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Soldiers Put More on the Line as Military Divorce Rate Rises

We hear so often that soldiers put their lives on the line to protect the interests of the citizens of the United States, but what really is the definition of "putting their lives on the line?" Are we talking just their physical wellbeing or are we talking about something much, much more. If you ask a military spouse, they might say that their family life is the one that hurts the most. The military divorce rate has steadily increased since 2001 and has risen higher than the civilian divorce rate.

According to pentagon records, the military divorce rate for active members was 2.6 percent in 2001 but has risen to 3.6, higher than the 3.4 percent rate of civilian divorce. While that number is only slightly higher, researchers say that the records leave out the National Guard who has an active duty membership that is at its highest since World War II.

The records also fail to include situations where military couples have not gotten an official divorce but have separated none-the-less. Couples who are married and are both soldiers receive higher housing payments than if they were single and civilians who get divorced from their military spouse lose the military health coverage that has become so vital to them.

The stress of separation for long periods of time can have a serious effect on a relationship. While many may think that technology has made communication easier, it does not give soldiers and their spouses the physical contact they need or the high frequency of communication necessary to make day-to-day decisions.

Source: The Dallas Morning News "Stress of separation takes its toll on military families" David Tarrant 12/19/10

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