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War
has become a central issue in the Philippines as of recently due to the Marawi
war that was concluded on September 30, 2017. There has also been a growing interest
with the kin of the soldiers who were given subsistence due to their departed
family who was a soldier for their heroism and for upholding their duty to
maintain peace and order (Lucas, 2017).

 

            The public lacks the knowledge about
the problems and issues that military families face especially when a member of
their family gets deployed. Common problems faced by the military families are
mainly, but not limited to psychological. Examples are fear, panic, concern,
loneliness. Other problems that can be faced are financial as the salary of a
private military soldier is fairly low that is why military families struggle
with expenses (“How Deployment Stress Affects Families”, n.d.)

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            The reason for a family member
getting deployed is because there is a disruption in peace due to terrorism and
violence that the military has to restore the peace and order. Effects of
family members getting deployed to war are loneliness, panic, financial
difficulties etc (“Military & Military Families, n.d.).

 

 

            In the Marawi war over 400 soldiers
were sent to Marawi to resolve the war that erupted due to terrorism. All of
these soldiers that were deployed has families leaving them for 5 months and
not receiving any news from them would deeply impact their family, especially
the children whose emotionally not as developed as an adult would have but even
if an adult is emotionally developed long period of absences can result to
loneliness and depression. Though it is a different story when the deployed
family member is killed in service. Quite a bit after Martial Law was declared
the final push to end the Marawi came upon us. October 23, 2017 – exactly 5
months since the war erupted it was declared that the battle in Marawi was over
(Fonbuena, 2017).

 

            Military families and their problems
have been dealt with in the past during 2014 when Iraq and Afghanistan has a
civil war. About 1.8 million military troops had been sent to resolve the civil
war. This translates into 2.7 million family members who experienced separation
from their family member due to them being deployed. When the family members
come back from their deployment they often come back with problems. Military
families depending on their location can seek mental health support. These
supports may include counselling, chaplains, therapists and the like. Though
they are often hesitant to seek the aid that they need due to fear of
confidentiality, appearing weak, not advancing in their respective careers (due
to background checks) (Huebner, 2012).

 

 

 

            There is a need to try and solve
these problems as Military families undergo so many problems like divorce,
depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder etc that can affect a children’s
development. The researchers could also infer that less and less people would
apply in the Military with the problems that they would face when they start a
family (“Military Family Life 101”, 2016).

 

            Several studies have revealed that
effects of military deployment on military personnel’s mental health but little
research has been seen in the aspect of the effects of deployment on military
families. Moreover, how long time separation from spouse, father or mother can
affect the members of the family and family dynamics.

 

            Recent studies have been conducted
on the effects of deployment on military families, which focus on the mental
health and the struggles that these families has to go through. The studies
were largely based on the struggles in terms of behaviour.

 

            The researchers found a study by
Peebles-Kleiger and Klegier (1994) states that a parent getting sent to a war
ridden area has been described as “catastrophic” stressor for military
families. This is true in the current situation, as the world has a need for
military personnel means that military families face more repeated, longer,
battle deployments with little to no breaks between them. Jensen et.al (1996)
findings show that child distress, depression and anxiety are related to a
parent getting deployed to a war ridden area greater distresses are experienced
more the longer the parent is away. Transitions are very problematic for
children who are going to school who are just starting to develop their social
networks or friends through their school and neighbourhood.

 

            Even when there are supports to
improve the mental health of military personnel, they are mostly hesitant to
seek the mental health services. Military personnel has concerns about
confidentiality, fear of appearing weak and negative impact to career
advancements as most often the reasons on why they do not seek the mental
health services they need (Hall, 2016).

 

            The main findings of mental health
conditions and Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI are related to the rate of
exposure to combat trauma and mental health conditions among veterans are
significantly higher. Army soldiers and Marines, reserve forces, discharged
soldiers, veterans, enlisted personnel, women, and Hispanics are at higher risk
for the above mentioned conditions (Holdeman, 2015).

 

            A considerable amount of reserahc
has been made about Effects of military deployment on military personnel’s
mental health outcome but little research on the effects of deployment on a
military family. Effects of military deployment has been studied thoroughly
saying that a military personnel coming back from deployment has a high
probability of getting a mental illnesses especially when he/she came back from
war ridden assignments. But the public would only focus on the military
personnel who got deployed and not the military families who were also affected
on  a very personal and emotional level
due to their spouse, fathers and mothers being deployed somewhere far away and
having to be away from them for months even possibly years.

 

            The question still remains how do
military families addresses the mental effects of having someone in their
family being deployed somewhere far away? The researcher’s capstone projects
aims to promote and provide some solutions on how to solve these mental effects
that are being experienced by military families.

 

            Hence, additional studies of effects
of deployment on military families are needed to list down the possible mental
effects of having the spouse, mother or father is away for long periods of
time. Another reason why additional studies are needed is to list down how to
support these families that experience these mental effects. Lastly, is to
raise and promote awareness of these mental effects that military families go
under.

 

            The aim of this capstone project is
to study how deployment affects military families. The researchers looked into
studies and data from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and from the Armed
Forces of the Philippines Medical Center. Another source of data for the
researchers was from the interviews that they conducted with military families.
The other aim of this capstone project is to promote the mental health and
well-being of military personnel, veterans and their families. Promotion of
this will be held through an exhibit that showcases the families and their
experiences through photos, videos and objects.

            This paper proposes a formal
procedure for promoting mental health and well being of military personnel,
veterans and their families. The capstone project is an exhibit that will be
open to the public that will consist of photos, videos and objects that relates
to the effects of military deployment. At present the said exhibit will be held
on February 12-14, 2018 inside the La Salle Green Hills campus.

 

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