Spotty communication, uncertainty raise anxiety for families of soldiers deployed near Ukraine

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Anxiety is climbing as the war in Ukraine marches on. For Fort Bragg families with their loved ones deployed, there's a lot of uncertainty about how long they'll be there.

"This type of event that we are dealing with right now is not like anything we have dealt with before," said Army wife Emily Damboise.

She has been through several deployments in her 17-year marriage to a soldier. She stayed home and founds ways to keep her worry in check while raising their children.

There is now a fear of Russia's continuous brutal assault on Ukraine.

Damboise said you don't always know what's going on over there.

"Communication is cut off for some families. They don't have electronic devices so not hearing from them can heighten those stress levels," said Damboise.

Another question looming is how soon will troops from the 82nd Airborne return home.

"We start to going into a thinking trap, and we might spiral a little bit, and that can affect our mental health. Also, if you don't have children, you may feel isolated. And if you do have children, dealing with the stress of taking care of them and they're going through different ways of how to handle this," said Damboise.

April is designated as Month of the Military Child.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic is one resource for families looking for professional help.

The nonprofit says as the conflict in Ukraine evolves, disturbing images and troubling stories can really impact kids.

Military families are being encouraged to look out for changes in behavior, create grounding or calming environments, and don't be dismissive of their child's fears or concerns.

Damboise said support groups within her husband's brigade are helping her through this hard time.

"Their fears and concerns and their feelings and emotions are validated, but we're here to help them cope with those. We are a resource on a rescue," said Damboise.
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