My husband will be returning home soon. It is something that I have waited for since I dropped him off at 2am on a rainy morning with sleepy crying children in the back of the car. With my husband’s departure, my role as a wife and mother changed. The term you will hear some of us use is “Single Married Parent”. What most people not familiar with is the challenges that we face as our family is reintegrated after any lengthy deployment.
After we have our initial reunion, our soldiers have 5 days worth of debriefing before we can go on leave. They have recommended classes for the spouses to take as well. The Army, in recent years, has realized that they can not just throw their soldiers back into family life without some information/training. It’s no different than not training their soldiers before they go into the battlefield.
With each family comes a different set of issues and degrees of how the transition affects the family. For some the transition is fairly smooth, but with others it’s not. Thankfully, the Army has great mental health professionals that are willing to work with our soldiers and their families to create the smoothest transition possible.
What is discussed with all of us is “Battlemind” skills. Below is what is meant by the word “Battlemind”. There is a definition for the solider and the spouse, along with information on how to transition. Since there is too much information to explain this all in one blog entry, I will be explaining these skills over the next week or so. So comeback to learn how we reintegrate our family.
Buddies (Social Support)
Adding/Subtracting Family Roles
Talking it Out
Loyalty and Commitment
Mental Health and Readiness
Navigating the Army System
Denial of Self (Self-Sacrifice)