Returning From War: The Difficulties Of Re-Adjusting To Life In The United States
For Captain Michelle Matthews, readjusting to home was more difficult than adjusting to war. A reservist with previous active duty experience, Matthews was deployed with the Missouri National Guard to Iraq in December of 2005.
"Life was a lot easier at war in some aspects," said Matthews. "I didn't have to cook, get gas, pay bills. But we were at war."
"We were mortared every day," she added. She described a joke about hearing mortars. If you could hear them, you were good. If you couldn't hear them, then you were in trouble.
Matthews experienced an additional ordeal before even deploying to Iraq - a sexual harassment case involving her commanding officer.
After returning to the United States, she struggled to re-adjust. Writing her thoughts down became a coping mechanism for her.
"By my doing that I was able to move forward," said Matthews of writing her book, Re-Entry: Surviving Life After War."