Five Challenges Veterans Face When They Return Home
Veterans that return home from active military duty are faced with a difficult and challenging transition. From being accustomed to a small community of like-minded individuals to being forced back into a larger society of mixed individuals who have no military experience or awareness, there are many physical, social, and emotional obstacles to overcome. As a veteran reintegration life coaching center, we have seen many veterans successfully transition into civilian life. We help veterans rise to and overcome the many challenges they face upon returning home from a war zone.
Reconnecting with Loved Ones
One of the most beautiful events in a veteran’s homecoming is the reunion with family and loved ones. Although it is exciting, reconnecting with loved ones can be a difficult adjustment for a veteran. While they were absent from the home, new routines and changes have likely been made to daily life. Veterans may struggle to re-establish a role and may need to re-evaluate relationships with family and friends. Some may even have to adjust to a whole new location or home.
Losing a Sense of Community
When on active duty in the military, veterans often live in communities of like-minded individuals all striving for a common task or goal. Military life is tight-knit and localized. Unlike the cohesive units in military life, civilian life is fragmented and separate. Instead, there is a focus on the individual. This is a tough adjustment for veterans, because they are used to functioning as a team and socializing with those who have common experiences and goals. When reintegrating into civilian life, they may find themselves having a difficult time socializing and finding their place in a new community.
Finding a Place in the Workforce
Many military members may have never experienced working a civilian job. They may have never created a resume or went on a job interview. This experience can be jolting for a returning veteran, because they will be required to learn an entire new system in order to provide for themselves or their families. Those who worked prior to joining the military may still find the transition into an old job challenging. Veterans may need to catch up, learn new skills, or simply adjust to an entire new role in the company.
Adjusting to Choices
In the military, veterans have issued essentials. Many of their basic necessities are required to be standardized in order to add structure and uniformity to the military community. In civilian life, it is up to the individual to make choices based on price, interests, and other aspects when choosing basic necessities. The wide array of choices for food, clothing, and housing available to civilians may overwhelm a veteran who has just returned from a community with limited choices.
When veterans transition into civilian life, they have to adjust to a life without a rigid structure, expectations, and routine. They will either learn how to accept this looser way of life or create structure for themselves. Daily routines will have to be created and expectations in the home and at work will need to be established. This can be challenging for those who are used to a rigid daily structure.
Overcoming these challenges can be made easier with the help of a life coach. As a trustworthy veteran reintegration life coaching center, we at High Expectations Counseling aim to help veterans redefine their identities as they transition from the military to civilian life. We help veterans connect with who they are, the skills and experiences they’ve acquired in their service years, and find success after returning home.