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Military Spouses Discuss Coping With Death of Loved Ones

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON — Losing a loved one is something most people do not like to talk about. Tuesday, military spouses confronted the possibility head on so if it ever happens to them, they will know how to cope and where to turn for support.

It is a dangerous world right now for military personnel, and experts say this relatively peaceful time is the best time to bring up the difficult subject.

North Carolina's military forces are among the best in the world, but what they do every day is dangerous whether it is deployment overseas or training at home.

That is why a group of military spouses is gathering to talk about how to go on if their loved ones are killed.

"Not only helping the family, but also finding out ways to help each other and to help the unit and to provide support for those who are providing support for the family," said Nancy Mayo, family support counselor.

Talking about death is unpleasant, but it is necessary. Personnel fromFort BraggandPope Air Force Baseare already helping in the Kosovo effort, and Seymour Johnson could get the call any day.

Experts say now is the time to talk about coping, before it is needed.

"Statistically, the likelihood of anything occurring is very, very slim, but sometimes just understanding how to help when a tragedy does strike eases the mind a little," said Bonnie Carroll, support group founder.

After decades of relative peace, some spouses say it is tough to think about casualties in Kosovo or anywhere else. But, the threat is always there any time America goes to war.

"In the back of your mind, you always know that there is that possibility. As a military spouse, you accept that," said military spouse Laura Clark.

Of course, the spouses say no one can be entirely prepared for coping with the loss of a loved one, but they do say they can make some effort.


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