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Reintegration Challenges in U.S. Service Members and Veterans Following Combat Deployment


  • This review was supported by VA Health Services Research and Development grants (grant no. DHI-07–150 and CDA-08–025) and a Department of Defense CDMRP grant (award no. W81XWH-08–2–0045). The content of this review presents the findings and conclusions of the authors and does not necessarily represent the VA or Department of Defense. The VA and Department of Defense had no role in the writing of this manuscript, nor in the decision to submit it for review.


Although the majority of combat veterans reintegrate into civilian life without long-lasting problems, a sizable minority return from deployment with psychiatric or physical injuries that warrant medical attention. Even in the absence of diagnosable disorders, many experience functional problems that impede full reintegration into civilian life. Considerable resources have been allocated to studying, diagnosing, treating, and compensating combat-related disorders. This important work has resulted in significant improvements in healthcare for those with deployment-related difficulties. Nevertheless, many service members and veterans with reintegration difficulty may not receive needed help. Based on our review, we argue that in addition to treatment and compensation for diagnosable postdeployment problems, a comprehensive approach to reintegration is needed that includes partnership between the government, private sector, and the public.