When you have a loved one returning home from military service, your sense of pride is almost overwhelming. You’re going to want to ensure that their return home is one that is filled with joy and happiness. However, it’s important to remember, that a job in the military is a little different from your average 9-5. It’s a fully immersive role and a completely different way of life that’s difficult to understand or comprehend unless you have also served in the military.
Therefore, your loved one may have mixed feelings about their return home and it’s worth bearing in mind that their time in the military may have changed them both physically and mentally.
Emotions will be running high, so the best course of action is to ensure that there is plenty of support, understanding and love waiting for them. It will hopefully make the transition easier for both of you.
Read on for 4 ways you can help a loved one who is returning from military service.
Ensure they’re receiving their entitlements
The world of VA benefits and compensation for those returning from service with an injury or a disability is not an easy system to navigate. It’s confusing and frustrating, to say the least. Check out this VA disability rating calculator if you’re looking for some straightforward information. The system is frustratingly complicated, however, it’s important that despite the frustrations of your loved one, you help them seek the advice they need and in turn receive the money they are entitled to after years of service. Don’t let them feel discouraged.
Look for signs of mental stress
If your loved one has suffered an injury or has been exposed to conflict during their deployment then the possibility of their mental health being affected is likely. At this stage, you need to be vigilant and be watchful of signs that they could be struggling. Don’t push them into describing how they feel or even pressure them into admitting they’re having difficulties, just be there for them and when they do reach out to you, help them.
Don’t pressure them
Life in the military is regimented and uniquely different from the life you lead back home. Therefore, you must help your loved one adjust in their own time and don’t put pressure on them to do or be something they’re not. They may struggle to find a job straight away, so it’s important not to make them feel guilty and support them through the process instead. Progress may be slow, but any assistance you can give will be appreciated. Offer advice on creating a resume or writing cover letters and encourage them every step of the way.
It’s important to accept that things may be different from how you remember them. Your loved one may have changed both physically and emotionally during their time in the military. What’s important is rebuilding your connection and supporting them in any way you can now that they’re back home.