“War is one of the most traumatic experiences known to humanity.”
—Matsaki, 2007, p. 35
In the United States, war is a declaration made by Congress to opposing countries or forces. Combat refers to the activities executed in war. Military personnel are trained to respond to any combat situation—any military order that requires personnel to deploy into hostile territory at a moment’s notice. This is the military’s primary duty. What is seen, heard, and experienced in such a situation is unique and often traumatizes military personnel. Think about what it might be like for a Marine to “put down” (kill) someone for the first time. What might it be like to be standing with your fellow soldier having a social conversation one minute only to see him killed by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) the next? What is it like to be injured in combat and to return home with missing limbs?
These are experiences most civilians will never have, and they may have difficulty understanding the depth of the experiences’ impact on various aspects of an individual’s life. There is a common saying about war and combat in military culture: “For those who were there, no explanation is needed. For those who were not, no explanation is possible.”
In studying the work of a helping professional in your particular discipline, you may have explored the impact of trauma on individuals and their loved ones. As a helping professional preparing to support the needs of military personnel, you must prepare to address the needs of men and women who have engaged in combat. You also need to consider how an individual’s war and combat experience can impact the family.
For this Discussion, you address how war and combat may affect service men and women and their families, as well as how the experience of war and combat may vary among military branches.
Post a description of one psychological, one physical, and one emotional effect of war and combat on military personnel and their families. Explain your perspective on how the experience or effect of war and combat might vary among the branches of the military. Support your response with the resources or current literature. Finally, explain how you might use this information as a helping professional.
Be sure to support your post with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.
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