South Georgia's troops will get help with readjustment - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia's troops will get help with readjustment

May 1, 2006

Thomasville- Homecoming for south Georgia's national guardsmen is more of a process than a single event. Troops arrived home last week, but the process of readjusting from combat to civilian life may take several months. During that readjustment, the national guard is making help available.

Hugs, kisses, and tears, for soldiers with the 48th Brigade, coming home may be just as emotional as the last 11 months in combat.

"You go through certain emotions. I was angry when I got back emotionally, physical things I did, habits I carried back," said Eric Lundblom, Readjustment Counseling Technician and IraqVeteran.

With a break from drills, National Guardsmen will get down to the business of readjusting. For some it will come easy for others it may be more difficult.

"At first it's great to have that soldier home, then when they start to notice the changes in that soldier, you the soldier might want to do things one way while the family member who's been running the household for the past 18 months does it another way," said Lundblom.

Add in the re-adjustment from being constantly on guard and the recent tears of joy could turn into tears of sadness and separation.

"I know of some divorces with some of the soldiers in my old unit, some of them could have been avoided if they would have gone in and gotten counseling help," said Lundblom.

All soldiers will be contacted by the Department of Defense for a mandatory post deployment health reassessment. They will be screened for readjustment issues, post traumatic distress disorder, and any other problems, until then soldiers are encouraged to help each other.

"The next best thing is talking with each other, especially the soldiers need to talk to each other and check up on each other. They're the ones that shared that common bond of combat and they know all the experiences each other went through," said Lundblom.

Unfortunately many soldiers may not realize they have a problem. If that's the case counselors encourage family member to step in so, the hugs and kisses can continue for a long time to come.

The closest Veterans Administration Clinic to south Georgia is the V.A. Hospital in Tallahassee. Counselors from the hospital are expected to be at the armories in Albany and Valdosta weekly over the next several months to offer free, confidential counseling to any soldier in need.

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