LA JOLLA, Calif. (NNS) -- Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command hosted a Returning Warrior Workshop for military veterans who have returned from a mobilization, at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, California, April 1-3.
More than 80 veterans and their guests from across the country, and as far away as Korea, participated in the workshop specifically designed to address the difficulties veterans who have returned from mobilization may face during reintegration to life at home.
"Coming home is a challenge, and we want to make that a smoother process," said Warrior and Family Support Coordinator for NAVREG SW RCC Susan Hare. "More importantly, we want to normalize that process for our Sailors and their families because all of us idealize homecomings, but after the glamour subsides, there are challenges."
While the majority of the participants were Navy Reservists who completed a deployment, one active duty, one Navy Reserve full time support member, and one Marine Corps Reservist also participated in the event. The RWW brought them together in a relaxing resort environment away from the stresses of home, to assist them in reintegrating into daily life through listening, sharing and honoring of one another, according to Hare.
Topics covered during the event included dealing with stress, temperament and parenting, and why they want to go back. Participants were given the opportunity to attend smaller focus sessions led by a trained facilitator on topics ranging from "Couples Reconnecting," and "R U Angry?!," to "Female Warriors." The "Tell Your Story" session gave participants a chance to recount their personal experiences.
According to Hare, the workshop aimed to leave veterans knowing that their service is valued, makes a difference, and is an honorable profession. It also strove to instill the ideas that it's normal to have challenges with reintegration, that there are resources available to help, and that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
However, Hare noted that any veteran is welcome to attend future workshops, even if they don't need any help.
"If there's nothing wrong and you've reintegrated fine, perfect! Come and let us say thank you," she said.
If you're interested in enrolling in a Returning Warrior Workshop, or for more information, visit http://www.yellowribbonevents.org.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/npasehq/.