Jump to content
MrsSurvival Discussion Forums

Peace and Less Stress for Returnees


Recommended Posts

Just read this in Dear Abby (entertainment/yahoo.com) today.


It is the Second letter. Very interesting perspective.






From Yahoo News / Entertainment / Dear Abby 11 April 2007


DEAR ABBY: Please encourage the families of soldiers returning from the war to be patient and not pressure the soldier upon his/her return by insisting he or she visit relatives, or attend this or that function in their honor.


A relative of mine just returned from the Middle East and regrets each and every time he has visited home because his parents won't let him rest and be quiet. He is now considering no longer coming home on leave.


All he wants is time to adjust and regain some peace of mind. He often hides out at my house, where there are no pressures, just relaxation and a quiet atmosphere because I place no demands on him. This has been very stressful for my soldier relative -- to the point that he has broken down in tears in my presence more than once.


Should I say something to the parents when and if their relative stops coming home altogether? I'm not that close to them, but the relative and I have always been close. -- CARING RELATIVE, CHATTANOOGA, TENN.


DEAR CARING RELATIVE: Ideally, the person who should speak to these proud parents is their son. If he can't find the courage to inform them that he's not up to public appearances, then you should do it -- now.


And thank you for giving me the chance to point out that upon return from a war zone, our fighting men and women need private time to rest, decompress, and slowly readjust to a lifestyle in which they are not constantly under the threat of danger, where every stranger they encounter is not a potential suicide bomber or terrorist, where the sound of a balloon popping is not a signal to hit the dirt, and they can sleep through the night in a place they are certain won't be a target. (There is no guarantee they won't wake up in the middle of the night still feeling the terrors of the war zone, anyway.)


The pressures to which our service members are subjected in a war zone can leave them with post-traumatic stress problems that take time, and often therapy, to overcome. It's important that families understand and appreciate this, and not overschedule their service member regardless of how well-intentioned the social schedule may be.



Link to comment

thth30109f94.gif for posting this. It really is what they need after being over in any war zone. I think that is one reason they end up staying at the camps for a while. Some need more time than others to return to a normal life again.


Link to comment

When our Marine son came home from Iraq, I instructed all our children too not ask their brother any questions; to just let him talk about what he wanted to talk about. We also let him tell us who he wanted to visit and when.This was what our son needed, and he slowly talked to us about his experiences in his own time. He's been home for over a year, and I am still so grateful to God for bringing our son home safe; and my heart breaks for all the families who didn't get their child back.

Link to comment

I saw this *Dear Abby* column and would add something else to it. Not only do the relative/friend visits become cumbersome, but the community *parties* and *welcome homes* as well. I can't tell you how many organizations and community groups wanted to do *welcome home* parties for dh's unit. We had to tell them no. As it was, they got home, had to go up their ase the following day for processing, then returned about 3 days later so that the local and state politicians could have their 2 minutes on tv giving kudos to the troops. The community had a parade for our men and women that day as well. And the Moose Club had a dinner buffet for them. We worked it so that it all fell into one day (each group wanted their *own* day...one day for politicians, one day for parade, etc....we told them no way!) We still had the VFW wanting to have a party for them, the individual communities that each soldier was from wanted to have a parade/party for them.......it's just too much! We told everyone one day....they had to work together (the communities and groups, etc) to make that happen. While we greatly appreciated the outpouring of support, these men and women have been away from their families for a year, and they just want to relax, kick back, have some GOOD food :-) etc, etc.


MomM, I can totally relate to what you're saying also about questions. It took my dh over a year to start talking about what went on over there. I am sure I haven't heard all of it. One of my friend's teenagers asked me if dh shot anyone over there (!) I honestly answered that I didn't know because I had never asked him. It really never even entered my mind to ask....


Another thing that people don't think about is a soldier's return to his/her children (I htink this relates more to men, but I could be wrong!). As hard as it is to be the sole parent while they are deployed, you really continue to be a *sole parent* for a while after their return. It was strongly encouraged not to leave your cild(ren) alone with the returning soldier for 2 weeks-month after they came home. They need that time to decompress, and, in this war, it's not just another man who is your enemy....sadly, women and children are also used in this fight, and it takes a while for a soldier to remember that *here* a child is not his enemy. I hate even bringing that up, but it's very important (and very sad, IMO).


I was so glad to see that article in *Dear Abbby*. People mean so well, and God bless them for supporting our men and women as they come home...but give them some time :-)



Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.