Real Warriors shares 8 post-deployment reintegration tips

  • Marines preparing to deploy in August 2011.
Marines preparing to deploy in August 2011. (Sarah Kelber )
May 17, 2012|By Sarah Kickler Kelber | The Baltimore Sun

The folks over at Real Warriors posted an interesting list earlier this week, of "8 Battlefield Skills That Make Reintegration Challenging," for service members recently returning from deployments. (Real Warriors is an initiative from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.)

In our house, I'd say reintegration is going pretty well. (My husband came home from Afghanistan in March.) But still, this would have been a good list to see before the end of the deployment. Please share it with anyone you think might benefit.

A lot of it is things I have heard before or had thought of, but No. 5 on the list jumped out at me:

"Response Tactics. In the war zone, survival depends on automatic response to danger. It is critical to act first — with maximum firepower — and think later. Keeping all supplies and equipment, including weapons, clean, well-maintained and in their proper place is critical to response. At home, messy rooms and dirty dishes can feel dangerous, and the service member’s response to these realities may appear as an over-reaction and can intimidate or even frighten family members."

The idea that disorder can feel dangerous was not one I'd thought of or been introduced to before, and I think it's a rather fascinating one, especially since keeping up with chores can be a source of conflict in families.

Luckily, at least in this case, my husband and I both have severe cases of clutter-blindness, so the disorder that occasionally reigns in our household seems to feel like a comfortable return to normal than a new source of stress for him. But after reading this, I can see how that would play out differently for other people in different ways.

The whole list is a good read for any service member or family member dealing with a deployment. I just wanted to share in case it might provide some insights.

Note: If you are in crisis currently, call the Veterans Crisis Line for Service Members, Veterans and Families at 800-273-TALK (8255). Press "1."

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