Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Families feel stress of soldier deployments

Northwest Herald - Local News and Video for McHenry County, Illinois - Lyons: Families feel stress of soldier deployments:

..."I know that when I was deployed in Iraq, it was the hardest time in my mom’s life,” Brophy said. “My goal is to make it easier for others.”

So Brophy, with the assistance of local vet and veteran’s advocate Alan Belcher, wants to start up the Blue Star Group – a support organization for area family members whose loved ones have been deployed or are about to be deployed overseas. The name comes from blue-star banners that family members hang after soldiers are deployed.
Brophy said she often was approached by friends who had questions when a son, daughter or spouse was deployed.“Often they are quite nervous about what was going to happen to them and what they should expect,” Brophy said.People are confused about Army terms. They wonder what soldiers need and in some cases even how to talk to them.“One of the women said she read a letter from her son that said eight of the 10 men in his squad had died, and she didn’t know what to say to him any more,” Brophy said.Although the group is not limited to family members of reservists, Brophy said, they are more isolated than families who live near a military base and can lean on one another.“Their support network is very thin,” Brophy said. “They have no one to touch – to be able to look at in the eye to sympathize with them.”But they can find a place at the Blue Star Group.Brophy said she still was working on creating an e-mail address as a contact for the group. But in the meantime, the first meeting will be held Feb. 28 at the Woodstock VFW Post, 240 N. Throop St. • Kevin Lyons is the news editor for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at 815-459-4122 or via e-mail at kelyons@"

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