War is the most debilitating and disastrous phenomenon that a person may experience. To make the situation even worse, it is normally characterized by increased levels of poverty, disease, ignorance, social crime and poor governance. Children and women who find themselves in war are usually the most disadvantaged because they are unable to scramble for the few resources available during a war. In addition, there is always a risk of young boys being forced to become child soldiers while girls and women are forced into prostitution. These issues notwithstanding, ignorant and naïve individuals may think that success in war and increased militarization is a sign of might and bravery. As shown in the movie Bud’s Recruit by King Vidor, the female actor who is the wife of the deployed soldier is stressed by this event while his son is happy. Arguably, the son does not know of the dangers of war while the lady is aware of them since she has experienced the disastrous effects of World War I.
Recently, there has been an increase in militarization and wars in the world. Cases of terrorism are now common in countries that were previously terror free such as Germany, France, and the USA. With this increase in civil wars and terrorist activities in the world, now more than ever before, there has been an increase in the deployment of soldiers in war-torn countries peacekeeping missions, to conduct anti-terror wars, and to secure strategic national resources. And although these reasons are good, there is always a concern for the welfare of the families of the deployed soldier, the soldier, and the society at large. Generally, participation in war is highly traumatizing and combatants are at a constant risk of injuries and potential loss of life. Moreover, some of them end up being prisoners of war (POW), where they are subjected to torture.
In various research papers, it has been found that many veterans and soldiers have psychological problems. Most notable is the case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among prisoners of war. The stress that war creates stresses past the soldier who has been deployed to a war zone to his/ her family. Wartime presents real threats that create anxiety among these individuals. Further, spouses of military personnel are always faced with the challenge of being both a father and mother figure to the children. Despite playing these roles, the spouse who is at home experiences loneliness, anxiety, fatigue, and isolation.
According to Christina et al., deployment to war zones can severe marriages and result in divorces. In particular, deployments result in significant relationship strain due to factors such as the long period of separation and reduced emotional and physical intimacy. These issues normally lead to infidelity among couples. In a 2005 research conducted by Allen et al. there was a strikingly high rate of infidelity among military officials who were deployed for between 6 and 9 months. The infidelity rates were 22.9% while the annual community estimates are between 1.5 and 4%. In addition, PTSD was associated with an increase in marital distress and a reduction in marital satisfaction among ex-POW. In particular, symptoms such as emotional numbing and avoidance were found to result in difficulties in intimacy.
Among children, war has a grueling and long-lasting impact on their lives. Since they are normally dependent on adult care, attention, and empathy, they may lack these provisions due to disruption of the war, loss of parents, and extreme pre-occupations by parents. As a result, the child may be in substitute care or end up being an “unaccompanied child” due to loss of adult protection. In addition, the children lose opportunities for education and may also get psychological and physical injuries, which may have long-term impacts. Just like other victims of war, children may lose their limbs, sight, and hearing ability. Others may be raped, witness their friends die, forced into prostitution, theft, or into joining military groups as child soldiers. Given the devastating nature of war, a study of its effects on families is important in formulating ways that may reduce direct and indirect warfare.
I propose to examine the effects of war on families because I want to find out how families of members of the armed forces handle traumatic incidences that occur in various military activities. This research will enable me to understand ways that can be used to reduce tension and anxiety in families of military officers when their loved ones are deployed to various missions. The movie Bud’s Recruit by King Vidor in 1918 shows the tension and pressure that families face during war. In particular, it demonstrates the heightened stress levels and mixed feelings in families of military officers when they are deployed to various war zones in the world. (Words 874)
Barbara, J. “Impact of war on children and imperative to end war.” Croatian Medical Journal 47, no. 6, (2006): 891-894.
CBGP Silents. “1918-Bud’s Recruit.” 1918-Bud’s Recruit King Vidor – Judge Willis Brown. YouTube, 25:57 min., June 12, 2016.
Christina, Balderrama-Durbin; Kimberley, Stanton, Douglas K., Snyder; Jeffrey A., Cigrang; Talcott, G. Wayne; Slep, Amy M. Smith; Richard E., Heyman; Daniel G., Cassidy. “The risk for marital infidelity across a year-long deployment.” Journal of Family Psychology 1, (2017): 1-5.
Zerach, G., Greene, T., and Solomon, Z. “Secondary Traumatization and Marital Adjustment among Former Prisoners of War Wives.” Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspective on Stress & Coping, (2014):1-18.
 CBGP Silents. “1918-Bud’s Recruit.” 1918-Bud’s Recruit King Vidor – Judge Willis Brown. YouTube, 25:57 min., June 12, 2016.
 Zerach, G., Greene, T., and Solomon, Z. “Secondary Traumatization and Marital Adjustment among Former Prisoners of War Wives.” Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspective on Stress & Coping, (2014):1-18.
 Barbara, J. “Impact of war on children and imperative to end war.” Croatian Medical Journal 47, no. 6, (2006): 891-894.