Published On: Sat, Oct 15th, 2016

Where to Go from Here? Life after the Military

Coming home from the military after years of service is always a hard transition, but when you’ve been in for an extra tour of duty or have recently come back from a war zone, it’s an extremely difficult transition. Whether you’ve been in the military for years, having reenlisted one or more times or have simply done that one societally obligatory single term, it’s an adjustment that needs to be made.

Coming home from the military after years of service

Where do you go from here? If you entered the military with a career then you know where you are headed in most cases. But what if you were an RN and enlisted as a field medic? What should you do now? With experience like you’ve just gained, have you considered going for your master of science in nursing?

Financing Your Graduate Studies

Some military men and women choose to work towards their graduate degree while still on active duty. The reason for this is the financial benefits on offer. You can always enroll in a master of science in nursing online study program in order to be qualified for a better job when you get out, or you could wait until you are home and take advantage of student loans and scholarships for veterans. In either case, furthering your studies can do no harm and this advanced degree opens more doors than you could imagine.

Readjusting to Family Life

Sometimes, getting back into the swing of things at work isn’t as difficult a transition as it is to begin family life anew. In the military everything is structured, as it typically is in family life, but a totally different kind of structure. One of the major problems career military personnel have when readjusting to family life is the chaos young children can bring into an otherwise orderly home. The fact is, they are kids and quiet time may be reduced to a dull roar, but there is no such thing as that evening peace and tranquility at bed time if you have little people in the home. It’s trade-off well worth the joy of having kids, but one that takes getting used to when you are conditioned to the ‘lights off’ regimen at 21:00 hours.

Ease Yourself into the Transition

Sometimes there is no getting around the fact that you must work immediately upon arrival home and are not given the leisure to take a month or two to ease yourself into the transition. If at all possible, try to hold back at least a couple weeks to give yourself that period of time to readjust to civilian life. If you have a chance to take time off to advance your studies with the help of interest free student loans and grants along with benefits to cover housing and books, this might be the best route. It gives you more flexibility during the transitive period to adjust to being a civilian again, but time that isn’t wasted as you will be advancing your career.

Re-entering civilian life can be difficult for some and a breeze for others. Whether you’ve spent a decade in the military or have done a 4-year stint, it does take getting used to so understand this and don’t be too hard on yourself or those around you. Take it easy and know that there are millions of Americans sincerely grateful that you enlisted to keep their country safe. When all else fails, there are counselors and peer mentors who can be there for you.