Letters: Losing Faith And Military Marriages

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener feedback on previous Talk of the Nation topics, including pastors who lose their faith, and the variety of challenges many military spouses face after a decade of war.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Many of you heard our conversation with Teresa MacBain and Jerry DeWitt about religious leaders who lose their faith. And while many empathized, some challenged why we aired their story. Greg Calder in Germany wrote: NPR would never have a show about an atheist who found religion. Why give the platform to the atheist if you won't do the same for those that believe? And in a similar vein, Brendan Wolfe in Fairbanks commented: Now that NPR listeners have heard this story about religious leaders losing their faith on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED and TALK OF THE NATION, I'm looking forward to hearing the report on atheists becoming committed Christians. When can I expect it?

Command Sergeant Major Chris Faris and his wife, Lisa, shared the lessons they've learned about the strains of war on a military marriage. Gail Hewer in Salt Lake City was listening. I'm a military spouse whose husband is in the National Guard, and he recently deployed to Afghanistan for a year. More and more the soldiers deployed are part-time soldiers. This means that those left at home do not have the same resources. During deployment, we do not live on base, and we do not constantly interact with other military families. I'd like to point out that part-time soldiers and families are out there. Their voices need to be heard too.

And from Robert Moore in Ohio, we received this comment: It's really hard to put your family first when the military doesn't let family be a priority. About the middle of my deployment in Afghanistan, I became aware of problems at home and was completely distraught. I went through my chain of command and sought help, but I was always given the same answers. Finish my deployment, and my problems weren't severe enough to warrant my departure from theater. My wife and I ended up splitting up for nearly a year when I got home before we decided to reconcile and make it work. My oldest son still has some severe issues because of the things that happened when I was gone. I immediately left the military when my contract was up. The military does not care about soldiers at all.

Finally, we misspoke on last week's Political Junkie segment. Senator Lisa Murkowski won in 2010, running as a write-in Republican candidate, not as an independent. We apologize for the error. If you have a correction, comment or question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from, and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us there, @totn.

If you're on Facebook, you can find us and like us - if you'd like - at facebook.com/nprtalk. Tomorrow, the challenges of fighting cancer in your 20s. Join us for that. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

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