Maintaining trust in the wake of a developing scandal - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Maintaining trust in a military relationship in the wake of a developing scandal

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The unfolding scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus and General John Allen is causing a commotion on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers complained that they should have been told about the investigation earlier.

Petraeus resigned his CIA position almost one week ago.

He admits to having an affair with his biographer.

The affair came to light after a Tampa Bay socialite who has been romantically linked with General John Allen complained to the FBI about threatening emails she received.

The emails led to the discovery of the Petraeus affair.

Every day more and more details are arising on this developing scandal, so we sat down with a family who know first hand what it's like to deal with the day to day issues that military families face. 

The Smiths said the key to keeping their marriage and family running smoothly, is trust.

Major Select Thomas G. Smith has had to miss out on birthdays, holidays, and school events for years.

At the end of the day, he says the Air National Guard is his career and sometimes that means he's away for months at a time.

He and his wife, Missie say communication is key.

Missie said, "If there's something going on, let me know.  There are a lot of things he can't talk about.  He just lets me know when he's going to be home."

Major Select Smiths said, "You have to maintain the trust in the relationship.  The key to that is constant, honest communication.  You have to avoid any perception of anything, other than I'm doing my job."

According to, divorce rates are climbing.

A total of around 30,000 service members were divorced in 2011, that's a rate of 3.7 percent. 

That was slightly higher than 3.6 percent in 2010, continuing a gradual rise from 3.1 percent in 2005.

Smith says a combat mindset is what gets him through being deployed.

After traveling through 16 countries and being a part of 6 named combat operations, knowing his family is home waiting for him gets him through day to day.

He said no matter how this scandal plays out, he doesn't think it should affect the reputation of the United States military as a whole.

"Anytime that somebody does something that is perceived to be wrong it can impact the rest of us because we're all perceived to be homogenous, but we're not," said Smith.  "Even the best of men or women will make mistakes that will create a lot of fallout.  That doesn't make them bad.  It doesn't diminish their contribution to our society as a whole, but it's a precarious limb to be on for anyone."

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