Military Divorces on the Rise

By  | 

Recent studies show divorce rates and alcohol abuse among soldiers returning from war is on the rise. But there are programs trying to keep area soldiers from becoming one of those statistics.

A recent study by the military magazine, "Stars and Stripes", reports that divorce rates among military families is on the rise.

Military officials say the reasons range from alcohol abuse and anger management issues among troops returning from deployment. They say the things a soldier sees and goes through during times of war can change a person.

Army reservist Willis Brooks returned from Iraq last summer. He and his wife Chenika say they're still adjusting to him being back.

"In the beginning it was very hard. We had just gotten married and then 2 months later he's called to active duty. While he was gone it was difficult because I went and bought a house and new car, so it's kind of difficult to make decisions like that on your own," said Chenika Brooks.

Family readiness coordinator Dennis Hoffman works with families that have loved ones overseas. He says communication is the key to having a smooth adjustment once a soldier returns.

"Just getting back to the day to day routine of civilian jobs and life. When you're over there you have a set schedule and usually working 12 to 15 hour days, so when you get back, you just have to ease back into the family," said Hoffman.

The military provides counseling, retreats, and therapy for soldiers and their families. The Brooks took advantage of those opportunities and say it definitely helped them.

"For us things have been fine, but I have heard situations were there were some couples that are getting divorces and maybe they just need a little counseling and a little time to get back into the groove of things," said Chenika Brooks.

VFW halls, churches, and community groups also provide services for military families. Military officials say it helps when families have community support while their loved ones are overseas.