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Warrior Transition Training aids returning veterans

9 Apr 2009 | Lance Cpl. Kel Clark Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Marines and sailors spend an average of six months to a year deployed away from home. When they return, the Marine Corps has come up with a series of briefs, known as Warrior Transition Training, to help those service members ease back into their lives after deployment.

“Deployments are different settings compared to being home or working at their home stations,” said Maj. Jeremy Hall, the Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 executive officer. “The different work schedules, being in a battle atmosphere and being away from families and friends, all play a role in causing post traumatic stress disorders and readjusting to normal life.”

“These briefs are required by II MEF and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and we integrated this training into our protocol,” Hall said. “Being deployed, working consecutive hours with no days off, building cumulative fatigue and stress, is a big reason the Corps holds these briefs.”

The briefs consist of classes on suicide awareness, operational risk management and financial responsibility in a controlled environment taught by subject matter experts, such as civilian law enforcement officers, and military personnel who have been on prior deployments.

An advance party of Marines and sailors from MWSS-273 returned to the Air Station March 29 from their six-month deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon their return, the squadron was involved in a series of WTT briefs from March 31 to April 3 aboard Fightertown.

“This is a method for Marines and sailors to ease back into their normal routine before they deployed, and it helps decrease life-impacting events,” Hall explained. “All the classes carried equal merits for an easy adjustment for us.”

Marines and sailors of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 and Marine Aircraft Group 31, who returned from Iraq to the Air Station March 21, also received WTT briefs.

“Receiving these briefs help the community become more aware and conscious of what we go through during deployments,” said Sgt. Thomas Salima, the VMFA-122 administration noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

The rest of the Sweathogs are scheduled to return near the end of this month.

“This plan will be in effect when the rest of the Sweathogs return as well,” Hall continued. “We were happy to be back from our deployment, and these briefs really helped everyone slowly get back with their families and friends safely and more responsibly.”