Posted June 4th, 2009 by Leo Shane, in Stripes Central
It’s hardly an official survey, but spouses from each of the services testified before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee late Wednesday about the top headaches and heartaches they’re experiencing with today’s military. The high rate of deployments was obviously the biggest challenge facing most families: Sheila Casey, the wife of Army Gen. George Casey Jr., said wives and children she spoke with are “stretched and stressed” by the time spent separated from their servicemembers. Problems transferring children from school to school and finding inexpensive child care still persist. And those at the hearing said better mental health services are needed, both for returning troops and their families left behind. But the biggest target at the hearing was on Tricare, and specifically the wait many military families face in actually seeing a doctor. Some spouses said they are seeing two-week waits in non-emergency medical services on base, if the installation physicians will see family members at all. Jennifer Mancini, wife of Navy Petty officer Steven Mancini, said officials at Norfolk Naval Base will only allow one symptom per visit, to process patients more quickly.