When soldiers return home from service, they may find the returning from deployment process to be more difficult than they ever thought. Soldiers quickly learn that it’s not easy to go back to the way things were before they left for military service.
Many deployments last well over 6 months, and a lot can change in that soldier’s family and social life during that time. Soldiers need to be mindful of this, and prepare themselves for what they’ll face when they transition back to ordinary civilian life.
Here are 3 tips to help make the returning from deployment process smoother:
Seek Out Available Resources and Counseling
When soldiers are on deployment, they’re faced with the need to constantly be alert and on their toes. Depending on where they were deployed, they had to deal with the possibility of an ambush happening at any moment.
So when they eventually go back home, these experiences can cause them to be jittery and nervous despite the absence of danger. Worse yet, certain incidents in the army can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Some military practices had also been ingrained in a soldier’s mind and it’s to be expected that these routines won’t just go away when they return home. For instance, a soldier in the field is used to barking orders and having orders barked at them. It’ll take time for them to realize that they need to talk to their spouses and family members in a different manner.
Counseling will help a soldier deal with these aspects from the war. However, their loved ones must form a support system to encourage them to seek treatment.
Words of support and care are crucial for returning soldiers especially since 50% of PTSD sufferers fail to seek treatment. Therapy will teach them how to acclimate.
It will also be beneficial for spouses and families because it helps them learn how to approach and support them in all the stages of the returning from deployment process.
Check Eligibility for Benefits
Various benefits are offered to soldiers who return home from deployment. These include subsidies on a wide range of necessities including healthcare and education.
For example, Veteran Affairs (VA) offers educational benefits through the GI bill. If a soldier is looking to further their education, this bill can serve as their reference to prove their eligibility for particular scholarships.
Generally, the GI bill pays for the majority if not their entire college tuition. It also offers additional benefits such as covering the expenses for college textbooks and offering reduced course fees.
The GI bill is great for their families as well. Depending on the soldier’s service, their immediate family members can also qualify for reduced (if not free) college tuition.
Transitioning from deployment to college is a valuable assistance to soldiers. This new challenge can help them re-focus their energy and attention into something that could enrich their lives.
Always Know That There is Help
Soldiers need to be aware of all the struggles they will face. They also need to know that help is obtainable and accessible to them.
To help their army post deployment reintegration process, it’s advisable for them to keep a journal of resources and numbers available if they ever need to talk to someone. These types of emotional and mental aids are crucial in military reintegration programs.
In fact, the US Military identified suicide as the second principle cause of deaths among veterans. Hence, it’s important that returning soldiers are given strong support systems to help address their struggles.
After all, the only way to help break that stigma is by talking about it.
To Sum Up
While much attention and assistance have been given to soldiers sent to combat or operations, the struggles they deal with upon returning from deployment process have failed to draw consideration. However, this situation could change if the veterans themselves along with their loved ones strive to shed light on the challenges they face post deployment.
These returning soldiers need all the help they could get especially given the stress and anxiety they have to deal with during the various stages of reintegration.
At the core of all the efforts though, it’s important to bear this one crucial tip in mind: Be realistic with your expectations. You may have heard stories on how the returning from deployment process came easy for some. However, always remember that every journey is different. Set reasonable goals for yourself and be patient with the process.