Sgt. Noel Rabina has served in the California National Guard since 2001. He’s a student at California State University, Long Beach, where he studies electrical engineering.
Rabina wrote us about the difficulties of coming back from deployment and trying to reenter civilian society.
– Samara Freemark
“I deployed twice to Iraq as a student and I was away for three semesters each time. Each time I came back, it was hard to get back the momentum I once had.
Since I was gone for a long time, my friends had moved on with their lives, got engaged and married, graduated. I had to come back and catch up with the rest of them.
Romantic interests I had before I left had faded when I came back. We’re not trained on how to catch up with a relationship on a pause after we get back. It can be a very lonely place.
Church that I had attended before I left I no longer attend because of their lack of understanding and support. They do more harm than good to me. Church is now the place I go to to seek refuge.”