The Transition Home

The Behavioral Exchange

Last week, CNN reported that a soldier coming home from combat tours had been shot at a homecoming/holiday party after verbal and physical engagement with a high school football teammate. The soldier was a wounded warrior, coming home from Afghanistan after being injured in a suicide bomb blast. That article went on to interview the soldier’s mother and we understood that this was a good person and someone who probably didn’t do anything wrong, or at least nothing that merited the drawing of a weapon against him.

The article was extremely sympathetic towards the soldier. And I understand completely, this situation is out of hand. But I’m not stranger to the stresses of returning back home. Transitioning from combat to comfort puts a strain on ones personality and our demeanors. What is usually a calm disposition in a combat zone can appear tense and angry in an everyday situation here at home. The forceful nature of small arguments in combat can appear like a threatening temper storm when put back home. My point isn’t that the soldier did anything wrong, but I can’t help but wonder what sort of transition challenges the soldier was facing that might have provoked the attack against him. Was his voice raised very loud? Was he making any gestures that appeared to be aggressive, though they may not have intended to be so?

The importance of this isn’t to isolate who is to blame in this shooting incident. The point of the analysis is to further understand the minutia of what returning veterans do in stressful situations and how our behaviors can either mitigate or irritate confrontations. Interesting discussions worth having around the dinner table at families who are affected by a loved one coming home. I’m interested to hear your responses.



One response

  1. I think we should all realize that when a soldier returns home that even if he doesn’t say so……he has brought back some baggage. Hopefully we will embrace them with love and help them work through what ever happened on the battlefield. Just because they are home; doesn’t mean that their battle is over. I pray for their inner healing. I pray that they will forgive us if we don’t know how to always help them through the darkest of days/nights. For those of us who had the option to stay out of the war; because we are to old or whatever….we owe them gratitude, respect, and a whole lot more. A giant THANK YOU TO OUR SOLDIERS! I have a tender heart toward all of you and wish you God’s best. It is a shame for any of them to come home to tradegy. God bless America & Our Soldiers!

    29 December 11 at 18:51

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