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Hoosier Guardsmen To "Decompress" Upon Return From Iraq

Last updated on Tuesday, September 30, 2008

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Members of an Indiana National Guard brigade returning from Iraq in November will spend time with mental-health counselors before reuniting with their families.

The mental-health checkup requirement for the 3,200 soldiers from the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is a change in military policy. Previous Hoosier troops got an immediate 48-hour pass upon their return.

Families will take part in an airport hangar reception when the unit, which was deployed overseas in March, returns to Indiana. But the soldiers will then head for Camp Atterbury about 20 miles south of Indianapolis for three to five days of "decompressing" that puts an emphasis on mental health.

Indiana Adjutant General Martin Umbarger says the guard has learned some lessons from the return of earlier units from service in Iraq.

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