Lessons from the Front/ Soldier Marriages - 1/19/07

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Fri Jan 19 14:49:41 EST 2007

This article plus tonight's PBS special on soldiers preparing for
deployment, is the perfect lead to announce another major plenary session at
the Denver Smart Marriages Conference.  "Lessons From the Front" will
examine what any of us that works with couples can learn from the Army's
experience in preparing couples for deployment and, to often, redeployment.
In the intense, time compressed, war crucible the Army has been
creative/inventive in figuring out what works in strengthening attachment at
time of deployment, maintaining it under the stress of separation, and,
enhancing it upon reunification.  - diane

Visits w/ soldiers at Ft Stewart who are about to deploy to Iraq.

WKRN Nashville, TN
Jan 18, 2007 

A casualty of war for many military families is often their marriages.
Soldiers come home after being gone a year or more and have a tough time
re-adjusting to life as they once knew it.

Montgomery County court records show a spike in divorces when the 101st
Airborne returned after a long deployment as there were more than 2,300
divorce cases filed in 2004.  That number dropped about 800 the next year
and jumped back up last year as the 101st came home again from Iraq.

One soldier's wife said she was shocked when her husband returned home from
war to serve her divorce papers.

"I never thought I¹d be one of the ones who get divorced. I thought I was
gonna make it, that our marriage was gonna make it."

After over 16 years of marriage to Sergeant First Class John Triplett, Anja
Triplett said, ³He came back in August.  I thought everything was fine, and
in October he tells me he doesn't love me anymore and he wants a divorce."

In all her years of marriage, Triplett watched her husband deploy to Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Korea twice and most recently, Iraq, also

³I was writing him letters, talking to him on the phone. I sent him
everything he needed, just being here for him so he had someone to talk to,²
said Triplett.  "He never really talked a lot about what happened overseas,
but I¹m sure it's not easy to deal with what you're seeing there."

Triplett spoke with News 2 about her anger with her husband and with the
military.  She said, ³I'm sure if they wouldn't have sent him away so much,
then we would have had a chance to live our lives together, instead of
constantly being separated."

Triplett said she doesn't blame the military, but said being married to a
soldier definitely makes marriage harder, especially lately, with increased
deployments and longer stays overseas.

³I know they're soldiers and they have to do it, and they're out fighting
for their country, but I think they should keep the deployments down, to
like half a year,² said Triplett.

She said she sees other couples getting divorced at higher rates, too but
knows they'll get through it.  "It's not easy, but you can manage,² she

The military does offer marriage counseling, but Triplett said it's not
mandatory, so many soldiers and their spouses, like her and her husband,
don't go, even though they should.

In 2004, army officials said more than 3,000 soldiers got divorced, up 78%
from the year before, when our troops went to war in Iraq.

Copyright 2007 by WKRN Nashville Tennessee.

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