The Magazine of the NJ National Guard
Volume 32 Number 2
v32 n2 contents

Guardlife Index

News Guard Families Can Use
Compiled by the Guardlife Staff
Dealing with Reunion, Dealing with Return
From the 177th Fighter Wing Family Assistance Center

A great deal of attention is paid to the separation side of military deployment, when military personnel leave families and partners for overseas operations. But the return and reunion with families and partners can be just as stressful - sometimes more so.

The difficulties and strains of return can be surprising and sometimes painfully disappointing to military families. Be prepared for exhaustion, jet lag, and unpredictability and changes in the return schedule.

What the returning service member can do:

- Make a conscious effort to make only positive comments about any changes you notice when you get home.
- Look for positive changes, such as how your children have grown and matured, new skills they have learned, or household improvement your spouse has managed. Tell family members that you are proud of them.
- Show your appreciation for the extra work your spouse or loved one has taken on while you were away.

What the returning service member can do:

- Make time for your family.
- Take time to talk with your spouse or partner.
- Take time to understand how the family has changed while you’ve been gone.
- Spend time alone with each member of your family. Watch your spending. It can be tempting to celebrate your return with dinners out or special gifts.

What the spouse or partner at home can do:

- Do something special to welcome the returning service member home. Make a banner, prepare a meal with your partner’s favorite foods, or have your children make a special homecoming gift. But don’t be hurt if your spouse is too tired upon arrival to notice how you’ve prepared.
- Expect your spouse to be a little hurt at seeing how well you have managed on your own. Explain that while you’re proud that you were able to keep things going, you want to get back to sharing those responsibilities. Talk about who will do what now that you’re both home.

Hero Packs Presented
Marie Durling (left) and Amanda Balas (right), New Jersey National Guard Family Programs, award Storm Yosko a Hero Pack at the National Guard Armory in Vineland April 7. Hero Packs are distributed through the Operation Military Kids program. Photo by Donna Nelson, NJNG Family Programs.

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