Military deployments may be capped at 3 months

Gert-Jan Segers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Anne Paul Roukema). (Gert-Jan Segers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Anne Paul Roukema))

According to the ChristenUnie, the families of soldiers on mission must get more support. Soldiers must also not be deployed for longer than three months. This an help guarantee a better family life for them.

Coalition parties VVD and PvdA support this proposal.

According to ChristenUnie parliamentarian Gert-Jan Segers, relationship problems and divorces are much more common among the nearly 1,500 soldiers on mission than among ordinary families. With the support of the coalition parties, he will ask Defense today for extensive research into their home situations so that exact figures can be established.

At the moment this involves 1,428 soldiers on 20 larger - Mali, Iraq/Jordan, Afghanistan - and smaller missions. But Segers wants to also involve soldiers who participated in previous missions, bringing the total up to thousands of soldiers.

The purpose of the "home front check" is to identify and offer support for those who remain behind. This will hopefully create more resilient soldiers on a mission as they no longer have to worry about what is happening at home.

In anticipation of a response from Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert today in the Second Chamber, the Ministry of Defense announced last night they also find focus on the home front of deployed soldiers crucial. "Without support from the home front there is no mission, the minister always says. There fore there is a lot of attention on this: there are home days, good contact facilities and access to guidance and care if needed," says the Ministry.

For Segers that is not enough. "For military personnel there is already spiritual care and support, this is done much less for their families. It is easy to forget that they are not only soldiers, but also husbands and fathers."

Shortening the deployment period is one of the options. But even more care and counseling for the family and more contact options, such as Skype for the deployed troops with their children, can help.