Parents of returning service members may sometimes feel that their voices are not heard. The media is saturated with stories about troops returning from deployment with mental health problems like post-traumatic stress, depression, and substance abuse. Some also return home with physical problems including traumatic brain injury, physical pain or more severe injuries like amputations. Almost all returning service members experience reintegration challenges such as readjusting to family and community, finding employment or attending school.
But rarely do we hear how parents are taking on the role of supporting their sons and daughters who have served our country. In countless ways these parents provide help—and when their military child suffers significant physical or psychological injuries, they may once again become their primary caretaker. For mothers and fathers and others in a parenting role, it can be overwhelming at times, and resources are limited.
Courage after Fire for Parents of Service Members provides a compassionate and accessible guide for the parents or guardians of returning troops. This groundbreaking book acknowledges the significant contribution and sacrifice parents have made for their military children, provides strategies and resources that will assist them in understanding and supporting their son or daughter, and will validate their own personal experiences.
Recommendations for helping them care for their returning service member are woven throughout the book, as well as education about the importance of taking care of themselves to help prevent caregiver burnout. Vignettes and reflections from parents who have had a child deploy offer a sense of hope and community.
Even in the best of circumstances, parents play an instrumental role in helping their sons and daughters successfully reintegrate after deployment. This book is a valuable resource for any parent who is seeking to better understand and support a returning military child while caring for themselves.