Returning from combat deployment is no vacation and it sometimes leaves the soldier feeling like no one understands him except for his battle buddies. While life goes on, the readjustment is difficult for many. In Return to Christmas, post-deployment is difficult for Chet as he attempts to readjust to behind home with his family and having difficulty finding and keeping employed. It as not until he meets a quiet autistic child that he begins to open up.
The behaviors of Chet are familiar to me, as I work with wounded warriors full-time. I’m not a social worker, but sometimes I wonder if that’s the next chapter for myself. Regardless, this story of Chet and his family and their journey to Christmas is emotional, heart-breaking, hopeful, and enlightening. In my experience with working with the wounded, ill, and injured service members post-deployment, their conditions are not always physical, but rather behavior health with chronic issues with sleep, anger, depression, headaches, and more.
Chet seemed to do his best when it came to caring for his child. This is one person who wouldn’t judge him nor does he feel judged. This is often the case with returning soldiers from combat-deployment. They seem to focus on their children. Maybe it’s because they have seen the value of life, or maybe it’s because they want a better life for their own child, whatever the case, their children seem to ground them, particularly if the child is young, like Chet’s.
This story lightly touches on the effects on the home life for many who return from combat-deployments. An easy and light read, yet heart-warming and touching storyline, Return to Christmas by Kathi Macias shows a fairly typical story of post-deployment soldiers. The support of family and friends is important, even though the soldier may not want it. The changes in behavior are typical for soldiers who have deployed to Operation Eduring Freedom and Opeartion Iraqi Freedom, resulting in isolation and difficulty to reintegrate into civilian life.
I am honored to have the opportunity to read and review this book that shows even a small glimpse of life with a wounded warrior. This book was provided complimentary for an honest review. I highly recommend this book to anyone who knows a recently deployed soldier or maybe just a military love story.