are."

Chaby says he is particularly concerned that the percentage of troops seeking therapy -- 4% -- is only a fraction of those suffering from PTSD, alcohol abuse and other emotional issues, leaving potentially thousands untreated.

Suicides also have increased among special operations personnel, nearly doubling from 2011 to 2012 from 10 to 19, including the death of a SEAL team commander who killed himself shortly before Christmas while deployed to Afghanistan. This year, there have six potential suicide cases through May, says Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ligia Cohen, a spokeswoman for Special Operations Command.

In response, Special Operations Command is spending up to $300 million over the next five years, hiring the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm to broaden staffing for behavioral and physical health, nutrition, family assistance and data analysis. Chaby characterizes the program as temporary until existing military medical programs for all troops are expanded.

Part of the program provides mental health counselors "embedded" in special operations units and more accessible to troubled servicemembers, he says.

The contract with Booz Allen allows the flexibility to spend up to $475 million on the program if necessary, but Chaby says that is highly unlikely.The program is designed to augment services provided by various military branch surgeons general. Chaby says special operations forces and their families need care tailored to their unique needs.

Between combat deployments and training trips to rugged far-flung areas, special operations forces may spend eight or nine months each year away from their families. The pace has wreaked havoc on marriages, Chaby says.

"If we don't address (the strains) now, we're going to have major problems," Chaby says. "That's all we ask of the nation is give us a chance to implement this program."

A University of Pittsburgh study shows the annual injury rate among special operations troops is as high as 46%, compared with 24% among conventional troops.

"We beat our guys up in training, frankly, because we have to, to see if they have what it takes to succeed on the battlefield," Chaby says. "We can't wait until they're up in the mountains of Afghanistan to see how they're going to respond. We have to find it out now."

He says this is one reason why nearly 300 athletic trainers, rehabilitation specialists, dietitian-nutritionists and sports psychologists are being hired to help treat and prevent these injuries.

The survey was conducted late last year online; about 12,000 troops and spouses participated. Among the biggest issues they cited: the need to improve medical, dental, child care, mental health and educational services for these elite troops and their families.

About 10% of those who responded showed signs in their answers of alcohol abuse or dependency. Eight percent showed signs of PTSD and 11% said they suffered from emotional numbness.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/09/marriages-military-families-elite-troops-stress/2432243/

mark46th
07-11-2013, 09:10
The more things change, the more they stay the same....

MR2
07-11-2013, 09:57
Maybe they should add more furlough days and recruit more GBLT soldiers... :rolleyes:

glebo
07-12-2013, 06:07
Well, I for one have a marriage ribbon with one oak leaf cluster. I'm sure there's some of us with more OLC's....LOL

First one's a training aid anyway...:D

uplink5
07-12-2013, 06:39
On third marriage and since retirement perhaps the last. Of course though, one must never stop looking for the next...:b

Richard
07-12-2013, 06:48
I met my wife in 1975 - I was a 91B3S in 2-7th SFGA and she was in nursing school at FTI. We have 3 grown sons and will be celebrating our 38th anniversary in August.

I was lucky. :)

Richard

98G
07-12-2013, 17:20
I met my wife in 1975 - I was a 91B3S in 2-7th SFGA and she was in nursing school at FTI. We have 3 grown sons and will be celebrating our 38th anniversary in August.

I was lucky. :)

Richard

Luck was meeting her. Skill was marrying her. ;)

medic&commo
07-13-2013, 09:05
Well, I for one have a marriage ribbon with one oak leaf cluster. I'm sure there's some of us with more OLC's....LOL

First one's a training aid anyway...:D

Ditto.
Current wife is on AD. Made the mistake of staying home w/daughter in school.
Got a "Dear John" - reason: she couldn't stand being w/o a man around 24/7.

m&c

BMT (RIP)
07-13-2013, 12:14
Aug it will be 51 years since we jumped the broom!!!

BMT

glebo
07-13-2013, 12:42
Aug it will be 51 years since we jumped the broom!!!

BMT

Good on you guys, congrats.

This one is 27yrs. It helped that she was raised in an SF family. So she knew what she was in for.

