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Veterans: Overcome These 6 Obstacles When You Return Back Home

By Jerry Shaw   |   Tuesday, 02 May 2017 11:28 AM

Veterans often feel they have entered a new world with unexpected obstacles when returning back home. The civilian standards they had long ago are far different from rigorous military standards they just experienced.

It might seem as if they are living in a different culture at times. They need to re-establish their relationships with family and friends. They also face financial and employment challenges. Psychological effects may interfere with the readjustment to civilian life.

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be difficult, but working along with family, friends, and counselors makes the move a bit easier. Here are six obstacles veterans can overcome when returning back home:

1. Dealing with emotional issues — Veterans are sometimes trained to avoid opening up about their feelings, notes Brook Price in HuffPost. But talking with other vets about shared experiences can provide support. Getting involved in military-type routines offers similar conditions to help with the transition. Exercising with other people at a gym or running through obstacle courses can bring a sense of comfort to the new environment.

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2. Employment — The working atmosphere in civilian life is different from military service. Employment in the military has fixed terms, and concerns such as being laid off are unheard of. Finding a job and understanding new workplace issues are part of the transition into civilian life for returning vets. The Department of Veterans Affairs has resources and programs to help vets explain their skills and goals for employment.

3. Education — Starting on or returning to a college education may present some difficulties for veterans who are in an atmosphere with younger classmates. Accommodating programs through the American Council on Education can help apply translate military training into college credits to shorten the time in college, writes James Hinton for Student Advisor. There are also scholarships available under the VFW, American Legion, and DAV that offer expenses not covered through the GI Bill.

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4. Housing — The rate of mortgage problems is quite high among returning veterans and their families. Many have experienced improper foreclosures, but those issues are being dealt with through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to Think Progress. Funding for housing vouchers and rental assistance to help veterans and their families is provided through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.

5. Homelessness — About 10 percent of homeless people in the U.S. are veterans and the issue is often due to mental illness or substance abuse disorders, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Veterans can get valuable information for themselves and their families on programs for affordable housing from SAMHSA.

6. Post-traumatic stress disorder — PTSD not only affects vets who experience the trauma of combat, but it also includes emotional distress in those who weren’t involved in a war zone. Isolation and loneliness can develop in returning home to a disconnected society, explains journalist and filmmaker Sebastian Junger in Business Insider. Some vets may feel separated from the tribe-like community they had and detached from modern, civic life. Counseling helps in readjustment. The Veterans Crisis Line provides help for vets and their families.

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Veterans often feel they have entered a new world with unexpected obstacles when returning back home. The civilian standards they had long ago are far different from rigorous military standards they just experienced.
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