When I pull away or act afraid of my veteran parent, what I may be saying is, “I need time to get to know you again and to feel safe and at ease with you.” You can support me by following my lead. Let’s spend time all together—both my parent who has been with me and my parent who used to be away so often on deployment. Try not to be upset. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I need time to remember and reconnect. Offer me the chance to look at you and play with you—smile at me, offer me a toy, or sing me a silly song.

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