I believe in keeping families together.

Lisa - Watertown, New York
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, war

I believe in keeping families together.

My brother in law is in the air force and has already fought overseas once before. Soon he will have to go back again. The military does not usually give their employees a choice as to whether or not they want to go. Soldiers enlisted either, voluntarily or involuntarily should not be separated from their families and friends for any long period of time. The time most people spend over in Iraq, Kuwait, or any other country is usually between eight months to a year; I think that amount of time apart is way too long to be without those you love.

My experience stems through my sister and my almost two year old nephew. The first time my brother-in-law left for Kuwait he was gone almost nine months. He missed his son’s first birthday, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and much more. He also missed out on very special events in his child’s life like his son’s first words, his son’s first steps, and all the emotions of watching your child grow up. My sister had to practically raise their son on her own because they were stationed in Okinawa, Japan and at the time and both of their families lived in New York.

By the time the military send him back overseas, he is going miss his son’s birthday again, all the holidays, and time with his family. This time my sister lives in the United States and she’s going to move in with my mother and me for support while her husband is gone this time around. I know it won’t be as bad as it was for her last time because she won’t be alone, but it’s still going to affect her in the same way. This kills me because I hate to see my sister sad and stressed out, but that’s how it is most of the time when he’s gone. I know that’s also not a healthy environment for my nephew to be around either. He may be young, but who knows what he thinks when his father is there one day and all the sudden gone for that long. That’s why I believe that they shouldn’t send troops back after they serve one term overseas; one term is long enough.

There should be an end to active duty military serving more than one term overseas. This belief not only applies to the military, but anyone who spends a long period of time without their families. It is not fair to them or their families that they have to live without each other. Military families have their own lives and working should only be a small part of it.