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More Stress For Non- English Speaking Military Spouses During Deployments

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Josepha Matos (left) found her husband Oscar's (right) deployments very difficult because she doesn't speak English.
Kavitha Cardoza
Josepha Matos (left) found her husband Oscar's (right) deployments very difficult because she doesn't speak English.

By Kavitha Cardoza

This Memorial Day weekend we remember the sacrifices military families make, and for some, language barriers can make deployments even harder.

Oscar Matos from Haymarket, Virginia, has been deployed overseas four times. And his wife Josepha was left caring for their six children.

"Very, very hard because I don't drive," she says. Only me in Virginia, with the kids. We live in mountain, one hour for groceries. One child with asthma."

On the last deployment, he was injured.

"We got people shooting everywhere, we was running, I was jumping from one place to another, my body got to one place and my leg to another," he says. "I hear a big noise 'crack'! Big pain."

John Howard, with the non-profit Operation Homefront, says it's difficult for foreign-born spouses of service members, especially if they don't speak English.

"The void left by this service member being deployed creates an extra layer of stress," says Howard.

Operation Homefront helps military families with ongoing needs including baby items, computers and furniture.

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