So, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is slowly making its way back home from Korea and, soon enough, I’ll be firing up the grill again for my boys from 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment.

Coming home from a deployment is always an exciting time, even when it’s only a relatively short one.

While nine months may certainly feel like forever to soldiers eagerly hoping to put Korea in the rear-view mirror — and even longer to waiting loved ones — it’s certainly better than yearlong deployments to places where you’re getting shot at daily.

But whether it’s a year in a combat zone or nine months in a place that may as well be, landing back in the good ol’ U.S. of A. is a great feeling.

If you want to that feeling to continue, you should think about a few things as you get back into a “normal” routine.

First thing you’re probably going to want to do when the commander says “dismissed” and releases you is hop in the car and go get some alcohol.

Together, that’s a bad combination.

You haven’t driven at home in a while and, most likely, rules were a little different while “over there.” Let someone else drive for a few days — whether it’s your spouse, friend or other family member — until you can get comfortable again with the rules of the road.

If you’re going to drink alcohol, don’t drive. Simple as that.

You’ve already been gone a while, so your loved ones probably don’t want a permanent absence.

You’re going to want to party. I get that. But if you have a spouse and kids, getting drunk every day until you go back to work certainly won’t help you fit back in.

Trust me on this one — I’m speaking from experience.

Even single soldiers will quickly find tempers flaring in the barracks, or at home visiting family, when too much alcohol is involved.

Watch some football. Learn how to cook. Play a marathon tournament of “Halo.”

Whatever you do, keep the alcohol to a minimum.

It’s a lot less stressful on marriages, friendships and family relations.

Besides, the last thing you want is to get in trouble now you’re home, and alcohol is the number one reason soldiers tend to lose rank after redeploying.

If you’re having issues adjusting now that you’re home, talk to your noncommissioned officer support chain, or chain of command if you’re a young officer.

They can get you to where you need to go. And, of course, you can always shoot me an email.

David A. BRYANT is an Army retiree and the military editor of the Killeen Daily Herald. You can reach him at dbryant@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7554.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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