SAN FRANCISCO/IRAQ: When deploying female soldiers divorce, by guest author

Divorce is a triple threat for female soldiers according to recent reports. At least, that is what I read here:
Says New America Media:

More than 30,000 single mothers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army, the most heavily deployed branch of the military, gives women just four months to stay stateside with their newborns before deploying to the war zone, leaving them little time to bond with or nurse their infants.The divorce rate for female soldiers is nearly triple that of the men who wear the same uniform. Emphasis added.

Mr. Gantz also claims in his article that 11% of the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are females. That’s a rather large percentage. If there are 100,000 soldiers deployed, fully 10,000 or women. That’s a sobering statistic. And then they are three times more likely than their male counterparts to get divorced while fulfilling their duty.

The report quotes former acting Army Surgeon General, Maj. Gen. Gayle Pollock, favorably.
Those are sobering statistics, aren’t they? Why are women with young infants being deployed in the first place? What ever happened to “best interest of the child?” I guess war is more important than kids?
Last year, Pollock told the Washington Post he thought the Army should increase its maternity deferments to at least eight months, with 12 months being the most ideal: “We need to look at the fact that many women want to serve but they also want to be mothers. It’s a medical issue, it’s a mental health issue,” he said. “Your ability to bond with your children is…very important.”

Also, it seems there is some indication that female soldiers are more likely to lose custody and that this causes them added mental anguish that requires post-deployment treatment. The problem, though, is there seems to be some machismo in the armed forces and so when females go for mental treatment and are faced with older vets from, say, the Second World War or Vietnam, these men look askance at the young female vets who then feel, I guess, guilty for seeking treament.