NEWS | Aug. 2, 2016

Event Prepares Family for Soldier Return

By Spc. Brianna Saville 416th Theater Engineer Command

DARIEN, Illinois – Family members of the 863rd Engineer Battalion gathered for a Yellow Ribbon Ceremony and Family Day.  Earlier this year the Battalion became mobilized. The goal of this particular ceremony was to help with several different subjects for the deployed soldiers and their families. Briefing objectives ranged from communication while deployed to family members being the voice of soldiers when they are back home. 

One specific topic that everyone seemed to love was, “What are you looking forward to most when your soldier arrives home?” Megan Shculler of Bellevue, Ohio said, “I’m looking forward to seeing my husband interact with our 1 year old. This isn’t our first deployment but this is our first with our daughter. I want to see both of their reactions, really.” 

Another topic discussed was “What are some things you should refrain from in the first 90 days after the soldier gets home?” A few spouses and parents are now on their second and third deployment. They had really good advice for the family members who were on their first. Some of the advice was staying away from large crowds, gradually bringing family members around to be with the soldier, doing most things at the soldiers pace, giving the soldier space. 

One specific point that was reiterated on was giving the soldier their space, not expecting the soldier to just hop back into everyday routine. Family members expressed how hard it is to give the soldier their space simply because we miss them. Our soldiers have literally had to have someone with them for the past several months. There was no “me” time.

Overall, the ceremony was very informative. Family members walked away with tons of helpful advice and resources to ensure that our soldiers and families have a smooth transition post-deployment.