Social Support Throughout the Deployment Cycle for Women Veterans Returning From Iraq and Afghanistanedit
Social support throughout the deployment cycle and the challenges of readjustment to civilian life for veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom were explored. Eighteen participants from the New England and Indiana Veterans Administration catchment area were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. All participants identified perceptions of social support but their utilization of these supports was compromised due to the need to protect family and friends from the strain of war, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Resilience, fortitude, and commitment to their military mission were evidenced by all the women of this study. Implications for future service delivery are identified.