[Researchers report that more than 90% of America’s 410,000 kids in foster care suffer from the effects of complex trauma. Many will enter military service and serve honorably. But rising rates of neglect and abuse in military families continue to land the children of service members in foster care. Many of those kids will never go home again. The following is an excerpt from a forthcoming article by a former assistant district attorney who was tasked with deciding when and under which circumstances he would ask the judge to order the removal of children from their homes.]
Military brats who join up haven’t had it easy

[Researchers report that more than 90% of America’s 410,000 kids in foster care suffer from the effects of complex trauma. Many will enter military service and serve honorably. But rising rates of neglect and abuse in military families continue to land the children of service members in foster care. Many of those kids will never go home again. The following is an excerpt from a forthcoming article by a former assistant district attorney who was tasked with deciding when and under which circumstances he would ask the judge to order the removal of children from their homes.]

. . .
"Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, followed in 2002 by the war in Iraq, the United States has seen the largest sustained deployment of military servicemen and servicewomen in the history of the all-volunteer force. As a result, more than two million military children have been separated from their service member parents, both fathers and mothers, because of combat deployments. Many families have seen multiple deployments—three, four, even five or more family separations and reunifications. Others have struggled with combat-related mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); physical in-juries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI); and death, all of which can affect children and families for years."

- Colonel Stephen J. Cozza (U.S. Army, ret.), M.D., and Richard M. Lerner, PhD. “Military Children and Families: Introducing the Issue.” 23(2) The Future of Children 3 (Princeton-Brookings Fall 2013).


Swords to Plowshares’ 2017 Resource Guide for Veterans and Their Families tells us a bit about these kids’ parents’ jobs, job sites, and co-workers:
• 85 percent worked in areas that were mined or had IEDs
• 68 percent received small arms fire
• 66 percent knew someone seriously injured or killed
• 66 percent were attacked or ambushed
• 65 percent rec'd incoming artillery, rocket or mortar fire


War’s an injury prone business. And the fact that deployed parents love and miss their sons and daughters and even grandchildren doesn’t limit their chances of getting critically injured or killed. Other than death, on-the-job injuries from the wildly-popular improvised explosive devices (IEDs) include: eye injuries, hearing problems, blindness, infertility, erectile dysfunction, endocrine dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, skin issues, burns, major limb injuries, traumatic brain injury.

Injuries like these are hard enough on a returning parent’s sense of self-worth, spousal intimacy, and smooth day-today family operation. They strike at the foundations of family stability, and they undermine a parent’s chance of leaving the war zone on the other side of the planet.

But let’s not forget that a lot of military kids’ moms and dads get shot while they’re at work, too. And the injuries are seldom as tame as what Hollywood makes us believe. Peter M. Rhee, a decorated 24-year U.S. Navy veteran and a combat doctor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and his colleagues explain in a 2016 article in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery why there’s so much destruction to the human body when it’s entered by a high-velocity round from a rifle such as the AK47, M4, or AR15. Why instead of cutting a ¾-inch path through a kid’s parent, the round bores a tunnel through mom or dad.
. . .
(end of excerpt, citations omitted)


Charles Bloeser, MA JD
Member, Bar of the State of Tennessee USA
Member, Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States
https://combatresearchandprose.com
https://charlesbloeser.com


Mr. Bloeser is author of an August 2018 article published by the Dept of War Studies, Kings College London:
http://www.strifeblog.org/2018/08/02/henry-a-wounded-soldier-forgotten-by-all-in-an-american-jail-by-all-except-his-brothers-who-fell-beside-him-in-vietnam-part-i/

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Image courtesy National Military Family Association. Accessed on-line 5 Oct 2018. http://www.militaryfamily.org/kids-operation-purple/deployment.html
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