t’s a difficult truth that one of the hardest things about serving in the military, is having to readjust to civilian life when it’s all over. When you’ve served in numerous deployments and combat zones, a staggering amount of ex-servicemen and women claim that it’s the challenges they face afterwards that really make them sweat. With huge amounts of ex-soldiers struggling with depression, anxiety, unemployment and even addiction, it would seem that battles of a different kind begin once they finally come home.
So, what are the main challenges that veterans face once their service is over? Read on to find out more.
Making sense of VA benefits
As a veteran returning home after service, it’s important that you navigate your way through the VA benefit system and also get info on VA compensation if you believe you may have a claim. The VA benefit system – like many other benefit structures – isn’t as straightforward as it could be, leaving many veterans confused and even discouraged about claiming what they’re entitled to. If you’re confused by the system or you’re unsure where to begin then don’t worry. Getting in touch with the Department of Veteran Affairs is a great place to start. They’ll be able to tell you what you might be entitled to and how to get it.
Heading back to civilian life is a huge lifestyle change and one that can take its toll on your physique. When you’re used to being told when to exercise, and your daily life involves pushing your body to it’s limit, when all that ends it can be difficult to maintain the levels of strength and fitness you’re used to. The simplest answer is to now be accountable for your own health and fitness. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, watch your calorie intake and keep in the habit of regular exercise.
When the military has been your life for potentially decades, it can be difficult to readjust to civilian life. You may find yourself surrounded by people who love you but find it difficult to relate to you and vice versa. This is when isolation and seclusion can take hold and it’s important to prevent these feelings from spiraling out of control. Keep in contact with those in your unit and others whom you served with, finding a local veterans group will also help you stay connected to your military life and also help you re-connect with your family and friends.
Applying for a job
It’s a sad fact that a huge proportion of veterans experience a period of unemployment once their service is over. You may have never applied for a civilian job before, but don’t let that deter you. Write up your resume – there are plenty of online tools to help get you started – and consider creating a LinkedIn profile, where prospective employers can see your history and your resume all in one place. Be prepared to do plenty of legwork, but with patience and determination, you’ll land a job in no time.