The experiment would be this. To make an entire neighborhood, right outside of a city, preferably a warm one that is for wounded warriors and their families only. We could all move there and we could have our own sense of community. After all, that sense of community is one of the biggest things families miss having after leaving the military.
No one gets it better than those who have walked in our shoes. My husband would feel secure in knowing that he was surrounded by a "unit". Last week, he said that is one of the big differences in being home versus being in treatment. At home, protection and security is all up to him. At the Pathway Home, he is part of a unit. He knows that those guys all have his back. This sense of security and back up allow him to feel secure, to relax a little. He is happier there than I have seen him in years. He can laugh again. He smiles. He interacts with the other guys and has made new friends all on his own. He has began to live again.
Our kids wouldn't have to worry about what their peers thought about their dad. They wouldn't have to hide their feelings about things going on at home or be embarrassed by another "episode". Everyone around them would get "it". They would have somewhere safe to go when they needed to get out of their own house for awhile. They wouldn't have so many questions to answer that are difficult for them to answer. They would have friends who know the path they've been down that their civilian friends will never understand. They too would have security.
As a spouse, it would be amazing to be surrounded by other spouses who truly understand what it's like to be married to someone completely different than the person you sent off to war. We would always have support, someone to watch our kids when things at our house were chaotic. It would be similar to living on a military post again where there is no stronger bonds made.
The flip side to all of this is that it could end up in a total disaster. So many families with so many issues living all in one neighborhood could be very chaotic. Tempers would fly, and the whole thing could blow up. I can see it going both ways, but I honestly think it would be an interesting project. And, if it worked, it would provide so many benefits to families who have sacrificed so much, but are still struggling everyday to hold it together. I know, this family, for one would be one of the first ones to sign up!!