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Whether you’ve served in the military for a couple of years or for several decades, there’s nothing that beats that sense of pride that comes with knowing you’ve served your country. And whether you’ve seen combat or not, the idea of heading back to civilian life can seem pretty daunting for even the most hard-hitting of veterans.
The military life is unique, and it’s barely comparable to civilian life. The relationships are different, the routines are parallels, the day to day life of a soldier is undeniably different from that of someone who works 9-5 and sleeps in at the weekend. Transitioning back into civilian life is intimidating, to say the least, but there are things you can do to ensure that the move is as smooth as possible, not just for you but for your family too. Read on for 4 ways to secure your future after serving in the military.
Make sure you’re getting your benefits
If you’ve been injured in combat and now live with physical, mental or both types of injuries then as a veteran, you’re entitled to compensation – you can check out the VA rating table here. However, these benefits and compensations are done using a rating system that often leaves veterans confused, short-changed and struggling to make ends meet. So, make sure that you’re getting the benefits and compensation that you’re entitled to. If you don’t agree with the decision that’s been made then contact a VA attorney as soon as possible.
Maintain your military ties
Just because you’re heading back to civilian life, doesn’t mean you have to let go of all your military connections and relationships. Many veterans report finding the ability to relate to civilians and network once they return home, quite difficult. And if not addressed, this issue can quickly spiral into isolation, depression and potential substance abuse. It’s worth remembering that you don’t need to build your social circle from scratch, you have an entire military family behind you. So, make sure you maintain contact and even seek out veteran groups and social events in your area.
Your 5am exercise and fitness regime is no longer required each morning. However, maintaining your health and fitness levels now you’re back home is great for your overall health and of course, keeping your mental health in check. Join a gym, enjoy creating your own workout regimes and find a way to work fitness into your new civilian life.
Apply for a job
This might be the first time you’ve had to apply for a role outside of the military. And it’s a sad fact that many veterans face unemployment in the initial stages of their transition back to civilian life. However, don’t be disheartened. There are a wide range of jobs out there that are ideal for ex-military personnel from system analysts, to work within government agencies, pilots and security managers. It may take a while for you to find a job that gives you as much satisfaction and purpose as your role in the military but be patient. You’ll get there.