As civilians, it’s hard to understand the many challenges veterans face after service. Adjusting to civilian life might seem easy from the outside, but this process is much more complicated when you consider the many difficulties faced by veterans in today’s world. Returning to “normal” life is in many ways just another battle, and it takes teamwork, motivation, and dedication to overcome these difficulties.
If someone you love is adjusting to life after service, you can play a large role in their introduction to civilian society. The first step is to simply understand the different factors that play a role in veterans’ lives, from finding their identity in society to adjusting to a new culture. Despite the common belief that everything is “easier” in the civilian world, it’s up to friends and family to help military veterans find health and happiness in their new lifestyle.
Challenges Veterans Face After Service
As we said before, there’s a persistent belief that military life is the biggest challenge for servicemen and women. Everything after that must be smooth sailing. In reality, the world is rarely that black and white. While it’s true military service is challenging in its own way, so is civilian life. There are many areas that military service men and women struggle when facing their new life after service:
- Navigating new relationships with his/herself as well as their sense of self-worth
- Adjusting to a new culture outside of the military
- Learning new legal standards and expectations for civilian life
- Finding and adapting to a new career outside of military service
- Pursuing additional educational opportunities
- Psychological stress and mental health problems like PTSD and depression
- Physical handicaps and injuries from combat
- Coping with “starting over” after the military
This is a shortened list of some of the many experiences military men and women have when they return into society. Veterans and family members need to work together to create a transition of motivation and success.
Luckily, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. There are a number of services and resource dedicated to helping servicemen and women adjust to life after their military careers. Veteran success organizations like American Legion, Wounded Warrior Project, American Veterans, and more, make it possible to create a success plan for joining the civilian society.
Tips for Navigating Civilian Life After Service
Now, let’s look at tips from those who have been there before. We’ve asked leaders, bloggers, and organizations how they adjust to life after service or how they’ve helped loved ones adjust to life after service. Below, they share their tips for health, happiness, career, and beyond. While the veteran population might be on the decline, these men and women still are in need of our support as they make a new life for themselves.
The more we can learn about the veteran experience, the better equipped we’ll all be to meet these challenges head-on. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be in a society that’s built to welcome veterans of all backgrounds with open arms. If you have any tips you’d like to contribute to our expert guide, don’t hesitate to contact us with your ideas. Our veterans need more helping hands in their direction.