Soldier gets back to 'old' routine following deployment
December 16, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas-- As Sgt. Quentin Johnson hugged four of his children, the weariness from long months spent deployed seemed to melt away. He had been waiting for what seemed like forever for this moment, and when it was over, he finally felt like he was home.
Having just returned to Fort Hood, Texas, after more than six months deployed with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in Iraq and Kuwait, Johnson and his family face a new challenge: reintegrating him back into family life.
"There is an emotional detachment that happens while you are deployed," said Johnson, who has served on two deployments to the Middle East. "You have to set family and friends aside and focus on just getting the mission done."
"I'm a huge family man, and being away from them for so long was hard," he continued.
For Johnson's wife, Faith, who was responsible for taking care of the family's five children while he was gone, there were a lot of challenges to face during his deployment.
"Whatever you do, it's got to be with all five kids," she said. "You don't have that extra person around to help."
Faith said it took about a month for the fact of their dad being deployed to finally settle in with the children.
"You have to get yourself into different routines; you're the ones doing everything now," she said.
With Johnson home, the family can settle into a more traditional routine, but their making sure to give him plenty of time to readjust.
"It can be overwhelming for him," said Faith. "You can forget the routine, and I don't want him or myself to get frustrated, but he always wants to help out."
Faith said that from her experience from her husband's last deployment it took a few weeks to fully integrate him back into the regular family activities.
"I'm just going to spend as much time as I can with them now that I'm home. The kids won't leave my side," joked Johnson.
Johnson advised other Soldiers going through the same reintegration process to try and relax and enjoy being with their families.
"Don't expect everything to just go straight back to normal as soon as you get home," he said. "It takes time for everyone to adjust, but don't worry, it will happen sooner than you think."
Johnson also advised Soldiers to pay attention during their reintegration briefs and listen to the advice the councilors give them about successfully getting back into a regular routine with their families.
"During a deployment, things can change," said Johnson. "Be patient with yourself and your family and just give everyone the time and space they need until things get back to normal."
Soldiers looking for help or contact information for reintegration services on Fort Hood can find information on the post website at www.hood.army.mil