This one's a "till death do you part"....

cbtengr
07-13-2013, 15:26
Well, I for one have a marriage ribbon with one oak leaf cluster. I'm sure there's some of us with more OLC's....LOL

First one's a training aid anyway...:D

If that is the case I was a pretty slow learner. I cannot even begin to imagine the strain on Special OPS marriages. To those of you who have hung in there, Richard & BMT congrats. I did not enter my first marriage saying this will never last, the truth of the matter is it lasted too long.

glebo
07-13-2013, 19:57
If that is the case I was a pretty slow learner. I cannot even begin to imagine the strain on Special OPS marriages. To those of you who have hung in there, Richard & BMT congrats. I did not enter my first marriage saying this will never last, the truth of the matter is it lasted too long.

Trust me, I didn't look at it as "how long will this last".

But after one to many deployments and you have a buddy give you a ride home....b/c you can't seem to get ahold of your wife (pre cell phone days/text, internet, etc, etc) and there's U-Haul tracks up to the front door....well..we call that an "indicator"...:p

blue02hd
07-14-2013, 02:34
Ditto.
Current wife is on AD. Made the mistake of staying home w/daughter in school.
Got a "Dear John" - reason: she couldn't stand being w/o a man around 24/7.

m&c

Brother,

I definitely can relate.

As it turned out, I hadn't met the one that counted yet. I've never been happier than I have been since I met my current HH6, but it did require some painful PE first.

Things turn out,

Peregrino
07-14-2013, 13:51
I've got my OLC too. As they say - the lessons that cost you the most are the ones you learn the best. Among the lessons my first one imparted are: nobody can ever do anything to you that you don't allow them to do, all the indicators were present BEFORE you committed yourself, and finally - the reason divorces are so expensive is because they're worth it. To be fair though, it isn't always the wife's fault and once in a very rare while it isn't either party's fault. I really feel for those brothers who have children to further complicate divorce proceedings.

cooper1340s
08-22-2013, 09:18
I am on 4th marriage. This one has lasted 18 yrs and seems like it will be permanent, for what little time we have left. Being constantly deployed does make a marriage hard to maintain. :boohoo

Dragbag036
08-22-2013, 10:48
Nov. is 23 for me, same Frau!

hharke
08-24-2013, 20:30
I met my wife in 1975 - I was a 91B3S in 2-7th SFGA and she was in nursing school at FTI. We have 3 grown sons and will be celebrating our 38th anniversary in August.

I was lucky. :)

Richard

Ha, that is because she is blind and likes "works in progress" like mine.

Say hi for me to her!

Herman

Richard
08-25-2013, 08:43
Ha, that is because she is blind and likes "works in progress" like mine.

Say hi for me to her!

Herman

Ha! About time you learned where the ON button was located on your computer. I guess all that time as a govt employee of the Muhreens didn't sap all your grey cells - you must've retired just in time, ya cantankerous ol' firebug. :p

Give our best to Diane and stay out of trouble for a change.

Richard

The Reaper
08-25-2013, 08:46
Ha! About time you learned where the ON button was located on your computer. I guess all that time as a govt employee of the Muhreens didn't sap all your grey cells - you must've retired just in time, ya cantankerous ol' firebug. :p

Give our best to Diane and stay out of trouble for a change.

Richard

"firebug"?

There has to be a good story there.

Like most of HH's life.

TR

BMT (RIP)
08-25-2013, 08:50
Fifty-one years ago today we jumped the broom!!

BMT

Richard
08-25-2013, 09:31
Fifty-one years ago today we jumped the broom!!

BMT

You married a witch? :D :D

Congrats!

Richard

Agoge2
08-25-2013, 09:33
Fifty-one years ago today we jumped the broom!!

BMT

Simply put -- outstanding!

My sincerest congratulations! That is a great legacy for your family.

Box
08-25-2013, 09:52
I expect that when the largess of the last ten years fades we will see another spike in marriage problems.

...couples have gotten used to the added money from tax-free paychecks
...couples have gotten used to large bonus checks
...couples have gotten used to a big boost by special duty pays
...couples have gotten used to benefits

Tax free money is going to go away, bonuses are being cut, benefits are being thinned and it wont be long before things like SDAP, Demo pay and Language pay will take a hit as well. AIP has already been changed so the rest are going to be "adjusted" in the near future.

Once military families start to struggle and fight over money and benefits you might as well put a lawyer on retainer.

Just my two cents; I could be wrong

Mike
09-02-2013, 09:37
They used to say among the things needed for SF Qualification besides the Rolex, Demo knife, etc was a divorce.