Train military families on psychological first aid, make it "normal" like CPR is.
What if Combat Operational Stress First Aid were marketed and trained the same way CPR is...normal "first aid" that anyone can learn. Knowing what to do, what can be done, what not to do, would give military families tools to succeed. Start providing the information on day one of boot camp...or even better, hand out "First Aid" info at the recruiting stations. Don't wait until PreDeployment or even worse, until they come home from deployment. Military families understand that their service members are at war. There is no need to limit this training to only Chaplains, Medical staff or Command leadership. Spouses and Parents are the front lines of support for America's service members. We know we are at war, we are patriots too...please help us obtain the training and tools we need to do our job.
Dan Lark commented
Would be very valuable tool. The internet helps to do research to recognize certain symptoms, but the question is what do you do then? Encourage the family member to seek counseling. Offer an ear to bend? Ignore and let him figure it out. My brother internalized his experiences in Vietnam for 10+ years. I could not begin to imagine what traumatic images he was trying to get out of his head as he often 'self medicated'. Then in 1998 he offered to tell me what brains looked like. We proceeded to discuss why he knew what they looked like. Almost 30 years after the experience he had total recall of the event. I guess that's what traumatic events do. All I could do was listen to as much as he wanted to share.
Knowing what to do, what not to do and what to do next could have helped ..both of us.