VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
How Have the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Impacted the Troops
Judith J. Mathewson
Two specific populations of these war fighters, the Army and Air National Guard, are America’s “Citizen Soldiers” and “Citizen Airmen.” In past wars and conflicts, they were deployed for a short period of time or were involved in state missions to include search and rescue efforts, snow or ice storms, flooding, fires, or other national emergencies, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Irene. The Reserve and National Guard members are typically have a part-time commitment to the military and their transition from civilian-military-civilian makes it more challenging to gain access to services and having a supportive environment (Werber et al., 2008). National Guard and Reserve members are disproportionally at risk for mental health problems, with reservists more likely to need mental healthcare services following deployment (Schell & Marshall, 2008; Werber at al., 2008). Those who deploy may experience additional stressors on themselves, their families, their jobs, and their communities. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen sometimes received orders at the last possible minute, placing a greater strain on part-time military members and employers, and potentially lost their civilian jobs due to numerous deployments. Despite laws that support military members through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program, during this faltering economy, these veterans are more at risk for unemployment than those not serving in the military (ESGR Program Seeks, 2004.).