VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network
Although joyous and relieving, a soldier’s transition home can also be difficult, both for the soldier and the family.
To help prepare you for the experience, the National Center on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) encourages you to check out Returning from the War Zone: Guides for Families *
Local Caregiver Programs:
New Mexico VA Health Care System Caregiver Program
VA Greater Los Angeles Caregiver Program
VA Loma Linda Caregiver Program
VA Long Beach Caregiver Program
Phoenix VA Health Care System Caregiver Program
Northern Arizona VA Health Care System Caregiver Program
VA San Diego Caregiver Program
Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Caregiver Program
Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Veterans have a special two year period, from discharge, to enroll in VA and receive free medical care for service-related conditions, whether physical or psychological. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Curious about what the VA can do for your family?
See a complete list of VA benefits.
Alcohol: Is it hurting your family?
Unfortunately, alcohol and substance abuse are not uncommon diseases for returning service men and women, but it can (and should), be treated.
Contact your local VA to learn how to sign up for services.
A Few Tips for Family
(as excerpted from the National Center for PTSD and Courage After Fire **)
• Be patient with yourself and your soldier.
• Avoid scheduling too many activities.
• Go slowly in making adjustments.
• Stick to your budget until you've had time to talk it through.
• Along with time for the family, make individual time to talk just to each other.
• Discuss splitting up family chores.
• Remind the soldier that he or she is still needed in the family.
• Become an expert in the area of resources... Your soldier may be initially too irritable or uninterested in seeking help even to find out what resources are available.
• Give your soldier the opportunity to talk about his or her war experiences. Let him/her know you’re willing to listen and that you won’t make judgments or comments about what happened during deployment.
• Let your soldier know what your concerns are by giving examples of specific things that they’ve done or said that you’ve observed.
• Speak with a therapist to get some ideas about how to bring up the idea of getting help for your soldier.
• Have a veteran of a previous war, or a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, come speak with your soldier to encourage him or her to seek help.
** Armstrong, Keith, Suzanne Best, and Paula Domenici. Courage After Fire. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2006. (disclaimers)
VA offers a number of services that can provide you with the support that's right for you. Whether you and the Veteran you care for could use some help at home or you just need someone to listen, we're here to support you. Follow the link to learn more about the variety of services available to Family Caregivers.
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is expanding to all eras.
Expansion rolls out in two phases beginning with eligible Veterans who served on or before May 7, 1975, and phase two, beginning October 1, 2022, will include eligible Veterans who served between May 7, 1975, and September 11, 2001.
PCAFC, which prior to this expansion was only available for eligible Post-9/11 Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty, provides resources, education, support, a financial stipend, health insurance, and beneficiary travel to caregivers of eligible Veterans.
Veterans with a 70% service-connected disability who served either on or after September 11, 2001, or on or before May 7, 1975, and are in need of Caregivers Support should contact their local Caregivers Support Coordinator, or visit https://www.caregiver.va.gov for more information.
Have questions about VA Caregiver Support Services? Contact VA's Caregiver Support Line (1-855-260-3274) or your local Caregiver Support Coordinator for assistance.