ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips on Thriving For Returning Combat Veterans

Updated on November 19, 2014

This is the first time I have ever wrote an article for a military audience, and especially those who have returned from the desert (though anyone is more than welcome to read and comment). Whether this is your first time you have returned home from a deployment, or your 7th, there are things you can do to make your readjustment period more seamless. There are also things you want to be careful of, and many dangerous habits you want to weary of, and I will later list those issues in this hub.

These are just a few tips I have learned from my own homecoming, and tips I have learned from my husband, friends, and brother, when they have returned home from deployment. Also, I have been the spouse who has deployed, and the one who had to stay home, so I have a unique perspective.

When you get back home from a deployment, the first six-weeks will be the most difficult as you slowly readjust. If you have a family, they will have learned to live without your presence while you were deployed. That doesn't mean that you weren't missed dearly, or that that you weren't loved, but, life goes on because lunches still need to be made, homework completed, lawn mowed, and bills paid.

When you get back, you need to acclimate slowly back into the environment at home. Do you remember when a new officer or senior enlisted is transferred into your unit, and they get all gungg-ho and all of a sudden he makes all these new rules, and he tries to change everything as soon as he gets there? Don't be like that.

Ease your way back in, just letting the family (and yourself) slowly get used to your return. Don't start making new rules, deliver harsh punishment, and get into all the drama of home-life as soom as you return. Most likely they are walking on eggshells around you, because we all know that when a service-member engages in combat, they are likely going to have an anger problem when they get back.

When you get back, be mindful of how much you are drinking. Now that you are back, everyone and their mother will want to buy you a drink. If you wish, accept the drink, just don't follow it by 12 more. Besides, your tolerance for alcohol will be drastically altered, being intoxicated is an easy way to escape dealing with the emotions that come with being deployed. It's easy to get real emotional when a combat vet drinks, and veterans who do commit suicide are often intoxicated when they accomplish the act. Find a friend or therapist who you can to talk to, or find a hobby where you are able to channel those emotions; mine is through running.

Make sure you don't have a lead foot like me. I am one of the statistics on this; when I got back from Iraq, I received 3 speeding tickets (okay, two were actually warnings) in 3 months. Since so many of us did not return from the Middle East, it's easy to feel invincible. When one of our Marines returned home from my unit, he got in a car accident by hitting a tree at a crazy high speed, and he didn't even get the chance to go on combat leave and see his family. Just be mindful of the speed limit. Another reason why I think I received so many speeding tickets was because I was motor transport, and I was used to driving as fast as the convoy commander ordered. If you are going on long rides, or if you even use a highway, just turn on the cruise control.

Make sure you are getting plenty of rest. It seems like in Iraq we were either getting too much sleep, or not enough. For me, I was allotted 4-5 hours hours of sleep on most nights, but most of it was very low-quality of sleep, because I was always ready for our base to be mortared. Make a sleep regiment and stick to it. If you are not getting enough, or quality sleep, go to medical.

Ask for help if or when you need it. My Staff Sergeant once said in Iraq, "No one has ever died from being too careful, or too paranoid". That kind of mentality is completely normal in Iraq, but not so normal when you get back. I was even the same way (and still am in many ways); I always keep my back to to the wall, know where all exits are in a room, always want to know who is behind me in public, and I am ways trying to determine if a person has a silhouette of a weapon on them. Also, I get freaked out being awoken to an aloud alarm, because it reminds me of being mortared, so I bought a vibrating watch.

If these symptoms don't subside after a few weeks, see if you can go to medical, and they will put in a consult for you to see a therapist. If you prefer, you can go out in town to a vet center. You can see someone, and your command doesn't have to find out about it.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders. Call 18002738255. Veterans and their loved ones can call, chat online, or send a text message to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you teaches, it is very cathartic writing about my experiences, and if I am able to help people understand what we went through, that makes me very happy.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      The average citizen cannot relate to the process a returning veteran faces once home again. YOu have really outlined the adjustment well.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)