NPR Nationwide Public Radio Weekend Version, for the subsequent 12 months, will likely be spending time with the lads of the Nationwide Guard’s 182nd Infantry Regiment as they make the transition from troopers to civilians in a collection known as “House Entrance.”
Just a few days in the past, a aircraft carrying members of the 182nd Infantry Regiment touched down in Indiana. The 303 troopers who had been on board are members of an Military Nationwide Guard unit that has simply completed a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
The troopers, dressed of their fight uniforms and carrying their weapons, bounded down the steps from the aircraft. They shook the arms of the generals who had gathered there to welcome them dwelling. It was the midnight and raining, however none of them appeared to thoughts. It had been a protracted journey and a protracted 12 months.
Making an attempt To Cope
For the previous decade, the Nationwide Guard has been known as on to be a significant a part of the combating pressure each in Iraq and Afghanistan. These so known as “citizen troopers” have deployed to the struggle zones a number of instances, leaving households and careers behind.
Now, because the wars draw down, many Guard troopers are dealing with new challenges. They do not have the identical stage of sources or assist networks that lively responsibility troopers have when making the transition again to civilian life.
And their transition could be a tough one — generally they do not have a job to return again to, household dynamics have modified — and a few find yourself making an attempt to return to the struggle zone as rapidly as attainable as a option to cope. Others do not cope in any respect. In line with the Pentagon, the suicide fee amongst Nationwide Guard troopers is increased than the active-duty pressure.
The 182nd Infantry Regiment is predicated in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, however earlier than the troopers return dwelling, they go to Camp Atterbury, Ind., for what’s known as the demobilization course of. The method consists of seven to 10 days of medical screenings, behavioral well being assessments and many briefings.
Troopers are informed the way to maximize their army advantages. They’re given recommendation on the way to discover jobs if they do not have them, and there are conversations about the way to navigate modifications of their private lives — a divorce, a loss of life, coming dwelling to a household that will not perceive what they’ve simply been by way of.
Most troopers listed here are counting the times, even the hours, till they will fly dwelling and see their households — and restart their lives. Others are extra reticent. The expertise they’ve had has modified them. And whereas they need to go dwelling, they’re afraid to depart behind the unusual sense of safety — the robust bonds of camaraderie that they’ve developed within the struggle zone.
Members of the 182nd “Yankee Division,” as they’re known as, will go away Camp Atterbury and return to New England . Their households will meet them on the airport, and that can start the subsequent chapter.
The Impression of Battle
House Entrance: ‘Citizen Troopers’ Begin A Transition
by Rachel Martin
I will likely be following this with updates as they arrive on my weblog at