For soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the prospect of returning home is a hopeful one—a happy date circled on the calendar. Yet many veterans face challenges reintegrating into day-to-day life. This is a place for veterans and their families to share advice, tips and resources for reintegration, helping the rest us better understand what it's like to return home from war. Share your advice and tips


"After Vietnam, vets wore their Field Jackets. I can always spot a vet on campus by his backpack."
—Ross Holtan, Minneapolis, MN
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"Getting out of the Army meant I had to grow up and do it all on my own. Uncle Sam was no longer there to bail me out."
—Arthur Howard, St. Paul, MN
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"It is very difficult going from a life of service with a mission that every day someone depends on you to make life and death decisions to a life with civilians who are making decisions about what client to call back first, or what is the best outfit to wear to work."
—Trista Matascastillo, St. Paul, MN
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"Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, no more than asking your buddy to cover your backside. The body may heal from scars and wounds readily, but scars and wounds of trauma can last much longer and are more difficult to heal."
— Manfred Tatzmann, Brooklyn Park, MN
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"It took my wife and I months to get back to normal. She wanted to hug me and hold me every single moment we were awake and together. I just wanted to be left alone. After all, I hadn't really had much physical contact for a year. It took a great deal of communication for us to make it through that. She felt I was rejecting her and I felt she wasn't respecting my space. We are still together and now have a baby boy."
—B Jones, Laurel, MD
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Were you surprised by the challenges of coming home?

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Share your reintegration advice and experience

More than 1200 soldiers from Minnesota's National Guard Red Bull brigade are returning home after serving in Iraq for nearly a year. The Red Bulls: Beyond deployment, looks at what happens after the welcome home ceremonies. View project

Share your photos of coming home

Minnesota Public Radio News invited veterans and their families to a special event on February 10, 2010 to share their reintegration stories and advice.
As part of The Guide to Coming Home, MPR News is collecting resources for returning veterans and their families. View resources list or send us your suggested resources.
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