Every day hundreds of soldiers, marines, airmen, and seamen transition from actve duty to civilian life. With the transition comes an unnerving sense of freedom. With the transition comes an eerie loss of identity. A confused state of "what now" and "who am I". You see civilians making poor decisions with little ramification. People are fussing over petty things. These things do not make sense because they are not important. They are not life or death. You dont know where to turn. You apply for jobs that are the perfect fit with your military experience but are repeatedly passed up because while you were serving and accumilating real skills, your competition achieved a degree and yet has no skill set. Your spouse expects you to help out more around the home, but the work is mundane and boring. It seems miniscule compared to the missions and actions you completed while in uniform. You know you should enjoy the morning and the restful pace, but your mind and heart race with this question, "Did I do the right thing? Should I have stayed longer?" Your children are excited and you know you should be as well, but you arent. You don't know who you are or where you are going. You are older and wiser than your years, but you have never lived as a civilian. It's new and foreign. It's a struggle that challenges you and your family. Unfortunately, many Veterans do not cope well and turn to alcohol, drugs, or suicide. If you or someone you know is transitioning (it can take years), there are many things that can help.
Get involved in a community organization. Join a club. Keep up your PT, whether as a group or alone. Keep in touch with your military budies. Talk with your family and your friends. Know that it is ok. You are not alone and this struggle is not abnormal. It is just a struggle that few discuss.