This chapter is part of the book ‘Military life: the psychology of serving in peace and conflict’.
This book reveals the psychological challenges facing men and women in the armed forces, from the emotional after-effects of being a prisoner of war or mistakenly killing civilians, to the daily mental battles faced by single parents struggling to meet their children's needs while serving in the military. With global commitments and combat duty, our armed forces face life-threatening challenges on a daily basis. However, less visible threats also impact the mental health of our military men and women. Experts examine challenges on the battlefield, such as women coming to terms with life after being prisoners of war, or soldiers dealing with mistakenly killing civilians. But life in the armed forces presents less dramatic, daily challenges. Away from the front lines, soldiers have to raise their families, sometimes as single parents. Children have to learn what it's like to be in a military family, and to make sense of war. Gay or lesbian officers cope with a don't ask, don't tell policy. An unprecedented range of contributors—military officers, medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and professors—take us onto the bases and the battlefields and inside the minds of military personnel who face far greater challenges than most of us ever see in the headlines.