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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Workshops, booklet help military transition home from deployment

By Mary Hastings
Returning from a deployment can be a joyous yet confusing time for troops and their families. Typically the experience is a whirlwind of activity and emotion.

Many men and women return from a deployment and successfully adjust to their lives, but most experience at least some difficulty in readjusting or transitioning to family life, to their jobs, and to living in their communities after a long separation.   The American Red Cross has developed the Coming Home from Deployment: The New “Normal” booklet to assist all military families with what can be a difficult and complicated transition home. The Red Cross also offers Reconnection Workshops dedicated to our country’s service men and women and their families and loved ones. The goal is to support and ease the transition home:
  • The Reconnection Workshops focus on individual/small group discussion that enhances the likelihood of positive reconnections among family members and the successful re-engagement of the service member in civilian life.
  • Each workshop focuses on a topic area that service members and their families have found relevant to their experience as they transition back home. Current topic areas include: managing anger, supporting children, building communication, reconnecting with others, and recognizing PTS & TBI and other topics critical to reunion adjustment.
  • The workshops are available to all those impacted by a military deployment from all branches of the Armed Forces. We invite Reserve, National Guard, active duty service members, veterans and their families, including spouses, parents, siblings and significant others, to participate.
  • Participants choose the topic they are most interested in from the available options; sessions and materials focus on learning useful tools, effective coping mechanisms and where to find resources.
Available workshops are:
  • Communicating Clearly
  • Exploring Stress and Trauma
  • Identifying Depression
  • Relating to Children
  • Working Through Anger
For more information on American Red Cross post deployment services, contact Tim Bothe, Regional Service to the Armed Forces & International Services Manager, American Red Cross Mile High Region at  Tim.Bothe2@redcross.org.

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