SUPPORT SYSTEMS: PART ONE – FAMILY
A veteran’s service and transition not only affects the veteran, but their family members and friends as well. During these times, it is crucial to have a support system for the veteran and their loved ones. A support system is unique to the individual, their situation, and their relationships, whether it be in the form of a family member, a friend, or even a unique relationship between a possible community member. Throughout the month of August, CVN will share a series of stories focusing on different types of veteran support systems. These compelling stories come from the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative. Today we would like to share two stories of family support: Papsy & Griselda and Scott & Zach.
Papsy served for thirteen months in Iraq and struggled to leave her family behind. Meanwhile, her daughter, Griselda, had a difficult time being away from her mother. “I felt really sad and Dad, he had to try and be the mom and the dad mostly, but he couldn’t all the time. So, he always had to have me be the mom a lot.” Papsy’s deployment temporarily changed the family dynamic and caused her daughter and husband to acclimate while she was away. Upon her return, Papsy and Griselda bonded over their feelings from when Papsy was away.
Another parent-child relationship that highlights the importance of family support through transition are Scott and Zach. When Scott’s son, Zach, returned from Iraq he suffered from PTSD and struggled to transition back to civilian life. It was difficult for Scott to see his son in so much pain. However, as Zach got better, Scott enjoyed being able to support his son and watch him succeed. Scott shares, “It is your life, so you have the last word. But then as your Dad, that gives me the second to the last word. And the second to the last word is I believe in you, and I’m on your side.”
By Deirdre Heneghan
CVN Summer Associate, Communications & Marketing