Combat exposure, psychological symptoms, and marital satisfaction in National Guard soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 to 2006.Anxiety Stress Coping. 2009 Jan; 22(1):101-15.AS
In current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, US National Guard (NG) troops are serving longer deployments than ever before. Little is known, however, about how such deployments affect this population of individuals, relative to active component (AC) troops. This study investigated the extent of combat exposure, severity of post-deployment psychological symptoms, and general interpersonal functioning, as well as the interrelationships of these variables, in 50 NG soldiers who served a 12-month deployment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006. The results indicate that combat exposure and post-deployment post-traumatic stress symptoms in this sample are greater than those in NG veterans of past military operations, and similar to those of full-time soldiers in current operations. Furthermore, the patterns of interrelationships between combat exposure, psychological symptoms, and interpersonal variables were similar to those detected in prior research on AC troops. These results suggest that NG veterans of current military operations may require similar services as active duty veterans. Given that NG troops are less integrated into the military structure, specific outreach efforts may be needed to help NG veterans to receive such services.