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Combat Social WorkApplying the Lessons of War to the Realities of Human Services$
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Charles R. Figley, Jeffrey S. Yarvis, and Bruce A. Thyer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190059439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190059439.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Combat Social Work in Afghanistan, 2010–2011

Combat Social Work in Afghanistan, 2010–2011

An Interview with Thomas Stokes

(p.163) 7 Combat Social Work in Afghanistan, 2010–2011
Combat Social Work

Thomas J. Stokes

Naomi North

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an interview with a combat social worker who shares his experience of deployment to Afghanistan, initially assigned to the 344th Combat Support Hospital, U.S. Army Reserve. In Afghanistan, the author was attached to the Medical Combat Stress Control Detachment 1 and forward deployed as a combat social worker to Forward Operating Base Gardez. The author breaks down deployment into phases and describes the operational stress associated with each phase for deployed personnel and their families. As a result of their service, military personnel and their families undergo interpersonal and cultural transformations, including the development of profound relationships. This chapter points out the effects of loneliness, social isolation, and cultural disconnect on members of the military community as they navigate civilian society. The author offers lessons learned to social workers practicing with members of the military community, including preventing problems before they occur and viewing members of the military community through a sociocultural lens.

Keywords:   combat social work, CSW, isolation, loneliness, military–civilian gap, military family, military culture, operational stress, phases of deployment, resilience

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