Did you know? "Pregnant military wives are three times more likely to have a preterm birth or suffer postpartum depression if their spouses are deployed during the entire pregnancy, compared to those whose spouse are serving stateside.” -Healthday 2015
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Rungee/ Released
Memorial Day to many represent an opportunity to gather with friends & family to celebrate the start of summer. We may give a brief moment of silence to remember soldiers who have passed away but then we move on to fill stomachs will all sorts of bbq goodies and baked sweets. Some don’t realize that Memorial Day is a day to honor military personnel who have died while on active duty. These are the people who did not get to say a final goodbye to their families, the ones who missed their children growing up or even being born and the ones whose families may not have been prepared to survive without them.
According to research conducted by the Lucas group and cited on FallenPatriots.org,
over the past 35 years nearly 20,000 dependents have been left behind by troops killed
in the line of military duty. Many surviving families struggle to make ends meet with 60%
of surviving spouses making less than $50,000 per year. Of the 20,000 depedents left behind, 27% are children under the 5 years of age. What are we doing as community members to honor these families who have made a great sacrifice to our country? When I say honor, I don’t mean just saying thank you or sending them a casserole to show our appreciation. I mean what are we doing to help these families thrive after suffering such a loss that was somewhat unexpected?
A 2015 Healthday article states that, “pregnant military wives are three times mor likely to have a preterm birth or suffer postpartum depression if their spouses are deployed during the entire pregnancy, compared to those whose spouse are serving stateside.” In the same Healthday article, Dr. Christopher Tarney, a U.S. Army captain and and obstetrician/gynecologist with Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C, state that “women also might be stressed out because they are going through pregnancy without the support of their spouse, and often without other family or friends around to help.”
So this Memorial Day, instead of just stopping for a brief moment of silence in between
eating your sweet corn and hot dogs here are a few things you could do to honor the families of fallen soldiers:
Get involved in organizations such as Support Military Spouses.
Share information from sites like Real Warriors on your social media sites.
Donate to causes such as Fallen Patriots that provides scholarships to children of fallen soldiers.
If you are a Doula, get involved in Operation Special Delivery once it is done being renovated.
If you know a military family: offer to mow their lawn, provide childcare, be a good nonjudgmental friend and allow them to cry on your shoulder without trying to offer advice or better yet just be there!
The Thriving with Baby family would like to give a huge thank you to all of the families
who have lost a loved one while in active duty. If we can offer you any kind of support
please let us know. Happy Memorial Day !!
Thompson, D. (August 6,2015). For Pregnant Military Wives, Risks Rise if Partner
Deployed. Retrieved May 30, 2016, from http://consumer.healthday.com/mental-health-
information-25/depression- news-176/pregnancy- and-deployment- 702063.html
The Lucas Group research Retrieved May 30, 2016, from www.fallenpatriots.org