Challenges in the Homecoming of Released Prisoners of War: Israeli Defense Force Preparations—A Case Study of Freed Prisoners of War From the Yom Kippur War and Second Lebanon War

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Abstract

The reception of released prisoners of war (POWs) is a complex challenge. The system’s handling of their homecoming and processing has tremendous implications for former captives. Preparing and assisting the POW’s family for their loved one’s return is also a key to their reintegration into society and home. The Israeli Defense Force has revised its approach to the homecoming and reintegration of freed POWs based on lessons from the past. It has examined the main features of the POW’s homecoming, including mental health. A qualitative naturalistic case study is presented that analyzes the stories of how two freed POWs, one from the Yom Kippur War and the other from the First Lebanon War, were received and processed. The article offers important and useful insights for clinicians, doctors, and systems involved in the challenges of the reception and reintegration of freed POWs.

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