Everyone responsible for combating deployment stress

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Russell Kuck
  • 62nd Airlift Wing command chief master sergeant
With deployment cycles constantly revolving, more -- if not all -- Airmen are experiencing what it means to be expeditionary. 

Some have spent more time being deployed or on a temporary deployment than they have at their home station. 

While many of us have plenty of fervor about combat missions, there are some who need more time to adjust to their changing environment. 

The Air Force gives Airmen two weeks upon returning from a deployment to help transition from the two different lifestyles. 

However, this may not always be enough time to adjust. 

Taking someone and placing them in a war zone has the propensity to cause combat stress. 

Nevertheless, returning to a non-combat environment after seeing first-hand any traumatic view of a war zone can cause post-deployment stress. 

The effects of combat experiences can start to surface anywhere from six weeks to three months after returning to a normal work environment. 

You never know what to expect when your family or friends return from a deployment.

 It's everyone's responsibility to take care of those who may be vulnerable to post-deployment stress. 

First-line supervisors are key. They need to take note of any changes they see in their Airmen's attitudes and habits. 

Are they depressed? Are they talking about suicide?

Do they consume alcohol more frequently or in excessive amounts? 

Are they showing signs of aggression? 

The technique to combating any issues that may arise from deployment stress is to recognize when to talk to someone. 

Several base agencies, such as the wing chapel support center and Life Skills, offer assistance in a variety of ways. 

Take advantage of their programs; they're here for you and your Airmen. 

Remember, witnessing something face-to-face is different than seeing it on television or in video games. 

Although something may not seem traumatic for you, realize the same thing may be traumatic for your Airmen. 

Families and friends aren't the only people who suffer from deployments. 

Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other. Hooah!