Returning Home from Deployment - The Essentials

You’re headed home after a deployment. It’s been a long time coming, and you deserve to celebrate. But it’s important to know what other adjustments you might face post-deployment, like how your children will respond to you after a long absence and how you will fit into the household routines.

Your transition will be easier if you consider the following:

Be patient with yourself.

You may feel out of sync or disconnected with your loved ones or friends after returning home. Fatigue, confusion and a change in pace can lead to a short temper. If you have children, be prepared for them to have emotional outbursts or even be rude. Remember everyone is adjusting – be patient, keep the lines of communication open and allow yourself to feel anything.

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Prepare to go back to work.

Returning service members can expect some challenges reintegrating. While active-duty service members return to a military community where others have “been there, done that,” members of the National Guard and reserves go back to the civilian work force. Civilians generally don’t understand deployment. But there are things you can do to reintegrate.

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Prepare your children for your return.

The mixed emotions that often come with a deployed parent's return can be especially confusing for children. On one hand, they're excited to have mom or dad home, but they may also feel nervous about the adjustment. Try following these guidelines for a smoother transition.

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Lean on your network of support.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support as you transition back to the home front. If you, your spouse or other family members are feeling signs of physical or emotional stress, it's important to seek help – the earlier the better. These resources, including The Military Family Support Center and Military OneSource non-medical confidential counseling, can help you make a smoother re-entry.

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Sometimes returning home from deployment can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you have people to talk to. Our non-medical counseling staff is always a phone call away during your military journey. Call us at 800-342-9647 or send a chat request and we’ll help you with reintegration. OCONUS/Overseas? Click here for calling options.