Geography's another enemy of military parents trying to get their kids back. Excerpt is from forthcoming article re foster care and military families

“As an assistant district attorney tasked with deciding which kids to ask the judge to remove from their homes, I had a hand in saving some lives. I’m certain of it. But I’m also quite sure that I made mistakes. Errors that spell-check could never catch and which can’t be fixed with word-processing software. Wrong decisions for which others would pay a high price.”
. . .

"One unflinching enemy of efforts to keep families together is geography. In the Fall 2013 issue of The Future of Children, Harold Kudler and Col. Rebecca I. Porter (U.S. Army) point to DoD data showing that

“all but 27 counties across the continental United States had sent Guard and Reserve members to Iraq or Afghanistan as of October 2011.” In fact, [s]ervice members and their children are twice as likely as the average American to live in rural communities, where accessing DoD health care is more difficult. Guard and Reserve members and their families also tend to live in rural areas. Compared with other Americans, rural Americans in general face significant disparities in access to health care.”70

In describing the part of Oklahoma that was home to a Cherokee Indian “Delta Force” operator who was killed during a successful rescue raid on an ISIL lock-up in October 2015, I explained that

“Treatment resources for drug and alcohol addiction can be hard to find anywhere. But it’s even harder when you come from a part of the state with smaller, widely dispersed communities, limited ability to invest in community services, and few ways to get from here to there if you don’t have a vehicle, can’t keep the one you have running, or lost your license along the path to addiction.”71

(Image credit: The Blackfox-Hartness American Legion Post 135, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Tahlequah is the seat of Cherokee County, Oklahoma and the Capital City for the Cherokee Nation)
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