New Service Helps Military Couples Cope After Deployment

SALISBURY -- After veterans come home from deployment, experts say readjusting can be a challenge. From finding jobs to building relationships, veterans and experts say the key is finding help and researching the available services. One new service through North Carolina is aimed at helping couples cope.

A couples retreat through the Salisbury VA Medical Center aimed at helping veterans and their significant others is a step that will help an issue among military families.

"We do see issues everyday that affect veterans' lives and their significant others,” said Ryan Wagers, a chaplain at the Salisbury VA Medical Center.

Wagers says the retreat will work in a group setting and include coping exercises for others in similar situations.

"Come back and there is that communication breakdown that exists,” said Wagers.

It's a theme veterans echoed at a veterans’ health conference Tuesday at UNC-Charlotte.

"When I came back from storm, he knew exactly, I had two small daughters, he knew exactly the time to leave mom alone, mom needs to be resting,” said Retired Maj. Gen. Marianne Mathewson-Chapman.

"Everybody is happy to see you home; however, they've done without you for six, eight, ten months. Adjustment goes both ways,” said Retired Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Dahlberg.

Dahlberg also added that finding jobs despite a college education is another issue.

"In three years as an undergraduate I didn't receive a single call back,” said Dahlberg.

But Dahlberg, now a Ph.D candidate at UNCC turned it around to help other veterans. Through the Department of the Navy, he recruits veterans to pursue a STEM education at UNCC. It’s a grant UNCC uses that doesn’t stop at schoolwork.

"Program follows on to assist with finding employment post graduation,” said Dahlberg.

It’s a program similar to the Warriors 2 Soulmates retreat which will help veterans and their families succeed after the military.

The retreat is from April 17 to 19. For more information about UNCC’s program to recruit veterans for a STEM education, go to www.uncc.edu.