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It’s not over till it’s over

Sharing memories at the home front

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It’s not over till it’s over

Sharing memories at the home front

Rechten:

Samenvatting

Deployments, such as the ones to Uruzgan, do not end when service members return home. For an extensive period of time, they have performed their jobs in a hazardous environment, with ambushes and violent attacks and the risk of being wounded or even killed. They may also have witnessed violation of human rights of the local population. It is not always easy to ‘turn the switch’ to a whole new reality, such as a safe environment like home. Meanwhile, family members have also lived their own experiences. After reunion, it is vital to bridge the gap between the two different worlds of experiences and reality. In particular, sharing memories contributes to that bridge. It sounds so easy, but why can this be so hard? This chapter addresses the issue of sharing memories from the perspectives of both service members and their spouses, starting with casuistry. The chapter proceeds with a brief description of separation and homecoming experiences. Subsequently, we address couples’ communications and sharing experiences during and after being physically separated and unravel various themes that may hinder sharing memories, e.g., feelings of guilt and shame. Finally, we describe why it is so important to share memories in rebuilding a common life and world of shared experiences. This chapter is grounded in general literature and relates that to the mission in Uruzgan by using empirical data collected during recent research of both authors, who surveyed and interviewed veterans, service members, and their families who were confronted with military deployment. Andres (2010) surveyed Dutch service members and their partners before, during, and after military deployment, including a deployment to Afghanistan (among them, a number of 215, 117, and 107 couples participated in the study before, during, and after a deployment to Uruzgan). Additionally, 103 interviews have been held with a subsample of the partners. Rietveld (2009) studied guilt and shame among 1,170 Dutch veterans of fourteen peace operations, including deployments to Afghanistan, based on a survey. The data and quotations used in this chapter represent the experiences of Dutch service members and veterans who served in Uruzgan and the experiences of their partners, regarding the topics discussed.

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Trefwoorden
OrganisatieNederlandse Defensie Academie
Gepubliceerd inMission Uruzgan : Collaborating in Multiple Coalitions for Afghanistan Pallas Publications, Amsterdam, Pagina's: 295-307
Jaar2012
TypeBoekdeel
TaalEngels

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