LO and Big Layoffs LO5485

William J. Hobler, Jr. (bhobler@cpcug.org)
Thu, 8 Feb 1996 17:04:09 -0500

Replying to LO5412 --

Rol Fessenden wrote

With respect to the Navy's nomadic lifestyle on the children Rol asked
> My question is what is the _net_ societal impact across
>all families. Not, what does one family experience.

After raising 4 children in the Navy and dealing with the families and
their children of 'my' people (crew members). I have some opinion and
perhaps 'sea stories'.

Up front I believe that the dislocation of families and its effects are
common to all professions, crafts and lines of work. The children are
often dragged along as so much baggage -- which IMHO is the root cause of
the children's problem. I stand in awe of my wife's perception and hard
work to include our children in every move we made, to pay attention to
their dislocation and to mitigate it. She made our family a small caring

I am aghast at the lack of attention to children's welfare in our society in
general. I could go on for pages.

> General perceptions, however, are
>that enforced separations, lack of community, and so on, make the
>challenges more difficult for the Navy folks.

I think you have tapped one additional problem faced by military families,
that of separation of a parent for long periods of time on top of
dislocation. This makes for an unstable environment.

It is interesting to me to see that many otherwise smart professionals are
choosing to be separated from their family and children. They must be
valuing their work or compensation more than their contribution to their
childrens' quality of life. I wonder how many professionals, male and
female, even think seriously about the subject.

>The Navy does a wonderful job providing support for families that have to
>deal with the stresses associated with the job. Unfortunately, no one provides
>these support systems for the non-military migrants.

I think that some multinational firms provide support for their migrant
families. I worked in Saudi Arabia some years ago and the big oil
companies seemed to have programs to assist their employee families.
Moreover, the developments in which these workers lived were communities
that helped each other.

> ... of other families that
>have the same experiences, and they provide a built-in community of people
>who can help each other cope with stresses. Where does the non-military
>family find these supports?


>The same shared community is available to the military kids. where do the
>non-military kids find these supports?

Your right, the military community in general support each other in
moving. We have been assisted by Army and Air Force people in settling
into a new community.

I would suggest that the community of your local church, synagog, temple
as a source of assistance. I can see the same sort of support being given
by the immigrant ethnic groups.

Isn't the common factor a community of shared experience? How do we
encourage community spirit in this diverse world? Are we separating
groups of people (families) and digging our society's grave?

>Based on my experience, the military life highlights some of the
>challenges facing migrant families. But what do other people think?

The Military community also models some ways of meeting the challenges. I
have purposely chosen to emphasize the word community in this response.
IMHO much is possible in communities that care for each other. Forming
such communities is one outcome of this type of dialog -- would that we
all carry these principles into our local communities.

Have you ever carried a casserole to a family unloading a moving van?

Have you offered to polish shoes for a family preparing to go to the
funeral of a close relative?

How about mowing the lawn for that 75 year old widow (or widower) down the

Don't we build community by actions that show we care?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's better at sea  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
bhobler@cpcug.org                         Still a Submariner
     William J. Hobler, Jr.               Preferably Bill
Learning ensures an exciting future, for yourself, for your 
family, friends, and colleagues.  Buy some insurance, ask a 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   ~ ; )  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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