San Diego, CA. (August 14, 2022): Homecomings are some of the most memorable moments for our active duty servicemembers and their families. While always a joyous occasion, coming home can be source of hidden stress after many months of separation.
For military families, the toll of repeated deployments is often invisible but very real, especially to the children. When a spouse is deployed, the rest of the family must take on duties and responsibilities, from mowing the lawn to buying groceries, far above their pay grade. After a couple of months, a certain sense of rugged independence takes hold as they learn to conquer adult tasks on their own.
When the deployed spouse returns, there are naturally going to be mixed feelings all around. The returning parent may feel displaced, time away having cost them their position in the tribe. Naturally, their first instinct is to reassert control. The family, having tasted freedom, might not be so ready to give up their independence. They may even resent the sudden reappearance of an authority figure bossing them around now that they have figured out how to survive on their own.
Thankfully, todays military provides numerous tools to help families navigate the deployment process including personal meetings, websites, and free DVDs to ease these transitions. We should keep this in mind when we see these outwardly happy homecomings as they often hide another sacrifice we ask of the brave Americans.
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