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  1. Durham, Susan W. PhD


The purpose of this study was to describe the communication issues experienced by service members staying connected with families while deployed. Qualitative design guided data collection using interviews with 20 key informants who had been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Inductive content analysis and NVivo software enabled data analysis. From the data, 5 main themes emerged: Creating Normalcy Through Connecting With Others; Understanding the Spoken and Unspoken; Connecting and Disconnecting; Changing Sense of Self; and Sustaining a Common Bond. A collective understanding of common communication challenges emerged that had an impact on service member/family relationships, mission focus, and safety.