Together, We Serve

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


Families have been reported to act as a system, in which the family overall is greater than any one individual. Keeping this in mind, this research examines the ways in which the everyday lives of military families are constantly being restructured. In essence, the military family is also serving with the service member. Past studies have examined the relationship between deployment and stress being brought upon military families, but fails to exemplify the ways in which the struggles endured during deployment result in the strengthening of the families’ resilience. In this case, my research will serve as additional analysis on military families and the impacts that deployment has on them, with a focus on resilience, which is the ability that an individual has to deal with adverse situations. As a result this research seeks to answer the question “What are the impacts of deployment of a family member on the immediate family members?” This question is answered through eleven 15-30 minute interviews with immediate family members of service members, from different branches of the military. The research focuses on feelings of displacement, being misunderstood, and underappreciated; along with the stress that is brought on by role variations in the home. The research then focuses on explaining the ways in which the military culture influences the amount of resilience that these families form as a result of their encounter with deployment. Results suggest that while experiences of deployment have negative effects on the families, at the same time there is a sense of pride and community which strengthen the families’ ability to deal with adverse situations.


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