The Lingering Stress of War for Military Families

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Steve Mumford, Untitled. Arkansas National Guardsman Jerry Holland on foot patrol on Haifa Street, Baghdad, Iraq. November 2004. Steve Mumford, Untitled. Arkansas National Guardsman Jerry Holland on foot patrol on Haifa Street, Baghdad, Iraq. November 2004. (Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC)

This week The Takeaway is exploring the individual and collective experience of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in America as we enter the long aftermath of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We've noted that more than 1 in 5 of the 2 million-plus combat veterans from those wars suffer from some symptoms of PTSD.  Last year alone, 349 military personnel committed suicide—close to one a day—a number that exceeds the number of combat deaths in Afghanistan last year, which stood at 295.

While there are many reasons behind those suicides, the stress of war lingers not just with our veterans but with their families as well.

Take Vivian Greentree, Director of Research and Policy for Blue Star Families, for example. Vivian's husband Mike is frequently on deployment. Their son M.J. sees many families who deal with issues related to PTSD, and they themselves, like all military families, constantly deal with the daily stresses of military life. Vivian and M.J. join the program to share their experience.

Watch a video interview with Vivian here: 



M.J. Greentree and Vivian Greentree

Produced by:

Jen Poyant and Jillian Weinberger


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]

Judith Sanders from NC

Thank you for this story and highlighting the impact of deployment on families as well as our soldiers in harms way. The interview with Vivian was wonderful and the use of the "cut out" picture was especially touching. You and your readers should check out, a charity dedicated to military families. HA has a network of professional photographers who take photos of soldiers (and their families) as they prepare to deploy & provide copies to the families as well as high quality laminated copies for the soldiers to have with them. I support this charity thru sales of my novel "In His Stead--A Father's War" a story of a father taking his son's place in Afghanistan. The website is

Aug. 08 2013 08:26 AM

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