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.
When I faced deployment the first time I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. I was paralyzed. It was an internal paralysis. I think I looked put together on the outside, but I was falling apart daily on the inside.
I am a proud woman. I do not like to share my weaknesses and my pain with others. My stoicism is both a benefit and a liability to me. It’s a benefit because I am very careful with whom I share my vulnerability. It is a liability because sometimes I need to let my family and friends know that I am not faring well. They need to know I need encouragement and that I may not be able to reciprocate that support for a little while.
Here are a few things I wish I would have had the courage to say during my son’s first deployment. I hope this helps another parent or spouse articulate their deep feelings so others can understand what they are going through. Change the words to match your own situation, and let others in your life know what you are going through and what you need. You might just be surprised at the amount of support you do have.
Many of us have felt the stinging consequences of compulsive spending. For some of us it’s a one time experience. We learned and we were able to control our spending the next time a temptation came our way. For others compulsive spending is a way of coping with stress, disappointment or other negative emotions. For others it’s an addiction. For the past several years I have talked to many military spouses who struggle with compulsive shopping – especially when deployment is involved.
The realities of deployment are hitting many military families hard this week with Father’s Day fast approaching. Although deployment is rough year-round, during certain holidays it can get especially difficult. The best way to ease the extra mental burden around certain holidays is to face them head on with a positive attitude. See More
When I worked in children’s mental health the idea of behavior being a form of communication became apparent. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the behavioral component of communication and just feel frustrated with the behavior.
But what’s considered “bad behavior” may be the only way your child knows how to deal with stress and fear.
Children communicate in ways that sometimes leaves their parents confused and frustrated. When children are faced with adult-sized stress and only have a child-sized understanding they fill the chasm with behavior. When words fail, they act out.
The thought of reintegration is a sweet one. Knowing your military member is back from a war zone can do wonders for easing a parent’s mind.
Perhaps you’re exhaling for what feels like the first time in months. Even though reintegration is a wonderful and much anticipated time for military families, there are a few things that every Blue Star parent should bear in mind.
Children can prove surprisingly resilient in the face of change, stress or challenges. It’s important for military parents to build a strong foundation for their children and instill coping skills that will serve them in the years to come.
Operational Security, or OPSEC, is the practice of protecting information about your military member in order to keep him and his fellow military members safe. With email, Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other forms of social media and instant communication, safeguarding information about deployments, troop movements, troop locations and other sensitive information is paramount.
Hitting the “Send” or “Post” button could ultimately endanger your child or spouse along with their fellow soldiers. See More
A few weeks back we asked our Facebook followers for advice and tips for new military families and service members. Dozens of people participated in the submit-a-tip with really great ideas. We wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the best and most common advice and thank everyone for keeping our Facebook community so active.
Almost all of the tips submitted had something to do with maintaining a positive attitude. It’s no secret that the military lifestyle comes with a lot of ups and downs and at times it may be hard to keep up. No matter what you’re faced with, a positive attitude is a handy weapon. See More
It’s amazing how many factors play into successfully delivering a care package with baked goodies inside. Experimentation and trials among military spouses and families have generated some helpful tips for giving your treat the best chance to find its way into the mouth of your loved one.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when sending baked goods in a care package: