relationships

Social Fitness – Building Healthy Social Ties

“Social fitness” involves building and maintaining healthy connections with others. It plays an important role in supporting optimal performance and resilience. A warrior who is socially fit grows trusted and valued relationships with family, friends and fellow service members. Having a clear understanding of service values, the mission and its meaning is key in supporting healthy social networks. A socially fit warrior is able to engage in effective and respectful communication with others.

Boosting Family Resilience

Just as service members can build resilience, families can also take steps to boost their resilience or “family fitness.” Family fitness is every military family’s ability to use physical, psychological, social and spiritual resources to prepare for, adapt to and grow from military lifestyle demands. By helping family members feel more secure and connected in daily life, families can build resilience to cope with common military stressors like deployment, permanent change of station, combat injury and operational stress. This resilience also helps protect the psychological health of children who may struggle with change, fears or missing a parent. What’s more, the more fit military families are, the better able they are to support their service member.

Domestic Violence Resources for Military Families

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime regardless of their military service, race, ethnicity, education level, religion, gender or age. Although experiencing stress is common for Service members and their families, it should never be used as an excuse to explain or justify domestic violence under any circumstances.

How Parents of Warriors Can Support Reintegration

It's exciting to have a warrior in your family. Your son or daughter is important to our country and you should be proud of them. However, you may have mixed feelings and emotions about a son or daughter's deployment to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere around the globe. But as the parent of a warrior, you are not alone — there are many resources to help you support your service member as he or she reintegrates after a deployment.

Strengthen Your Family with Marital Counseling

As service members and their spouses face the stressors of multiple deployments, seeking marital counseling both pre- and post-deployment is becoming increasingly common. Separation from a spouse or loved one, coupled with the uncertainties of deployments, may result in additional stress for military families.

Tips for Spouses of Returning Service Members

As the wife or husband of a service member returning from deployment, you are probably both excited and nervous about the homecoming. A lot of time and significant events have passed during the deployment and there will be a time of natural adjustment. The days and weeks following the return home will include challenges but there are some things you can do to ease the reintegration for both of you.

Reintegrating into Civilian Life

Now that you've been home a few weeks, the rush of excitement you felt stepping off the plane or ship has probably begun to fade a little. The flags have been put away, the bands have stopped playing and the newspapers are focusing on other things. Your life has suddenly become private again, giving you the chance to put things back in order.

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