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Alabama, which has had more than 13,000 Guard members deployed to support those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, has a new tool to help those returning soldiers adjust to life back home.
Thousands of U.S. military personnel, including nearly half of all Army National Guard soldiers who served in Iraq or Afghanistan,reported psychological problems when they came home, a Pentagon task force found last year. Alabama, which has had more than 13,000 Guard members deployed to support the wars, has a new tool to help those returning soldiers adjust to life back home. The Reintegration Action Plan is a 63-page booklet that includes information, action items and ideas to help troops and their families successfully make the transition back to civilian life. It walks troops through common scenarios and offers coping strategies as well as resources for additional support or professional help. The booklet is modeled after a similar publication in Ohio, and was developed by a number of state and federal agencies including the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and the Veterans Administration. Officials hope to share the booklet with mental health and substance abuse centers to augment treatment they're already providing.