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I noticed that, after returning from a 15-month deployment in Iraq, my husband was really depressed. He returned at the beginning of Germany’s cold, dark winter.

The previous year I learned that living in such darkness for so long can start to affect some people. I decided to start going to a tanning bed every once in a while, and wow, what a difference it made in my mood and overall well-being.

It took some convincing, but finally my husband caved and said he would try it. There was an instant change in his mood.

Our soldiers coming back from downrange are used to the burning, bright sun of Iraq. So, my question is: Has the military ever considered that, after returning home, soldiers are more likely to get depressed because of the lack of sun? Especially here in Germany, I think spouses and soldiers would benefit from an increase in vitamin D in the wintertime and also after deployments.

I am not a doctor, just a military spouse in tune with her husband. Call me crazy, but I think I am on to something.

Laurie NixonVilseck, Germany

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