MARCH 9, 2015, VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) – Actors from American Records visited Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story to perform the play “ReEntry” during a Reintegration Training Workshop (RTW), March 4.
The RTW was attended by various Echelon IV units from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command who have recently returned from deployment. The workshop is designed to give Sailors a first-hand look at some of the challenges deployed service members may face when they return home.
“Dramatic presentations can open doors that nothing else will,” said Cmdr. Fred Holcombe, Coastal Riverine Group 2 chaplain. This play addressed a lot of things to help our Sailors and Marines to better relate with on personal note.”
“ReEntry,” written by Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez is a docudrama exploration of the challenges faced when re-entering family, community and country. This play is based entirely on interviews with Sailors, Marines and their families and was first shown in a small theater in New Jersey in 2008. Since then, it has become increasingly popular, playing on Broadway, in many theaters across the country as well as at bases in Germany and Italy, according to Denise Cardarelli, “ReEntry” stage manager.
“I really liked the play and thought it was awesome because it was super true to day-to-day life,” said Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Christine McCarty, a native of Edmond, Oklahoma, and assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 2. “It didn’t seem scripted and made the training more lively and more effective because it keeps you engaged.”
The reintegration training covered how to identify challenges service members may be facing, and how to provide them with the tools to get the help they need. Topics discussed during the workshop included common reintegration challenges such as psychological, social, spiritual and physical fitness. Trained facilitators also led service members in small group discussions.
With a new understanding of reintegrating back into regular life, the commands are hopeful this training will be an invaluable tool for not just NECC, but all service members returning from deployment.
“The intent is to have some kind of training that will go down to the lowest recruit up to the command leadership. However, there still needs to be cooperation between NECC and the different commands,” said Holcombe. “Hopefully there will be a strong partnership established to carry out what has happened today.”