The holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and friends and spend time with your loved ones, but the holidays can also be difficult. For service members who are coping with invisible wounds, the holidays may be stressful – especially for members of the National Guard and reserve who may not have the same deployment support networks as their active duty counterparts.1 Read the following tips for warriors and families going through the reintegration process this holiday season, which can help keep you and your family healthy and strong.
Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Runge/ReleasedBalancing the demands of a military career with family responsibilities can be challenging for many warriors and their families. It is common for military families to experience stress in response to times of transition, such as before, during and after deployment. The ability of military families to build resilience and overcome these barriers is critical to a warrior's psychological strength and mission readiness. There are numerous programs that can help military families build resiliency and thrive under the common pressures of military family life.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. John Robbart IIIMembers of the National Guard, reserve and individual augmentees are in unique positions. Members of the National Guard and reserve serve as citizen-warriors and often work full-time civilian jobs while still being a member of the armed forces. Individual augmentees may receive orders or volunteer to deploy individually with a command that is not their own.
Getting involved in meaningful work can aid in both the physical and psychological healing process for service members in recovery. Operation Warfighter is a federal internship program that places recovering active-duty service members and National Guard and reservists currently in a medical hold status in supportive work settings. By focusing on new opportunities and strengthening job skills, service members can bolster their recovery while gaining valuable work experience. This article highlights information about Operation Warfighter and offers tips and resources for service members who wish to apply.
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, know that you are not alone. Suicide is a medical emergency and care should be sought immediately by calling 911. Free, confidential resources are instantly available through the Military Crisis Line to aid you if you are in crisis. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, or chat online now for 24/7 access to trained counselors who understand what service members and military families are coping with.