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Quick Tips for Service Members Coming Home


Coming home from deployment brings joy and excitement, and may also bring about challenges. These tips may help:

  • Communicate details of your return plan. Keep your spouse or family members updated on any changes to the schedule.
  • Understand that it's normal to feel out of sync at first. If you are married, you may feel out of sync with your spouse as both of you have grown and changed during the separation. This can also be true of close friendships and relationships with family members and children.
  • Spend time talking with each other. Sometimes it's easier to reconnect with your loved ones if you talk while doing something else together, like taking a walk or working out.
  • Ease back into intimacy. If you are married or in a relationship, ease back in slowly. It's not easy to regain physical and emotional closeness after stressful situations.
  • Be patient with yourself and your family. Fatigue, confusion, and worry can lead to short tempers.
  • Tell family members that you're proud of them. Focus on the positive changes you see at home, and let your family know you appreciate them.
  • Expect your children to test the rules. If you have children, be prepared for them to test you now that you are back. Set aside time with your spouse or the children's other caregivers to come up with an approach you agree on.
  • Make time in your schedule for family activities. Include one-on-one time with each of your children.
  • Watch your spending. It's tempting to celebrate your return with dinners out or special gifts, but it's important to stay within your means.
  • Know when to seek help. If you, your spouse, or other family members are feeling signs of stress, physical or emotional, it's important to seek expert help -- the earlier the better. Contact your installation's family service center, the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-905-4675 Eastern or 1-866-496-8838 Pacific, or Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.

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