Serving your country is great.
Getting out and becoming a civilian, not so much.
It’s even harder for those that have served overseas and saw some real combat.
It wasn’t easy for me and I’m sure it isn’t easy for a lot of you as well.
Do know that we are a special breed and there is a special way for us to do things.
There are soooo many programs and websites out there but we all know how that goes.
We don’t like to be told what to do and if you’re like me or any other 11B, you’ll know that being a hard ass comes with the job.
So who can help us?
Absolutely no one.
Will the VA Help?
Not to say they can’t but you will probably get thrown a bottle of pills or something and medication is not the solution to everything.
Do take advantage of their services as they are there but when it comes to transitioning back into the civilian world, you are the best person to help in the process.
The VA can counsel you all they want and send you to different classes but we are all different.
None of us are the same and none of us have the same issues.
I personally think we need somewhat of a case worker but I do know that you are the answer to this transition.
You’re Different – Not in a Bad Way
It isn’t a secret that you have changed.
At least to everyone who knows you.
Now to you, nothing has changed and you are the same person.
You are that same outgoing, fun, and easy to get along with kind of individual.
For the most part, you are but there will be those times that you aren’t.
Then you will go back through the same nonsense until you can come to the reality that you have actually changed.
There isn’t anything wrong with this either but it’s something that people like you and me need to accept.
I’ve done it and it has made a huge difference in my transition back to civilian life.
Let the VA Help
We know that the Veterans Affairs can only do so much but at the very least, go in and see them.
Let them do their little diagnosis and let them tell you what you need.
You might even be compensated for these problems and there isn’t anything wrong with that.
The VA is there to help you, so use it to your advantage and see what they recommend.
Even at that, there is really only one solution to a smooth transition back into civilian life.
Probably not smooth but one way that I found that actually works.
You Need to Help You
This is true.
There is only one person that knows you best and it’s that same person you see in the mirror every single day.
Unless you don’t brush your teeth in the morning or you simply just operate without a mirror.
Some of your friends and family will help but you will be the biggest help.
Understand your situation and forget about being that know it all you once were when you were overseas.
If you can do something so simple, you can make some big changes.
But only if you’re willing to work with yourself.
Take a Step Back
Patience is the hardest thing to have but it is a must, especially if you have kids.
It is one thing you won’t even know about and that is why you need to take a step back.
I mean, literally step back and really see what is happening.
To you, you’re perfectly fine but your family is going to have to deal with it.
When you feel that you are getting irritated (especially for something little), you need to take that step back and realize that you are about to turn into the Hulk.
Doing something so simple will help everyone around you but most especially it will help you.
So the next time you get into some kind of argument, please remember what I just said here.
It will help you big time.
Get a Hobby
There is nothing better than keeping yourself busy, especially if it is something that involves some physical activity.
I recommend something like drones or RC cars or even a sport will do just fine.
The point here is to keep yourself busy so it keeps you away from sitting still just to get your mind on things that aren’t necessary.
If you have kids, a stroll to the park is a great idea but any little family outing is always fun.
Get into some woodworking or get out on the yard and do some landscaping.
Stay away from getting bored and try not to have so much alone time.
Find Work Online
For me, I found it almost impossible to work with others.
Some of you might be the best person to be around until someone else decides to piss you off.
Hey, it happens.
The problem here is that it might happen again and again, and then you might have more problems.
This reason alone pushed me to find a job that can suit my needs and that is exactly how I wound up online.
I started my first blog in 2014 and that was over 10 years since I got out of the Army.
So whether you are fresh off a deployment or it’s been decades, there is always room for improvement.
Do Some PT
Gaining weight is apart of life and it really sucks for veterans.
Doing some physical training while in service is great as it keeps you in shape but getting out will change everything.
This time, you are responsible for yourself and exercise is going to be one heck of a task.
Some of you might go from PT stud to dud but that’s okay.
Focus on doing some exercise and you’ll be fine.
Doing so allows the blood to flow and it will help with keeping your energy level up there, which will lead to a much happier you.
When you feel tired, slap on those running shoes and go for a quick run.
Trust me, it works.
Thank you for your service.
You have done a great thing by serving your country and there is no need to go about things on your own.
It isn’t going to be easy to become “normal” again but at least know that you are not alone.
People like you and myself are special and we have done things that most people will never experience.
Look at it as a good thing and do that with other parts of your life.
I mean, I miss the sunsets in Iraq and being involved with the culture, so I at least have that memory.
On top of all this, remember to reflect and know that you are appreciated.
Get out there and know that you have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Again, thanks for your service and God speed.
The Broke Veteran