Some of my earliest memories are when I am being told not to ask so many questions. I wasn’t curious about why there were clouds or what made rainbows. I wanted to know why people portrayed certain behaviors. What made one person behave differently from another? Why was one family able to cope with so much turmoil in their lives but another family crumbled? I would ask all sorts of questions. This behavior became so prevalent in me that people would say, “Oh no here comes her 50 questions.”
My interest in personalities increased as I grew older. I wanted to know if they were formed based on our past experiences, our environment, or were they completely biological. I read many ...view middle of the document...
They guided the person to realize they had options and what these options were, connected them with community resources, and most importantly listened. These were the social workers. I had finally found my life purpose. It wasn’t until later that I discovered where I wanted to specialize within the profession.
After graduating high school I married and my husband joined the military. We moved to Germany and integrated into the military lifestyle. I accepted a position working in the family support office of a unit that was deactivating. While in the position I witnessed for the first time the multitude of stressors military family members experience. During the deactivation many of the soldiers were still deployed. That left the family members to make most of the arrangements for the relocation. Numerous individuals I assisted were extremely uniformed about the resources available to them within the military community. There was a huge void in disseminating information on available support programs not only to family members but also to the soldiers.
Once the unit was fully deactivated I took a different position with the Department of Defense Elementary School. I had the opportunity to observe the effect of military life from a different perspective. I noticed children handle changes in their lives with resiliency if the parents cope well with the changes. Some of the situations I saw involved the military spouse using prescription drugs to numb their feelings of solitude and loss of control over their situation. Unfortunately, at that time, school counselors were not trained in how to effectively provide guidance to children who live in the military culture. Also, a major defect in the overseas military family guidance centers were the requirement to notify the soldiers’ commander if a family member sought counseling. The reason for this regulation was so leadership would be informed in case they needed to make adjustments to the soldiers duty. In reality, this rule prevented individuals from seeking counseling because they did not want to hurt the soldiers career.
I later moved to a position with Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division in Germany. Now I had the opportunity to witness the effects of military life from the perception of the soldier. The soldiers I worked with traveled most of the time. When the soldiers did return they experienced the stress of reintegrating themselves into their families. I observed that even though society perceives soldiers as mean, fighting machines they do have emotions, worries, and fears just like any other person. The difference is their first priority must be toward the military. They are taught this foundamental idea from the moment they enter basic training. This concept can be very hard for a spouse to understand but is so vital to comprehend if a military family is to stay strong.
When we left the military and became civilians I did experience a feeling of a...