After years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan with many military members having multiple redeployment notches, American troops are drawing down and coming home.
Those conflicts, in combination, have cost America the lives of over 6,700 service members, hundreds of thousands of injured- physically and mentally, and scores continue to struggle with the ramifications of their circumstance seeking a way back to a life unaffected by such the experiences of war. Many suffer post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other inner wounds from their experience with feelings of nowhere to turn. What’s most tragic is- soldiers succumbing to demons- returning from war only to end their own lives- leaving loved ones devastated by helpless will.
And, with human comes nature and servicemembers are not alone in their flight back or maintaining normalcy before, during and after deployment. Family members are affected as well and oftentimes suffer their own bout of PTSD. Spouses, partners and children are left to tow-the- line of changes within a day until ambiguous loss ends by the soldier coming home.
Once home, servicemembers demand time for reintegrating back into their Civi counterpart. Typically, onset of a sense of mundane alienation combined with feelings of loss from those whom they served side-by-side, committed to bringing home safe- those who he now calls brothers and sisters causes stagnant strides.
Understanding the mindset of service members may not be easy for civilians, but we can appreciate their willingness of duty to a country that may on occasion seem to set aside its commitment to soldier.
Contrarily, loved ones, spouses, and children, require feeling relief, security and attention. The chance to have their hopes, prayers and goals answered by a mantra intellect cited throughout time away is Key to getting through periods of feeling helpless during deployment stints.
As loved ones are reunited with their soldier after lengthy stays of separation there are awkward needs to reconcile familiarity. Time’s passed and the path to reconnect a relationship can be an aching struggle if there was not at first a solid foundation.
The goal of most military assistance foundations is to ensure families stay focused on end results not current circumstances. To help families understand they’re not alone in efforts to find their way back to common ground, no matter duration of relationship, groups begin to ask questions.
In her article How Long-Married Military Couples Stay Together, Military.com’s Director of Spouse Programs, Jackie Eckhart talks about the results of a study taken to more than 1,200 active-duty service members and spouses asking the question- How do couples get through years of PCS moves, deployment and war without giving up on one another, in hopes of spreading the word to others who face constant reintegration.
As loved ones come home, remember that, although not all circumstances are the same and each one has its own unique regard of how their lives changed, they have earned the right to be given space, attentiveness, and acknowledgment.
Our military members are resilient in duty and unwavering in commitment, but sometimes they may feel forgotten as equal beings as civilian demand on them commences upon their return. Some find themselves caught between the struggle to show emotion or too much so and they yearn for someone to not understand, but to simply listen.
If you, your loved one or someone you know is struggling in their journey back from deployment, don’t ignore their look of need. Contact MilitaryOneSource