How to cope when a loved one returns from a war zone
The reunion that follows a deployment is typically joyous. Your family member is finally safe at home, and you can spend some much-deserved time together. However, this momentous occasion can be stressful as well.
To assist with the transition back home, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has put together a video, Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Families, that is surprisingly honest and helpful. It covers many topics, from the need to clearly communicate expectations to the reactions that family members may have to physical, emotional, and behavioral changes they may see in the service member. The video also honestly discusses how a service member may react to changes that have occurred in the family while he or she was gone. But the video doesn’t dwell on the negative: it also points out that service members often return from deployment with a renewed appreciation for family and friends, and an increased maturity.
The video is about 20 minutes long and includes exercises that reinforce its message. If you have a service member who will be returning home from deployment soon, it will be worth your time to grab a cup of coffee and watch the video all the way through.
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Julia Liu is the daughter of a Solo Mom and has a degree in professional communication. She is the mom to two sons. She has worked in early-childhood education and was the director of a nonprofit private preschool for many years. You can follow her on Twitter at @notaDNB1.
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