ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS AFFECTING MILITARY MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Identity theft – fraudulently obtaining benefits by pretending to be a different person.
FMLA – Family and Medical Leave Act.
cc – measure of engine power.
Military life is very demanding especially in cases where family is involved. It is said that there are many opportunities in the military with the advantage of traversing the whole world in the course of duty or even taking pride in saving human life. For a military woman, a lot of patience and perseverance is required in a field flooded with members of the opposite sex (Perdew, 2007). A look into the military family could leave so much to be undesired in this career. Most military personnel would only wish to quit when they think of their families left behind. Most don’t even have families due to the nature of their duties. The life of the military and their families call for a lot of sacrifice.
Issues facing military families:
Military families are very challenging to maintain than the normal families. This paper will elaborate on what expectations a normal family would have and ways to achieve this. Based on this, a comparison to the military family will be drawn and recommendations put forth.
The family basic needs are universal despite the different age groups involved. Physical needs include need for water air, sex and sleep. Emotional needs would encompass security, love and trust while social need is the need for friendship and companionship. Intellectual needs encompasses all the needs that stimulate the mind and poses a challenge to the mind. Spiritual need would be the desire to know and believe in some power that is higher than oneself. Lastly, creative need refers to the need to expression in the way desired. These needs are all part of every human being and require fulfilment at all times.
The military motorcycles are not the common motorcycles seen with ordinary people on the streets. They are tailor made with higher engine capacities, even greater than 600cc. They have their engines designed for racing, with their body parts made of lightweight material. They easily maneuver even tough terrains (Philips, 2008). Adequate knowledge on swerving and braking is mandatory. With the new technologies in the industry, military officers have been exposed to accidents. The Navy and Marine corps have been notorious with motorbike accidents (Phillips, 2008). They simply ignore the capabilities of these high performance machinery.
The economy of the world over has been on the down trend. Citizens are forced to engage in crime at a worrying trend. Those endorsed with the duty of fighting crime, the military, have been victims more times than not. Due to easy accessibility to sophisticated firearms, these criminals have been a real threat to the security of the military.
Just like the common folks, the members of the military too are hard hit by the poor economy. They to even compromise their duties and code of ethics to make that extra dollar. It is therefore no news that a military officer is involved crime. They take bribes and engage in criminal activities if only to supplement their meagre pay and put that daily bread on their tables. The military families too are on the limelight of criminals who seek revenge on military officers who arrest them on the wrong. Cordial relationships between the military families and other normal families fail as a result.
Normally, the prices of commodities inside the soldiers posts are lower compared to those in the normal market. This helps the military meet their needs and be comfortable in their service. However, due to the poorly performing economy, this is not the case currently. The governments have failed to meet this demand. This has led the military to go out of their posts and look for accomplices outside who would provide these commodities at compromised prices.
Many military officers have had their identities used by criminals for their personal benefits. These identity cards have been modified and used to rob people of cash and other valuables. When these criminals pose as the military officers, they access even areas considered highly secretive and guarded. The military officers who are victims of this identity theft could end up being suspended from job or worse still end up in prison leaving behind their families helplessly behind. The Internet has led to an influx in this crime.
According to Martin et al. (2007), little has been studied on spouse abuse amongst the military. The constant deployments of military officers negatively impact on their family lives. They are forced to keep migrating which inhibits growth of their children. It also discourages the military men to invest. It reaches a point where their spouses opt out of the migrating cycle and are left behind as their military spouses go wherever deployed for duty. This leads to lack of responsibility and they end up neglecting their families especially if the period of deployments are long and frequent. In a way, their marital life ends up being wounded.
Popular military reporters like Short D. have focussed on other issues like military medicine at the expense of military family values. However, some few have been critical on this issue. Perdew (2007) for instance studied the lives of military spouses. In her publications, she attributes most of the income in a military family to the civilian spouse. It is also revealed that the military spouses’ unemployment rate at 10% is higher than the national rate in the US. According to these studies, the military families are tired since the Global War on Terror began in 2001 which is associated with repeated long deployments. This has made it difficult for the working spouses to meet their professional and family obligations at the same time (p. 4). Some of these spouses thus end up quitting their jobs. In other cases, the children are left under an identified custodian. It becomes difficult for them to offer the needed care and the military child’s growth is affected, especially school going children.
To solve these problems, FMLA should be modified to allow for four hours per month where the military families attend school functions (Perdew, 2007). The economic impact of family members who remain by the bedside of the wounded military men too should be looked into by the congress. The military officers should be trained on safety precautions when using motorbikes. Speed lies with the throttle hand of the rider. It is upon the rider to take personal responsibility for any eventualities. Accountability also comes in the association of these military personnel with any criminals or civilians. To discourage identity theft, stiff penalties should be introduced. In France for instance, these thieves are imprisoned for 5 years or fined €75,000. The frequency of deployment should be minimized and the periods shortened in the best possible ways. Lastly, the pay of the military should be enough to cushion them from the poor economic situations lest they engage in criminal activities.
Just to echo the ideas of Perdew (2007), the military families serve along the service members. This life requires a lot of sacrifice and willingness to deal with challenges. There is no option to caring for these families. The necessary amendments should be done to not only provide the necessary benefits to the military families but also validate and recognize their service and sacrifice.
Martin, L.S., Gibbs, D.A., Johnson, R.E., Rentz E.D., Clinton-Sherrod, M., ; Hardison J. (July, 2007). Spouse Abuse and Child Abuse by Army Soldiers. Springer Science. University of North Carolina, USA.
Moini, Joy S., Zellman, Gail L. ; Gates, Susan M. (2007). Providing Childcare to Military Families: The Role of the Demand Formula in Defining Need and Informing Policy. Rand Corporation.
Perdew J. (2007). House Workforce Protection. National Military Family Association, Inc. Alexandria. pp. 3-7.
Philips A. (2008). New Military Sport Bike Training Unveiled in Norfolk. Naval Safety Center Public Affairs.