I had the opportunity to share my story with the Red Cross last week .
My understanding of the Red Cross is to assist the military families when the families needed a message sent to their deployed family member and visa verse, which is true. What I have also learned is that the Red Cross has many other responsibilities for the deployed military.
Helping deployed families get assistance in many capacities. They have available information for deployed families with preschool children that have their parent deployed. Materials on how to understand how the deployed military person will think, when returning back from their tour of duty. Books on how what the military family member will be going through when they return.
When my daughter returned I thought it would be like Christmas, everyone happy and excited to be together again. Part of this is true for the families members waiting for their loved one to return. But for the deployed returning they did not want this type of attention given to them for doing their job, this is a very tough transition for them. I had to learn this the hard way. My daughter was in an a very intense environment with close relationships with her counter parts feeling the same way she did. The serviceperson knows they are totally on their game, doing what they were trained for, and doing it well. A feeling of outstanding achievement. Coming home the transition felt so meaningless for her in the beginning. Our lifestyle here in the states, we complain about things, and really don’t understand what life and death really means. Who wouldn’t have a hard time with readjusting back to our society? I surely would.
But the Red Cross has information to help you. Contact your local Red Cross and access what will help you get your loved one back on track.
One thing I did was to try and ask my daughter how she was feeling. I let her take the lead and share what she wanted to. She told me in the beginning she did not feel like she fit in here, and was concerned how she was going to raise her children. But in time she adjusted and so did we. It took her 3 weeks to start opening up about her feelings. This is not an over night fix, it took months until she really could connect like she once did prior to deployment.
Be patient. Take time with your loved one to understand what they are going through.
I am looking forward to working with the Red Cross and helping those parents and families members with deployment. Striving to share what the Red Cross has to offer the resources for military families.