Enjoy your transition back to life at home
Returning home after deployment can be a happy time, but it can also be a time of stress and adjustment. Here are some tips that can help smooth your transition—financially and personally.
Your financial life
- Review your leave and earnings statement (LES). The LES shows your leave and earnings totals. When you return home from a deployment, you should review your LES and make sure everything is correct. Pay particular attention to your tax status, any special pay or allowances you received during your deployment and any allotments you set up prior to your deployment.
- Review your emergency assistance pre-authorization. If you demonstrated financial need before your deployment, you may have completed a pre-authorization form that allowed your family to request emergency financial assistance. The form includes an expiration date, after which your family is no longer be able to request assistance in your name. If that date has not passed, you may wish to contact the relief organization noted on the form to revoke the pre-authorization.
- Create a new budget. You'll want to review your weekly and monthly finances and set up a new budget, particularly if you received extra pay during deployment and you're no longer benefiting from that additional income.
- Consider longer-term savings issues. If you received extra pay during deployment, chances are you've had few opportunities to spend it. If you find yourself with extra cash on hand, our savings accounts and CDs can help you maximize your savings
Your home life
- Maintain realistic expectations for your return. During a deployment, it's easy to imagine how an ideal reunion with family and friends might be. Servicemembers should understand that things have changed for everyone: Servicemembers are beginning to adjust to being back home with friends and family, and those friends and family members are adjusting, too. Give yourself and your loved ones, especially children, time to adapt to your return.
- Take advantage of TRICARE support resources. Servicemembers and their family members who are TRICARE beneficiaries and are experiencing symptoms of stress, depression, grief or anxiety are eligible to receive outpatient behavioral health care services. TRICARE covers outpatient psychotherapy at a maximum of 2 sessions per week in any combination of individual, family, collateral or group sessions. For complete information, visit the TRICARE Mental Health Resource Center website.
- Take care of your physical health. Geting plenty of rest, plenty of exercise and eating properly can help reduce the stress of returning home from deployment. Don't overdo the number of social events you attend. There will be plenty of time for celebrations later on, after you've become comfortable with your new routine.
- Remember that you are not alone. Difficulty adjusting to life after deployment is common. The feelings you may be having are a normal reaction to your experiences. Take all the time you need to readjust, and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Talk to friends and family members—and a professional counselor if necessary. Communication is key to becoming comfortable again.
For comprehensive information and additional resources about returning from deployment, access the Deployment Guide: Preparing You and Your Family for the Road Ahead (PDF, requires Adobe Reader) on the Military One Source website.