It's hard to believe that almost three weeks have passed since we were in Washington State to welcome home the 4th brigade.
Where does the time go.
We were home for a couple of days when we heard from Matt.
He's having a bit of a tough time reintegrating.
It seems strange that the Army would bring these men home from working seven days a week, sometimes going 36 or more hours without sleep, and put them on half days..
How does one slow down like that?
They have one more week, then they go on block leave.
Matt will be home for the month of July.
I understand that they don't want to put combat infantryman out on the street without having a chance to evaluate their state of mind.
But I think they could find things for them to do to keep busy up until they get to go on leave.
As far as the parent side of the equation.
The first emotion when they arrived at Ft. Lewis was jubilation.
Not really relief, because you can't be sure that the son who is coming home is the same person that left.
There is no telling what horrors he's been subjected to, and what effect that might have on him.
And don't expect him to tell you everything that happened, or that he saw.
Most won't talk about it.
Probably feeling first that you shouldn't know, and second that you won't understand.
I guess all we can do is to be there to listen when they want to talk, and not pry.
I have told Matt that he did what he was sent to do, and survived to come home.
Don't take the weight of it on his shoulders.
It isn't his fault.
He didn't start the war.
People die in wars.
That's just what happens.
Be glad you survived, and get on with your life.
Parents need to understand that once the jubilation of having your loved one home wears off, the stress and anxiety doesn't magically go away.
Only time will heal the mental wounds that we suffer from the constant worry while they are deployed.
Let's not forget that there are still young men and women in harms way.
Keep them in you thoughts and prayers.