It’s a bit of an open secret: for the service member coming home after being deployed, there are some very difficult obstacles to overcome. They’re not alone, either. The family a service member is returning to has also changed patterns, and this can lead to some conflicts between family members.
Imagine getting things set up at home – functioning in a way you’re used to – and coming back to find everything different; and for good reason. Certain traffic patterns have changed, some shops have closed, some have opened. Schools have construction concerns as well, teachers come and go, and even religious institutions can change leadership.
All these things affect the home, and daily patterns of life. A change in religious leadership could lead to a change in denominations or chapels, making the Sunday morning ‘hustle’ have a different flavour. Children may be in different grades, and become friends with other children who lead your family to be cozy with another.
This is fine, but a man of the house who has been away and returns to find a playdate mingling adult socialisation may feel as though his domain has been invaded. It hasn’t, but it feels that way, leading to psychological tension and subsequent blow-ups between spouses. Certainly these things are all hypothetical, but they are considerable, and not without the bounds of possibility.
Homecoming difficulties come from multiple sources
All these things represent normal homecoming difficulties. They haven’t taken into account the psychological damage which can and often does take place on the battlefield. This can lead to PTSD, which is especially strenuous on households. Returning veterans who are either on leave, or are coming home permanently, may have many difficulties to deal with.
First, figure out where things are in terms of home life, and the personal constitution of your veteran. If you can identify psychological issues, you can put that serviceman under the help of a qualified psychologist or other therapeutic professional.
Therapy professionals may suggest a variety of treatment techniques. Sometimes there are lucid dreaming solutions, like those endorsed by Taileaters, which may act in a therapeutic way for your returning military man. Sometimes a hobby, a project, or some other recurring duty may be key.
Even though certain things about a given home and its associated routines may have changed upon the return of a deployed soldier, and this reality may be understood, it can still be a tough pill to swallow. It may feel to the returning veteran that he is under-appreciated by the family he’s been supporting by putting his life on the line.
Those at home may help him by doing something which shows how much love truly exists, here. For example, a family might go to Embleholics and have a challenge coin made specifically for the returning veteran. Following through on a gesture of this kind says that, even though things aren’t quite how they were before, the love is still there.
Remember what is truly important
What’s important to remember is that there will always be things which go unexpectedly right, and unexpectedly wrong. Basically, you can’t predict the future; all you have is the “now”. When a veteran returns home, they’ve lost friends, aspects of their innocence, and several years of their lives—but if they return uninjured, that’s a blessing.
If they return injured, it’s still a blessing; even if their personality has shifted. The military puts the lives of its members at risk on a regular basis, and this becomes increasingly true when conflict blossoms. Remember that your family member, friend, or spouse is alive, and this means there’s hope.
Things may have changed, but not beyond all hope. If you understand this before the homecoming transpires, you’ll be better equipped to handle this often difficult transition.
Wendy Whitehead worked as a teaching assistant at two special needs schools in London before embarking on a different career as a marketing consultant. Her passion for special education still remains with her, however. She is passionate about mental health and well-being and she write articles in these areas. Wendy did her undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Leicester. She later on did a short course in counselling from the University of Hertfordshire.
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