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Mental strain of foreign operations as viewed by Czech soldiers

Abstract:

The article deals with the mental strain, as subjectively perceived by Czech soldiers and their families in the course of and after return from international missions. The research part was processed based on nine in-depth interviews with soldiers with different experiences from foreign missions. The data were processed with the help of grounded theory. The results showed that the involvement in missions is mainly positively assessed, primarily thanks to professional development. The operations bring specific stressors; additionally to critical situations, there is primarily the stress related to separation from the family and the cabin fever. The soldiers cope with the stressors thanks to the contact with their families, thanks to a good team, leisure time activities and support from the chaplain or the psychologist. The duration of the adaptation stage after the mission varies very much. It includes problems with restoring contact with the children and adapting to routine life, as well as the envy of surrounding people, considered by the soldiers a "Czech particularity", caused by low positive publicity of the Czech army.  

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