At this point in the deployment cycle, family members will receive a window of dates for when their service member will return home. Family support groups, friends, and families often gather to create "Welcome Home" banners and attend reunion and reintegration presentations. Whether this is a first or subsequent reunion, it is important for family members to attend any reunion or reintegration workshops that are available. Each deployment is different for both service members and families and programs that support families continue to evolve and provide new information. Ask the family readiness support center about programs that are available.
Service members will not be able to share specific travel arrangements and often are not familiar with where, when, or how they will travel until they reach their destination. For family members living away from the homecoming location, it can be a source of frustration not to have an exact date and time. Try to be flexible as homecoming times and dates do change - service members have no control over when they will return home. Parents, extended family, friends or family living far from the homecoming location, may want to wait until their service member is home before planning a visit.
Shortly before and during the reunion, families may experience a range of emotions including excitement, anxiety, guilt, independence, and a sense of accomplishment. While many families are excited to be back together and establish a routine, be patient with yourself, your spouse, and your children. Every member of the family has changed and grown in new ways. Take some time to get to know each member of the family again. Deployment support doesn't end when a service member comes home. Many installations and community programs offer support groups through the reunion process.
USMC Return and Reunion Guide
Coming Home Adjustments for Families
Air Force Return and Reunion Guide
Navy Return and Reunion
Army: Separation and Reunion
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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