During his year in Iraq, Army Maj. Thomas Murphy would video-chat on Skype with his wife and two daughters almost daily. “You could break away from the monotony of everyday stress and feel like you’re back home for a bit,” said Murphy, who is now stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
The connection made his deployment more bearable and eased his return home about a month ago, especially with the couple’s 2- and 4-year-old daughters, he and his wife, Bianca, said.
“He was part of their day-to-day life, so there was no adjustment that this was some stranger in a uniform,” Bianca Murphy said.
Social media networks and fast Internet connections in remote parts of the world are revolutionizing what it means to be deployed to a war zone or other post, experts say. Researchers are only beginning to assess the impact on the military and the home front, both during and after a deployment. Although some see the access to family as a positive, there is some concern that it can also be a distraction.
“No other military in the history of warfare has had that level of access to their families,” said Benjamin Karney, a social psychologist at University of California Los Angeles, who studies marriage and family relationships in the military.
Karney and three other researchers recently began a three-year study for the Department of Defense to track how 8,000 military families handle stress before, during and after deployments.
Read more at USA Today.