The Navy’s Fleet and Family Support program wants service members to know that in a hectic deployment cycle, there are services available to help them.
From financial issues to child support to simply relearning how to communicate with each other once a ship returns back to port, sailors and their families are running into all sorts of problems.
"One of the things that happens is if you're away from your spouse for extended periods of time, you come home, some of the communication skills have faded,” said William Fenton, the chief of clinical services at Fleet and Family Services Center San Diego. "The way you communicate within your command structure or with your shipmates when you're at sea are a lot different than the way you're going to communicate with your spouse or your children."
The Navy has a program called Return and Reunion, in which counselors are flown out to the ships and teach classes on finance, returning to intimacy, how to be a new parent and more. Once sailors are home, there are anger-management classes as well as individual, couple and group counseling.
"The Navy has a saying now that you recruit a sailor, but you retain a family," Carl Weiscopf, the local director of Fleet and Family Support, said. "If that service member is married and that family is not functioning, than we just know that that sailor is not going to be the best sailor that he or she can be."
Drop us a line if you have a deployment story you want to share.