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Abilene Woman Studies Unique Aspect of Veteran Life

How is social support for military spouses?
Meet Joy Henderson. She is a therapist in training. She is used helping people on a regular basis, but now, she is steering her help in a new direction.

"I think there's no family without problems and i think bringing attention to this group of people, I think it's going to help," says Henderson.

As a military spouse of 29 years she has dealt with deployment on several occasions and knows the impact it has on a family, including hers.

"It's extremely difficult," she says.

During the nineties, many researchers began studying the lives of those who fight to protect our country.

Henderson explains, "They've looked at it a lot in veterans and they know if a veteran comes home to a good environement at home, then they'll have better outcomes."

But what about their spouses? The people who support them when they return from war.

"Is she having help whenever, you know, whether it's while he's gone, or whether he comes home? Does she feel like there are people out there who understand her and understand what she's going through?" Henderson asks.

Not much attention has been dedicated to this aspect of social support, which is why Henderson is focusing on it.

She continues, "Sometimes the veteran, the husband, or the spouse, comes home from a war and they're going well, where do I fit in to this?"

Through a spouse and veteran survey, Henderson will use the data to draw conclusions to help explore the usefulness of existing programs and understand the environment of military families.

"I would expect that the less that the spouse is supported, that there would be not as good outcomes in veterans," she says.

That is her expectation and now only weeks stand between her and the truth about what spouses really combat emotionally when their husbands and wives return from combat, on the front lines.

To participate in the study, you can click this link for the survey.  

or visit their Facebook page.
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