According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, the divorce rate for married service members increased by more than 38% from September 2001 to September 2009.
In 2001, the divorce rate for married service members was 2.6%. By 2008, the military divorce rate had increased to 3.4%. For 2009, that rate increased to 3.6%. The rate for military women is an astonishing 7.7%, while the rate for men is 3%.
According to Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, when a married couple is faced with "eight years of war, preparing for war, being at war, coming home and having to think about going back to war again — and when you have children — it just has a tremendous impact on the family unit."
April Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the department of defense, referred to the increase over last year as "relatively small." According to my math, the overall rate increased by 6% in a single year. If you told me my taxes were going up by 6%, I would not consider that increase "relatively small."
Some people criticize that the actual military divorce rate is much higher due to the inaccurate manner in which the defense department counts divorces as the difference each year between the number of married service members.
This would not come as a surprise, since a recent field survey in Iraq showed that nearly 22 percent of young combat soldiers questioned said they planned to get a divorce or separation. This is a 77% increase over 2003, when 12.4% of young combat soldiers said they planned to get a divorce or separation.