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Over 2.6 million troops have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Though returning home after a deployment is typically a happy occasion, military personnel may have conflicted feelings about no longer being on active duty. For instance, military personnel may experience a decline in social support, feelings of frustration that family members and friends at home cannot relate to their experience, and feelings of meaninglessness. Service members may also experience educational and employment difficulties, whether due to general re-entry stress or mental health disorders. It's also important to recognize that Reserve and National Guard service members have unique challenges in serving our country; for instance, they may deploy just as much or even more than some active duty service members and so more commonly face these issues. This section covers research on the main deployment and reintegration issues faced by military personnel and how to help manage these transitions back home.
The resources below link you to educational training, veterans' experiences and available services.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry informs providers and others about the challenges families face when a loved one returns home from deployment.
The Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) trains military and civilian behavioral health professionals to provide high-quality deployment related behavioral health services to military personnel and their families.
The following online course is a recording of a live APA pre-conference workshop: Online Training Event in Collaboration with the APA: The Impact of Stress and Trauma Related to Military Deployment on Personnel and Their Families
Download a power point presentation, DoD, VA, State, and Community Partnerships in Service to New Veterans and Their Families Powerpoint, produced by the VA Post Deployment Mental Illness Research, Education, & Clinical Center (MIRECC) and Duke University that pulls together information about post-deployment concerns and resources.
Below are two links illustrating the locations in which US military members have been deployed over the last several years. You may find it interesting to see the variety of locations and the numbers of service members that have deployed across the world.
A link from the Congressional Research Service summarizes the casualty statistics of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Embedded in Echo Company during the assault, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis captures the frontline action with visceral immediacy. When Sergeant Harris returns home to North Carolina after a life-threatening injury in battle, the film evolves from a war exposé to the story of one man’s personal apocalypse. With the love and support of his wife, Ashley, Harris struggles to overcome the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life.
Official Movie Website: http://hellandbackagain.com/
This article was published by the National Association of School Psychologists to help multiple audiences understand the needs of service members and family members regarding deployment and reintegration.
The College Database created a free 20-page guide titled, "Higher Education Resources for Veterans and Their Families," that includes detailed research by Ron Kness, a 36-year military veteran and expert in the service-to-school transition. The guide also has more than 150 resources with links to (and brief descriptions of) each.
Many veterans have had difficulties adjusting to their lives as students after leaving the service and reintegrating into the civilian world. View a brief PBS video about these challenges.
Rule Number Two is a book written by a military psychologist about her experiences treating service members in a deployed setting.
Many returning soldiers and veterans living in rural areas fail to get the help they need because of barriers to health care and other human services. The primary barrier facing this population is the geographic distance from the nearest Veterans Administration (VA) health facility. A product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Initiative, the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in December 2002 as a rural health and human services "information portal." RAC helps rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents.
Visit the website for the Veteran Student Life Organization at the University of Maryland. The website contains information about how this university community is helping veterans reintegrate
Visit the website for the Veterans Education and Transitional Services at the University of Arizona. Learn more about what kinds of issues veterans struggle with as they return to obtain college degrees. The Supportive Education for Returning Veterans (SERV) program was launched to assist veterans in successfully reintegrating into the university culture and community.
The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program's mission is to provide quality joint deployment support and reintegration services to all service members and their families. The YRRP aims to provide such support effectively, efficiently, and as close to their homes as possible, ensuring they are informed, and self sufficient, thus enabling them to sustain the rigors associated with deployment or mobilization.
Caution: these blogs may include language, discussions, and images that are somewhat shocking. Give an Hour and Got Your 6 do NOT monitor or edit these pages. We are neither responsible for the content, nor do we embrace the opinions contained herein. We share these links to help you look directly into the experiences and lives of those in our military population.