Military Divorce Rate Climbs Again

Stress of war, deployments takes toll at home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 27, 2009 3:45 PM CST
Hundreds of New Jersey National Guard soldiers march in a parade through downtown Trenton, N.J., June 12, 2009, to honor their return from Iraq.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(Newser) – The divorce rate in the armed forces increased slightly again in the past year as military marriages continued to bear the stress of the nation's ninth year at war. In the 2009 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, there were an estimated 27,312 divorces among the nearly 765,000 married members of the active-duty Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, according to figures provided by the Pentagon today.

That's a divorce rate of about 3.6%, compared with 3.4% a year earlier. Marriages among reservists failed at a rate of 2.8%, up from 2.7%, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center. "The changes from 2008 to 2009 are relatively small," said a Defense Department spokeswoman. Still, the figures show a slow but steady upward trend in recent years. "The force is under tremendous stress, and that stress finds its way into marriages," said a Veterans of Foreign Wars rep.

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