Today I spent the day with military families welcoming soldiers back after a deployment to Iraq. Can you imagine what it would be like to have your husband or wife leave for approximately nine months to a year? You get to talk by Skype but you don't see each other. Then he or she comes home and you are trying to put your relaitonship back to some semblance of normal.

There are so many issues military fmailies face. For some there were questions of infidelity. For others, there may have been financial concerns. The person left home doesn't always have the same spending habits and priorities as the person on deployment and that can be stressful. Then, there may be parenting concerns. Often one parent parents much differently alone than a couple parents together. This can cause issues when the deployed spouse returns and attempts to step back into their parenting role.

Another issue can simply be the division of labor in the home. Often when a person gets back from deployment, there is an adjustment period. People have gone from an environment where almost all their decisions were made for them to a home situation where hundreds of decisions need to made daily. It's not uncommon for the military member to wait to be isolated for some time before rejoining social circles.

The spouse left behind may have been counting the days till the military member got home so they could unload some of the household responsibilities, but the military member may not be ready to assume those responsibilities. On the hand, sometimes the spouse at home enjoy the added tasks they had to assume while their spouse deployed and they don't want to give up paying the bills or having sole parenting responsibilities. In this case, sometimes the military member is ready to resume their activities and the spouse does not want to give them up.

Sometimes there are couples who can serve as the example for all military families. There are couples with such resiliency and understanding that they can go through deployments without missing a beat.

Whatever the situation, I am in awe of couples willing to serve their country in this way. Service members give up their freedom so others can enjoy theirs. They lose valuable time with their families to do their jobs. They give up so much so others can benefit. The more work I do with military families, the greater appreciation I gain. These are some amazing people and I am grateful for them.

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