At a conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, PAIRS CEO Seth Eisenberg shared lessons from the frontlines of the battle to help America's returning warriors succeed in the mission to preserve and protect their marriages and families after combat deployment.
A veteran Navy chaplain confided the surge of emotions and thoughts experienced as his helicopter landed amidst fierce enemy fire. “My thoughts immediately turned to loved ones far away. Had I told them everything that needed to be said? Had I let them know how much they meant to me? Were we complete with each other?” At a PAIRS Retreat, hundreds of deploying soldiers and spouses talk about death and loss as they learn to more fully embrace life and each other.
The funeral of Scott Jirtle, 29, reminds us of the daily sacrifices of military families and our sacred trust to the loved ones they leave behind.
Marriage education programs are becoming increasingly important to helping returning veterans strengthen family life after combat deployment. Veterans Administration and Pentagon officials are encouraging efforts to expand evidence-based programs nationwide. A training next month in San Diego will prepare Chaplains and behavioral health specialists from more than a dozen states to lead retreats for veteran couples throughout the country.
Along with hours in skills training to prepare for new careers, couples separated as a result of employment changes are increasingly turning to the Internet for help sustaining long-distance relationships. Marriage educators are embracing technology to bring evidence-based skills training online.
A study reveals children from military families impacted by deployment are experiencing above-average levels of emotional and behavioral difficulties. New programs are teaching couples to understand emotions, confide, deepen empathy, strengthen attachment and bonding as the foundation for helping children and preserving marriages.
With California facing a continued fiscal emergency and budget cuts reducing vital services to children, immigrants, prisoners, schools and others, two of the nation’s leading marriage education proponents are teaming up to strengthen families and neighborhoods.