Find a New Normal After Deployment: Episode 023 - Transcript
Air Date: June 27, 2012
Family dynamics often change during deployment, but open communication can help families move forward effectively when a warrior returns home.
This is Real Warriors—Real Advice.
When a warrior returns home from deployment, it’s an exciting time, though it may not always be an easy one. It is a time of transition and adjustment for service members and their families. By realizing it’s nearly impossible to pick back up where you left off before deployment, each family member can help manage their own expectations for reintegration as well as those of their warrior. Army Maj. Gen. David Blackledge, who has returned from numerous deployments himself and also welcomed home his deployed spouse on several occasions, explains further:
MAJ. GEN. DAVID BLACKLEDGE:
You want things to be back to normal, but you’re really trying to figure out what the new normal is for the relationship. You’ve both grown, you’ve both taken on more responsibilities, and it’s hard to get back to living as a couple again. So, it’s recognizing that that’s going to be the case and you're going to go through that adjustment, and then figuring out how to communicate in a way that works for both of you is very important.
Talking with your friends, spouse and other family members, sharing how you feel, and actively listening to what they say are important tools for regaining closeness and rebuilding family routines. Friends and family can also be instrumental in helping to identify and address psychological health concerns that a warrior may be experiencing as a result of their deployment. For example, it’s not uncommon for a returning warrior to have trouble sleeping or concentrating, but if you notice that these or other behaviors, such as nervousness, irritability or difficulty re-engaging with you or other family members are negatively impacting the warrior’s functioning or relationships, encourage him or her to talk about it with one of their leaders, a chaplain, or a healthcare professional. Talking openly about psychological health concerns can lead to a better understanding of what the warrior is experiencing and how to heal. Find out more about psychological health concerns and how you or someone you know can get needed support by accessing information and resources 24/7 at realwarriors.net or by calling 866-966-1020.