Recently, President Obama announced that troops stationed in Iraq will be brought home in time for the holidays. Moreover, the 33,000 additional “surge” of troops sent to Afghanistan in 2009 will be coming home by September of 2012. Military families across the country rejoiced at this news. Just imagine: Rather than having quality time with Daddy or Mommy squeezed into the span of a short leave, these kids would have their parents home for good – or at least for a good, long while.
However, the transition from military deployment to civilian life can be extremely challenging, both for military personnel and for their family members. Spouses may feel mixed feelings – elation at the prospect of enjoying time with their loved ones, but sometimes also resentment at losing the freedom deployment can provide. As in any marriage, money problems, rumors of infidelity and unrealistic expectations add stress to military reunions. And children face their own challenges when it comes to welcoming home their veteran parents. For instance, kids might openly express anger that Mom or Dad had to leave in the first place.