I can't tell you if your expectations are realistic or not... Probably some will come true and others won't. One thing I can tell you is that almost every family I work with says their real experience was different in some way from what they expected. The more prepared you are for the unexpected, the better you'll be able to adapt to your loved one's return.
When there's been a deployment, change is hard to avoid. Children have gotten older. Family members have taken on new responsibilities, made new friendships, begun new hobbies. Veterans have also changed... They adopted a battle mindset to survive, and readjusting to civilian life takes time. Some changes you notice may be positive, and others may seem negative. A lot of the changes will be temporary; others may be longer lasting.
When you and your loved one come together again, it's natural if it takes time before you feel as comfortable together as you did before. That's okay and nothing to be alarmed about.
Let's hear about some of the changes your veteran might face when returning home.
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