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San Francisco VA Health Care System

 

Transition and Care Management (formerly OEF/OIF/OND): Information for Family Members

Although joyous and relieving, a soldier’s transition home can also be difficult, both for the soldier and the family. To help prepare you for the experience, the National Center on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) encourages you to check out "Returning from the War Zone: Guides for Families."

Soldier with familyA Few Tips for Family

  • Be patient with yourself and your soldier.
  • Avoid scheduling too many activities.
  • Go slowly in making adjustments.
  • Stick to your budget until you've had time to talk it through.
  • Along with time for the family, make individual time to talk just to each other.
  • Discuss splitting up family chores.
  • Remind the soldier that he or she is still needed in the family.
  • Become an expert in the area of resources...Your soldier may be initially too irritable or uninterested in seeking help even to find out what resources are available.
  • Give your soldier the opportunity to talk about his or her war experiences. Let him/her know you’re willing to listen and that you won’t make judgments or comments about what happened during deployment.
  • Let your soldier know what your concerns are by giving examples of specific things that they’ve done or said that you’ve observed.
  • Speak with a therapist to get some ideas about how to bring up the idea of getting help for your soldier.
  • Have a Veteran of a previous war, or a Veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, come speak with your soldier to encourage him or her to seek help.

(Excerpted from the NCPTSD and Courage After Fire*)
*Courage After Fire:  Keith Armstrong, Suzanne Best, and Paula Domenici. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2006. (disclaimers)