Strong family bonds are vital for navy personnel
They are the ones on the front line putting their lives at risk to defend their country. But the families of men and women in the armed forces are having to make huge sacrifices too.
It has been revealed this week that military families are being torn apart due to time living away.
Heads of three military support federations told MPs on the government’s influential defence select committee of their fears about the strain being put upon military families because they do not see each other because of the pressures of the job.
It is easy to forget service men and women have husbands, wives and children at home.
And those familial bonds are often what enable them to do such demanding, tough jobs.
But when those bonds are broken and families are torn apart, the cost not only to the individuals but the military and the wider community are huge.
That’s why steps taken by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) to work with relationship counselling charity Relate are so important. Families in crisis need support but the thought of speaking to someone face-to-face can be daunting and put people off seeking help at all.
Counsellors at Relate have put together an online programme couples can work through when they are having problems, before they get any worse.
It can be used by both serving and former personnel from within the naval service.
And it covers everything from intimacy to parenthood and military life.
The online service is in addition to the free phone and face-to-face counselling offered by the RNRMC
It is vital those family bonds are strengthened and there is help for service families before splits get too deep.
We owe it to the armed forces to invest in their families’ emotional wellbeing.