Operation Immersions (19 April – 21April2011) was both informative and entertaining. We survived death by power point and ate lots of food.
The biggest thing that we learned about military persons at OI is the closeness they feel toward their battle buddy. The change they have gone through while protecting our lives and freedom can cause friction when they are being reunited with their family. In the full-time military, there is a three week period of adjustment and counselling when our Warriors return from deployment before they are reunited with their families. It is a well structured adjustment time during which they readjust to ‘normal’ domestic life as a part of their families.
Our Indiana National Guard Warriors go through the same training and the same conditions as full-time military. They are deployed just as long and have just as difficult a time being reunited with their families. However, they only get a three day adjustment period and basically no help at all. When our National Guard Warriors go home, they are just released to their families without time or help to adjust.
Additionally, when full-time personnel return home, they still have a job and a paycheck. Our National Guard Warriors usually find themselves unemployed. There is a significant need for an adjustment in our laws to provide parity.
The relationships involved with military persons are different than what we encounter with civilians. Our Warriors are trained to be independent, strong, and self-sufficient. They trust their battle buddy with their life, but they may not have confidence in an outsider. This impacts our ability to help military personnel recover from addictions. As it is a very private problem, they may not want to admit a weakness or a need and they may have extreme trust issues. While no solutions were immediately obvious, we did gain some appreciation for the situation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our national guard military who are undoubtedly spending the week right now away from their families again, filling sand bags and building walls, to protect our cities from flooding. God Bless America and our Warriors. Amen.