Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reconnecting through Returning Warrior Workshops

“In grateful recognition of your extraordinary service in protecting freedom around the world. Our nation is and will remain indebted to you for the personal sacrifices you and your loved ones endured while you were called to duty in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.”

Those words, so carefully chosen, are on the certificates of appreciation presented to Returning Warriors at the Returning Warrior Workshop (RWW) they attend as part of the reintegration process following deployment.  I recently had the opportunity to attend one of the RWWs this past weekend February 22-24, in Portland, OR.  I found those words very compelling, but I was even more moved by the eloquence of the words found on the certificate presented to family members.

“When your Sailor was called to leave home and join the mission required of them from Sea to Land, you, too, were given a mission. It was a mission that would require more of your strength, will and resilience than can ever be tangibly measured or adequately honored.”
One of the main purposes of the RWW is to honor our Sailors and their families for their sacrifice.  If it weren’t for the families who provide support and take care of the home front, our Reserve Sailors couldn’t do what they do so well. And while tears of joy accompany most homecomings, working to reconnect after a long absence can be challenging. 

For any Warrior who has found this to be true, there are resources. The RWWs offer a highly beneficial break-out session entitled “Couples Reconnecting” which is designed to give couples the opportunity to learn communication techniques that allow them to express their feelings while trusting they’re being heard. This “reflective listening” tool is also used by couples at the Chaplain’s Religious Enrichment Development Operation’s  (CREDO) Marriage Enrichment Retreats.  The resources available provide tools that increase Warrior and family resilience through the mobilization/deployment process, during the reconnecting phase, and after. 

If you are a Returning Warrior or spouse or a child who serves without a choice and without a voice, I want to personally thank you for your sacrifice and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the resources you’ve so valiantly earned. I’m also interested in your experiences and feedback of our RWWs and retreats. Please share them!
For more information and dates on upcoming Returning Warrior Workshops, visit:

For more information on CREDO or to reach a Chaplain, visit: call 1-855-NAVY311 (1-855-628-9311). 

1 comment:

  1. I would like to sign up for a RWW in late 2014 or early 2015 but cannot find a schedule online anywhere....only the 2013-2014 schedule.