Single Sailor Reintegration
Coming home after a deployment can feel great, but it's also a time of adjustment. When you're single, you face a different set of re-entry challenges than married service members do. You don't have a spouse or, in many cases, nearby family members. That can be freeing as there will be fewer people imposing expectations on you during your transition, but this also means there are likely fewer people committed to walking with you through the R3 process. The information below can help you better understand what to expect following a deployment and how to find support to make the adjustment easier.
It's important to think of your return to single life following deployment as a process rather than a single event. Just as it took time to adjust to your deployment, it will now take time to readjust to being home. You may have to get used to different foods and a different time zone. You might also have to make some emotional adjustments.You may feel the following:
- Tired, less motivated than usual, discouraged
- Lonely, or a sense of loss
- Culture shock
- Try to establish new habits and routines in your personal life as soon as possible
- Sort out your finances and establish your budget
- Limit alcohol use and continue physical exercise
- Think about the next steps in your career
Reconnecting with Friends & Family:
- Be flexible: try to avoid a tightly scheduled reunion
- Understand that different people will react differently to your deployment
- Understand that people or circumstances may have changed while you were away
- Be prepared for some awkwardness in personal relationships
- Be patient - with yourself & others
Note that the Returning Warrior Workshop (RWW) is available to Single Sailors, not just married ones. Single Sailors are welcome to take advantage of this program alone, or accompanied by a close friend or family member.
Finally, you can find support through trusted friends, religious or spiritual communities, military sources or a professional counselor: many of which can be found through the services, support, and chaplain pages on this site. Don't overlook those resources that are primarily directed to married IA Sailors -- many of them contain practical advice on finances and other transitions that apply to singe Sailors as well:
- Returning to Homelife After Deployment is an outstanding article at Military.com that helps Navy families think about R3 in advance of homecoming, how to plan the first day, the first week and the first months.
- Armed Forces Crossroads' online pamphlet helps IA Sailors overcome the challenges associated with coming home in the following five categores: (1) reunion and the single member; (2) reunion and marriage; (3) reunion and children; (4) reunion and single parents; and finally (5) reunion and work.
- The National Military Family Association hosts helpful articles on Reunion and Reinitegration. The USMC Return and Reunion Guide hosted there is one of the more thorough and practical handbooks for planning for R3 available.
- The Returning from a War Zone Family Guide is a Veterans' Administration publication which helps both the Sailor and their family through the readjustment process following a war zone mobilization. It contains simple, straightforward information supported by veteran testimonials.
- The comprehensive Deployment Readiness Guide.
- "Plan my Deployment: Reintegration" provides comprehensive checklists and resources for IA Sailors and their families.
Asking for help is not showing weakness.