If you’ve ever stopped or stuttered midsentence when talking to a vet recently home from war, you wouldn’t be alone. Not knowing what to say to returning soldiers is a common struggle says Mike Liguori, a former Marine who served during the Iraq War and is now director of community at Unite US, an online platform that connects current and former military members and their families.
Well-intentioned friends and family members may say something that actually increases stress or negative emotions: Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects up to 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. With no official blueprint on how best to help military members ease back into civilian life, we surveyed a range of vets and experts to tell us what’s helpful — or hurtful — for vets to hear from loved ones.
What Not to Say
What to Say
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