As the U.S. winds down its presence in Afghanistan, more service members are coming home to their families. With this comes many adjustments: physical, emotional, financial and others. And soldiers must reintegrate themselves into the lives of their spouses, partners and children. As part of KQED’s special coverage of California veterans, in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Forum talks with military family members and those who work with them about the experience of readjusting to home.

Keith Armstrong, director of Couples and Family Therapy and member of the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center; co-author of "Courage After Fire for Parents of Service Members: Strategies for Coping When Your Son or Daughter Returns from Deployment"
Ben Bowman, Commander, B Company, 1-126th General Support Aviation Battalion in the California Army National Guard
Pat Soler, National President, Blue Star Mothers of America; mother of Captain Kyle Soler, an Army Ranger in the special forces
Gina Rosamond, wife of National Guardsman Joseph Rosamond
Tracy Novogradac, mother of United States Marine Lance Corporal Tom Novogradac

  • Guest

    I’m wondering if your guest Kevin Armstrong knows of any websites or organizations that help companies hire vets. I’m in the Diversity Working Group at my company and I’d love to reach out to vets, but I’m not sure where to look.

    • Rogelio Manaois

      I work at SFSU and companies looking to hire veterans should partner with universities to find well qualified and work ready veterans using their GI Bill and finishing there degrees.


      Here is some information about a Veteran Employment Strategy Summit being held here in San Francisco next month – may be useful for further ideas related to hiring Veterans:

  • jurgispilis

    What is the drug use among veterans. We all know Afghanistan is the world’s top producer of heroin. That said, heroin use among American soldiers has got to be very high, and many GIs must return to the US with heroin habits. Exactly, how high is heroin use among today’s GI’s? How does it compare with drug use among GIs during Vietnam? What is the typical case study of today’s GI and how he would get involved in heroin use, then dealing with the side effects, and finally getting treatment. Can you give some concrete cases.

  • Skip Conrad

    Apparently, the military is not talking.

    “Back in the States, it is not difficult to find a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan with an addiction. Nearly every veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom I have spoken with was familiar with heroin’s availability on base, and most knew at least one soldier who used while deployed. In June, I spent a week in Southern California talking to veterans who had used while in Afghanistan. Getting one of them to talk to me on the record, however, was tougher.”

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