It’s a profound moment when one can conceptualize the call to serve. Responding to said call, requires a higher level of maturity, empathy, and understanding. Military service is service built on a different kind of principles and morals. The same can be said about marriage, understanding, maturity, and morals are all required. Over the course of history, the evolution of matrimony has changed from survival to sentimental. (To find out more, take a quick watch of Alex Gendler’s simplistic explanation of marriage over the years, here.) Societal views of our military has also changed. It has taken a great amount of transparency and public trust to reach a point that the military service members are people we take pride to support.
That said, there has been extensive studies on who joins the military. In response to the mass of data influx, the most common assumption is that, this data is comparable to that of civilian data. Analyzing these informative studies*, proves many challenges. There is the difference in data collection, how recent the studies were conducted, and how biased the conclusions seem. To decipher the results of such studies is a considerable amount of work, in addition to the skills required to sort biased and factual evidence.
*If you’re interested here is a quick list of the most used studies/articles, I encourage you to explore on your own as more publications are released to the public.
“The average age of first marriage of those in this study was 22. That’s young. That’s about four years younger than the national average at the time these couples married.
These couples also moved an average of 8.6 times in 20 years of marriage, which is about normal for military life and more than twice as high as the civilian rate of moves” -Jacey Eckhart, Military.com
As society shifts to accept these cultures, shows such as “Army Wives” add false ideologies about military marriages. Unlike the cinematic picture painted by media, military officers don’t make a lot from serving. On average, most make the same or less than most civilians in a similar profession. Take for instance, Army Base Pay. It doesn’t take much calculation to see that our service members are making this rumored grand amount each month.
What is most misrepresented in our society about our service men and women, revolves around their mental health. Deployments are recognized but not fully understood by the public. The resilience needed by military spouses can, overtime, prove trying to the relationship. In addition, marriages suffer from multiple deployments, and the soldiers that do come home…there not the same.
Military Combats High Divorce Rate, Alix Spiegel more info here
There are effects on personality that war impacts. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has a growing prevalence. With more understanding, families are finally being able to seek help and understanding. Treatments are currently improving but it still requires further reform. Don’t take my word, take a listen to the story of, General Dees struggle with PTSD along with the physiological effects behind this condition explained.
Society is slowly adapting a better understanding of what military, especially military marriages endure. The negative effects and assumptions made by society only hurts those selflessly protecting us. It’s on the principles of understanding and empathy will we better understand military marriage, and how we can REACH OUT to those dealing with the harsh realities the military throws at them.
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