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Helping military families reunite

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Transitions can be tough. Learn more here.

The Real Warriors program has compiled resources to help military families transition through reunions. They describe how children will react differently to the reunion based on their age:

  • Under age 5: May be shy, demanding or feel guilt thinking they “made Mom or Dad go away,” and may act out more than usual.
  • Ages 5-12:  May respond happily and talk often about their returning family member, or they may feel ashamed that they were not “good enough” while the family member was gone.
  • Ages 12-18:  May respond happily with excitement. Interestingly, teenagers will have changed emotionally and physically by the time the reunion occurs, and may feel that they are too old to greet their returning parent with enthusiasm as they arrive home.
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Military family culture – better than you think!

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Top things that military families don't do well.

Lisa Jansen-Rees from the National Military Family Association describes the Top Things That Military Families Don't Do Well, and states, "Thank goodness!" She lists:

  • Drift along without a purpose
  • Lose track of loved ones
  • Lost sight of their goals
  • Hide their patriotism
  • Turn a blind eye
  • Spoil their kids
  • Forget
  • Whine
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Family matters post-deployment

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Social support after deployment significantly decreases symptoms of PTSD and depression, a recent study found. Individuals who have emotional support from family, friends, coworkers, employers, and community members had less PTSD and depression. Warfighters who received social support immediately following deployment reported substantially reduced symptoms.

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Family matters on the homefront

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A study of National Guard reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, identified five stressors experienced by family members.

A study of National Guard reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, identified five stressors experienced by family members: worrying, waiting, going it alone, pulling double duty, and loneliness.

What helped these families most? Keeping busy and involved in activities at home, using technology to stay in touch, and staying connected to each other on a daily or weekly basis.

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Family matters on the homefront

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Tips to help decrease the stress before deployment.

Harmony on the homefront helps ease deployment stress on Warfighters and their families. One Army spouse shares her tips for decreasing stress during deployment:

  1. Gather important documents before deployment.
  2. Identify possible problems and discuss them ahead of time.
  3. Tape an enlarged photo of the deployed parent in the car, and don't lose sight of the big picture, which as she describes as "come home safe and sound, to an intact family."

Click here to read the full article and see more tips.

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