Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Tactical Veteran: Ask for help when transitioning back to civilian life

Aug. 26, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

So many of us find ourselves at a point where life just has to change. Transitioning from the military, changing careers, starting college later in life, ending a bad relationship, or changing the way we behave or the way we live — these are just a few of the situations you may face.

As soon as we decide that change must happen, we quickly realize it won’t be easy. It will take patience, time and often support from others to work toward a new path in life that we hope will bring us success and happiness.

Coming home after serving in the military, you may face many challenges. For those of you who have seen combat and are now re-entering the civilian world, you will face more challenges than someone like me, who is not a combat veteran.

You may be dealing with a plethora of issues that you will have to work on in order to grow and prosper in the civilian world. As I have mentioned before in this space, as a civilian, it is up to you to make the decisions, not the military.

I recently worked with a Marine, a wounded veteran who has seen numerous combat deployments and has the stories, scars and pains to prove it. He suffers from post-traumatic stress and insomnia and has seen his marriage fall apart.

But this Marine won’t give up. Today, he’s getting the help he needs to improve his quality of life — working hard at a technical school to learn a new trade and enter a new career field. It’s unlikely he would be able to complete his education and find a job without reaching out for help.

Some of you will return home feeling unchanged, only to later feel the effects of serving in combat. When faced with having to make a change, some of you may find yourselves at a breaking point. But we were taught to never give up. Change doesn’t come easy, nor does it happen quickly, but having determination, support and knowledge of the resources that can help you will allow for a smoother transition.

We all have times when we fear what change will bring. When I separated from the military, I knew I would have to change, not only as a person but as a student. The times of putting off studying and school work were over; now, as an adult, I realized what life expects of me.

I had to change my way of thinking and tell myself that what I was about to go through — six years of college and finding employment in a tough economy — would not be easy. But in the end I accomplished it, and you can get there too. Now I can honestly say those changes were for the better.

I learned you can’t fear change if it truly is what you want in life. Be prepared for a possible long road and tough times, but know that the rewards that lie ahead will be worth it all.

Steven Maieli is the founder of TransitioningVeteran.com, which highlights links to federal, state, for-profit and nonprofit veterans benefits and other resources. He also writes a blog on transitioning veterans’ issues at www.transitioningveteran.com/wordpress.
Send questions and comments to tacticalveteran@militarytimes.com.

Answers sponsored by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Jobs for Veterans

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

Free Military Times Careers Newsletter

Stay up to date on current career and employment news.



This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

This job will get you promoted
Army's new program elevates role of AIT platoon sgts.

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook