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Reintegration: The Road Back After Korea - Part 1 - The Beginning

AWC > Military Life > Reintegration:  The Road Back After Korea

As most or all of you know, my husband spent the last year at Camp Hovey in South Korea.  As most people would be, I was so excited for my husband's homecoming that I forgot, that one of hardest part was yet to come.

A hardship tour is a lot different from a deployment in a lot of respects because during deployment there are reintegration meetings and FRG's are there to assist you with anything that you might need right before a deployment ends.  However, during a hardship tour you don't have any of that.

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 I personally don't have any friends who's husbands have went away on a hardship tour during their marriage.  This was all new territory for me, and I spent most of the time he was gone feeling alone and misguided.  If there are Army programs available to assist spouses during a hardship tour I have yet to hear about it.  I have been through a deployment with my husband back in 2008 when he deployed to Iraq.  I was not a spouse yet, so I didn't have a lot of Army experience nor did the Army even care that I existed.

The last couple of months before the tour ended, I did a lot of preparing mentally but I also began to get the house super organized in preparation for his arrival.  All of this was new to me because my husband was only home with my daughter and I for 11 days before he left.  Having a baby is always an adjustment, but we did a lot of adjusting in the first month of her life.  Over the year, I set a routine and had it down with just Madison and I.  Now I had to think about where my husband fits into all of this, and how to make him part of our family, again.  Thankfully, I have a resilient daughter who blows my mind with every milestone and never ceases to amaze me when it comes to her ability to adjust. Thankfully, that took a lot pressure and stress off my shoulders.  My husbands homecoming was perfect and the first week was honeymoon like, of course.  Then the anxiety, pressure and confusion came, not to mention housework, laundry, dishes... you name it for 3 people.  I never could believe how adding just one more person complicates your routine.

I had a terrible time adjusting to the newness of all of it, in addition to having PPD.  It was the first time, on a permanent basis that we would be a family under one roof.  Where is my husband supposed to fit in our "life"? How is everything going to play out??  These are all questions that I still ask myself to this day!  I do not know what the answer is when it comes to reintegrating from a hardship tour, but I do know that patience, understanding and faith largely come into play.

If you have questions about my hardship tour and the experiences I had, feel free to follow me on twitter-- @CourtneyAWC.  If you have had any experiences with a hardship tour, please feel free to pass on any tools that you used, so that in the future these resources can be available to other spouses!

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