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Veterans Families

I recall that just before I was deployed in August of 1966, I was on a 30-day leave. I had orders to deploy, but I had not shared them with Mom and Dad. I wanted to protect them as long as possible. About a week before I was to deploy, I found an opportunity to tell my dad. I recall the dreadful look on his face and the helplessness in his voice. I remember him distinctively saying, "Jerry, we don't want no heroes; we just want you back." Wow, those words rang in my ears for the next 13 months. Then, many years after my return, during an intimate conversation, he shared, "I cried every night you were gone." This was as difficult as it was honest for this tough old man to admit. Mom and Dad were vigilant in staying abreast of the war events through news articles and television news.

The experience of having a veteran return from war can be rewarding and challenging for family and friends. It's essential to understand that each situation is unique, and the impact on loved ones can vary significantly depending on the veteran's experiences and the support systems in place.

The return of a veteran often brings a sense of relief and joy to family and friends. Knowing that their loved one has returned safely from a potentially dangerous situation can be a cause for celebration.

While the reunion is filled with joy and happiness, it can also be challenging as everyone adjusts to a new normal. Both veterans and their families have changed during this time.

Some veterans may experience physical or mental health challenges due to their exposures. Some may suffer from imposture syndrome. This can be difficult for family and friends to understand.

When veterans return, family and friends might feel a sense of loss, because the returning military men and women they knew before deployment may be different upon their return.

Our culture focuses on the returning veteran. Please don't forget their families. Helping veteran families recover from these experiences can be a Godsend. Conversing with these families can be very rewarding for them and you.

Watch for the blind spots.

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20 views2 comments


Nov 08, 2023

Thanks for sharing. It was a turbulent time, but especially for young people and their families who were directly impacted by the war.


Thank you Jerry!!

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