Real Warriors Helps Military Families Prepare for Reunions
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 10, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --
With the ongoing drawdown of service members from Afghanistan,
military families are preparing for the return of loved ones. The
homecoming of a service member can be very exciting, but it is also a
significant transition that affects the entire family -- especially
Fortunately, military families don't have to face this transition
alone. The Real Warriors Campaign www.realwarriors.net offers support
for families throughout the deployment cycle. The campaign, an
initiative of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological
Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), promotes the processes of
building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting
reintegration for returning service members, veterans and their
With tips from the Real Warriors Campaign, families can prepare for
the excitement and potential challenges of a parent's return home.
Communicate: Prior to a homecoming, it is important for parents or
caregivers to communicate with their children and remind them that,
just as they have grown and changed during the course of a
deployment, it is likely that their parent has also had new
experiences. By talking about some of these changes before the
reunion, families can reduce the anxieties of a homecoming.
Real Warriors Campaign volunteer Sheri Hall experienced the
challenges of reintegration firsthand when her husband, Army Maj.
Jeff Hall, returned from his second deployment. She advises military
families to communicate as openly as possible. "Encourage children to
be vocal -- to tell their families what's bothering them," Hall said.
As children open up, be prepared for a range of emotions. It is
important for parents to remain calm and understanding while
listening to their children's concerns.
Be Patient: Military families experience a natural adjustment period
after deployment, during which children may experience excitement, as
well as nervousness and anxiety. Families can ease concerns by taking
time to get to know each other and routines again. Maj. Hall advises
returning service members to be open to change during this
transition. "Returning from deployment can be challenging. It's
important to be patient and remember some things may have changed
while you were gone. Take time to get to know your family again,"
Maj. Hall says.
Anticipate Change: During the course of a deployment, new family
schedules and routines may have developed. For returning parents, it
is important to remain open and flexible and learn the family's new
dynamic. It is also important for the entire family to help the
returning service member adjust to changes that have occurred.
Homecomings are an important time for all military families, and
communication, patience and flexibility help pave the way for a
positive transition to reconnect with loved ones. For more tools,
tips and resources for military families, visit the Real Warriors
Campaign online at www.realwarriors.net or contact the DCoE Outreach
Center to talk with trained health resource consultants for
assistance 24/7 by calling 866-966-1020. More information and
resources are also available at the DCoE website at
ABOUT REAL WARRIORS
The Real Warriors Campaign is an initiative launched by the Defense
Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain
Injury (DCoE) to promote the processes of building resilience,
facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning
service members, veterans and their families.
The Real Warriors Campaign promotes help-seeking behavior among
service members and veterans with invisible wounds and encourages
service members to increase their awareness and use of these
resources. To reach the broadest audience possible, the campaign
features a variety of strategies including outreach and partnerships,
print materials, media outreach, an interactive website and social
The campaign features stories of real service members who have sought
treatment and are continuing to maintain successful military or
civilian careers. In addition, DCoE established the DCoE Outreach
Center, a 24/7 call center staffed by health resource consultants to
provide confidential answers, tools, tips and resources about
psychological health and traumatic brain injury. The Outreach Center
can be reached toll-free at 866-966-1020 or via e-mail at
Audio-Link Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=1944437
Real Warriors Campaign
SOURCE: Real Warriors
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