When we discuss "reunion, and reintegration" here at SpouseBuzz (which we seem to do often). Homecoming seems to come up.
Welcome home parties, balloons, banners, backyard barbeques, well it paints a wonderful picture. And perhaps it is EXACTLY what your returning service member WANTS, but you may want to check with him or her and find out.
Some service members respond to being in a war zone, in a different way. Some common acute stress reactions to being in a combat zone include the following...
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Excessive sleeping
- Increased sense of threat
- Substance abuse
- Disruptive behavior
- Loss of beliefs
- Reduced reaction times
- Disconnection with surroundings
- Inability to prioritize
- Slowed thought
- Lack of concentration
- Excessive attention to minor issues
- Excessive time spent on familiar tasks
- Loss of initiative
- Difficulty starting routine activities
Please keep this in mind when planning events, for your returning veteran. Perhaps a surprise is not the way to go. This actually came up on SpouseBuzz Talk Radio the other night with Guard Wife and I.
Ask your service member what they want when they return. Perhaps they want some quiet time with a small group, or maybe they are ready for a large group.
Some service members need to relearn feeling safe, and comfortable.
Communication is KEY again.