M is for Mental Health and Readiness
While at home, the family tries to maintain some sense of normalcy for mental well-being. For us, that is fairly easy. We all miss Daddy, but we learn to adjust and maintain what is normal for us while he is gone.
For the soldier, mental health and readiness is different from battlefield to home. I think this is where it gets tough for our family. While my husband is gone to war, he is alert to all his surroundings, works long hours and has to stay battle ready at all times.
When the soldiers get home, that’s when it’s hard. From my experience, they are jumpy, seem almost paranoid about things and little things set them off. Some soldiers are even prone to inappropriate anger, nightmares and excessive drinking. My husband and I try to talk about the issues we see in his behavior. He tries not to be as jumpy, but he has even flinched when I’ve put my arms around him from behind. The children’s loud play and clanking of toys make him on edge. Over all, he tries his hardest not to lose his temper with the children and I try not to sneak up on him, lovingly or not. And over time, it gets back to the way things were. That is one thing that you will notice in most of these posts, if not all, it just takes time. But if things don’t start to get better, there are many mental health resources available to you on every Army post.
Note: I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given. I do not have any formal schooling on this topic. If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.