Marine Corps Sending Most Elite to ‘Special’ Decompression, Psychological Screening Center After War Duty

MARSOC ‘Halfway House’ Awaits Returning Marines

Frustrated with record suicide increases in 2012, Marine Corps officials say they are seeking ways to preserve their most highly-trained special operations forces

by Amanda Wilcox
Jacksonville Daily News, Aug. 29, 2012

The Marine Special Operations Command has begun implementing a program that gives Marines a few days after a deployment to rest, relax and decompress before returning home to their families.

Marine Corps leaders have established a groundbreaking psychological decompression center uniquely designed for members of their special operations units. The program was established at an undisclosed location to allow elite MARSOC Marines relaxation with comrades and to receive psychological screenings before being sent home to families following combat duty. An unnamed MARSOC Marine is pictured above Feb. 28, 2010, in Farah, Afghanistan, conducting training sessions with Afghan soldiers. (DoD)

Third Location Decompression (TLD) occurs at a neutral stateside location to support redeploying units transitioning out of a combat frame-of-mind before seeing their families, MARSOC spokesman Maj. Jeff Landis said in an email to The Daily News.

“This program is designed to provide world-class staff and resources to address the mental, physical and spiritual needs of our Marines and sailors,” Landis said.

“The focus of TLD is to better prepare the Marine/sailor for a rapid transition from combat to daily life at home. The last decade of conflict without pause, has shown this to be a challenge both to the family and the service member.”

A challenge signaled by the sharp increase in suicide rates since the start of the war.

The Corps has lost 364 Marines to suicide in the past decade. TLD, Landis said, is meant to be an enduring program that provides MARSOC Marines with a low stress environment in which they can properly unwind.

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