When they’re deployed, members of the military may wish for the day when they can head home to a life that is simple and safe compared to serving in a combat zone. When they finally do get to return to the United States, though, it’s not always as easy as you’d imagine.
One sergeant noted that he and other vets often had to deal with some complex emotional and psychological issues upon their return.
For instance, he said that he felt elated when he first got back. He wanted to see the people he loved and remove himself from the stress of combat. He said he couldn’t even really explain just how elated he felt.
But the stress didn’t just fade away. He said that he was far more easily angered, he was suspicious of everything and he was tightly wound. He could not shake some of his habits from deployment. For instance, he would feel panicked waking up in the middle of the night, unable to locate his rifle, before remembering he was at home.
Finally, he said that it was just hard to relate to people at home. Communication suffered with family members. They got in fights. He treated everyone in a gruff sort of way that was common in the military, but that seemed very out of place in civilian life.
On top of all of this, many veterans have to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after engaging in combat or seeing people get seriously injured — or even killed — in front of them. These emotional and mental issues can make it impossible to work and step easy back into “normal” life. Veterans need to know all of the options they have to make this transition easier.