After being on active duty, it can be a world of difference when you reenter civilian life. Many service members have issues trying to make the transition successfully. If you’re from a military family, you’ve likely gone through this massive transition and you want to lend a hand. By helping those who have served your country, you are also serving. Here are four different things you can do to help make the transition back to civilian life easier for service members.
Many service members join the military as a young adult. They’re not yet used to living on their own. One great thing you can do to help make their transition smoother is to offer lodging. This can give them a place to stay while they work on developing a career and creating a new life in the civilian sector. Many military families offer lodging for six months to a year per service member.
Find Activities Similar to Ones They Enjoyed While on Duty
One helpful way to lessen the blow of transitioning back into civilian life is to integrate some of the fun practices that the member enjoyed while on duty. For example, if the service member was a pilot in a fighter jet, they likely enjoy flying. Encourage them to get their private pilot license so that they can continue to enjoy flying in the future. This will help them to transition into civilian life easier as they’ll be doing an activity that they’re used to. Help them to find what skills and talents are transferable to civilian life.
Just Be a Welcoming Friend
Studies have shown that military veterans who returned to an unwelcoming community ended up having more PTSD symptoms than those who returned to a welcoming community. Many veterans just need to know that someone appreciated their service. You may want to speak with them on a regular basis to show your support for their duty and to just be an ear to listen. Since veterans are attempting to create a new life, they don’t always have a close-knit group like they did when on duty. You can help them to create a close-knit group at home.
Offer Help with Various Tasks
You can help veterans find jobs, meet new people, and even enjoy some outings like a local sports game. You just need to take on the attitude of actively offering. Don’t leave things general like “let me know if I can help you.” Rather, you should be direct with your offerings. Something like “I’d like to take you to the baseball game this weekend” is more appropriate and will be better received.
Being a military family opens your eyes to all the various life changes that service members have to go through. It’s likely that you want to help veterans transition back into civilian life because you would like someone to offer a helping hand for your family as well if you were in that situation. The above are five great ways you can help service members to transition back into civilian life. Consider using them to help your loved ones.