The 82nd Airborne Division is now returning home from a deployment to Afghanistan. In the past, soldiers received 30 days of leave after a year long deployment, but the post-deployment leave policy is now changed. Soldiers are to attend two weeks of reintegration training upon return and then will be given 14 days of leave, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
Some soldiers have voiced their discontent with the new policy. Many families scheduled their vacations a year ago, but the recent change has forced them to abandon those plans. For some soldiers this means they have to wait to visit their families. Then their time with them is cut short when they have to return to duty.
Time off work is a wonderful thing, but it can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. My brother recently came home on leave after almost two years of training as an Air Force air traffic controller. It’s funny watching him experience the same trials and tribulations that I used to go through while I was on leave.
Thirty days of paid vacation each year is one of the great perks of being in the military, assuming you ever actually get the time to use it. The problem is, especially for young service members, coming home means coming back to all the things you left behind. Your friends are still doing the same things, your family wants to spend every waking moment with you and sometimes it feels like you never left at all.
This isn’t always a good thing.
Living with PTSD can be devastating, not just for service members but also for their families.
There is a well-established connectionbetween PTSD and relationship problems. Veterans with PTSD are twice as likely to get divorced and three times more likely to be divorced more than once. In addition to that, veterans with PTSD are also much more likely to commit violence against a family member.
It doesn’t have to be this way. PTSD is treatable, and it’s up to family members to encourage their loved one to seek help and to facilitate the treatment process, and the first step is gathering information. See More
Military members often maintain a tough exterior, ready to respond to any call of duty. It may be a shock to family members when a service member begins to exhibit emotional distress signals. Family members expect a joyful reunion and life going back to “normal”. Many family members do not know how to help when a service member suddenly acts distant, angry, depressed, anxious or sad.
It seem overwhelming and it is easy for family members to feel helpless, but there are certain things a family member can do and say to support and help service members showing signs of emotional distress.
Military families endure a lot of stress whether it’s with a deployment, PCS, TDY or other military challenges. It’s no wonder that some families choose to avoid any additional stressors, including owning a pet.
But the mental and physical health benefits a pet can provide may be well worth the extra consideration.
Here are 12 benefits of having a pet that you and your family might consider:
When a parent is deployed for service the impact on children can be hard for them to handle.
To help provide military families with the resources and emotional support to deal with the absence of a family member the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, has created the Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes initiative.
Caring for a disabled military veteran is never an easy task. It requires dedication, patience, and most of all, compassion. By allowing veterans to remain in the homes and communities they defended, family caregivers assume an irreplaceable role.
Recently, under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, additional VA benefits have been made available. For Family Caregivers who qualify, the VA is offering support through a program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. See More
Coming back from military service undoubtedly means making adjustments. Some changes feel more substantial than others, such as pursuing a college degree. Getting an education costs money, time and energy. All three are scarce resources in many military families.
Adjusting to an academic routine after being deployed or on active duty may not be the easiest task, but reading about the challenges beforehand to can prepare you better for the change. See More
Signing enlistment papers can means entering a life of uncertainty. And while family members and loved ones don’t initial any official documents, they, too, can have unexpected roles to fill. One of those primary roles can be caregiver to a wounded veteran. It’s not an easy task and if the caregiver isn’t careful, they may put their own health at risk.
Caregiver Stress, also known as secondhand Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a danger and symptoms may include feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and irritable. It can also lead to weight gain or loss, poor sleeping habits and loss of interest in activity.
Military life is rarely ever short on churn and change. Even if you don’t consider yourself a routine-oriented person, making adjustments to your lifestyle on a weekly basis can be stressful.
Change creates a sense of loss, and the idea of losing or ending a known comfort can lead to feelings of anxiety, discomfort and depression, according to Alive and Well News.
Often, the best thing is to focus on the positives and potential opportunities rather than mourn the losses.
Here are some ways to do just that: See More