Back to Top Skip to main content
Alert Arrow ALERT!!

There are emergency procedures in place due to Hurricane Michael.

Get the latest information on emergency prescription refills and referral waivers.

Adjustments After Deployment

When a family has experienced deployment(s) there is an adjustment period after the homecoming day. It is important to remember that everyone has changed during the time of the deployment. Each family member may feel and act differently than before deployments. This is common and normal.

Here are some common situations and coping tips that could make the transition less stressful.

  1. Both the family and the service member have changed. New family routines may have formed. Children have grown and have learned new skills or taken on new responsibilities. The at-home parent was a single parent and switching to two parents can take time. Openly discussing what has changed can be helpful to eliminate the stress of unmet expectations.
  2. Everyday life at home can prove difficult for the returning service member. Out of practice with everyday life issues, the service member may react more strongly with anger or fear.  These reactions can surprise, anger, or scare family members and friends.  Be patient and communicate openly when everyone is calm.  If the service member continually overreacts or resorts to violence, you should seek help from professionals.
  3. The service member may not want to discuss what happened during the deployment.  As service members begin to mentally and emotionally process their deployment, some may be more comfortable reaching out to members of their unit or people with similar experiences.  Most likely the family wants to be supportive of their loved one but the details of a deployment may be difficult for the service member to share. The family members and the service member can work together to set the limits about sharing information and the support needed along the way.
  4. The service member’s behaviors and reactions may be different or unexpected. Out of practice with everyday life issues, the service member may react more strongly with anger or fear. These reactions can surprise, anger, or scare family members and friends. Be patient and communicate openly when everyone is calm.
  5. Self-care for everyone is a must. It is important for family members to practice self-care so that they can be strong during the transition.If everyone is worn down, resentful, or angry, it is not helpful to anyone. Staying physically healthy is an overall coping strategy. Doing something pleasant every day goes a long way in relieving the many stressors. Seek support when necessary including help for the service member. The mobile app, Breathe2Relax, is a good tool for learning breathing techniques that can be calming.

Try a Self Evaluation Now

5-minute Online Self-Assessment

More Information

Service Members

Family

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.