Sunday, January 02, 2011

Deployments put strains on families' lives

Fort Drum soldier, single father of two boys, provides example of disruptions

JANUARY 2, 2011 - Life changed for Shawn Eisch with a phone call last January. His youngest brother, Brian, a soldier and single father, had just received orders to deploy from Fort Drum, N.Y., to Afghanistan and was mulling who might take his two boys for a year. Shawn volunteered.

So began a season of adjustments as the boys came to live in their uncle's home here. Joey, the 8-year-old, got into fistfights at his new school. His 12-year-old brother, Isaac, rebelled against their uncle's rules. And Shawn's three children quietly resented sharing a bedroom, the family computer and, most of all, their parents' attention with their younger cousins.

The work of war is very much a family affair. Nearly six in 10 of the troops deployed today are married, and nearly half have children. Those families — more than 1 million since 2001 — have borne the brunt of the psychological and emotional strain of deployments. {continued}

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