Making the Military Transition Will Be hard: Let’s Do Hard Better

When I left the military, I expected it to be easy. I had only served for six years, and I was leaving to stay at home with my son. And while I easily underestimated how much work it is to raise a child, I also was unprepared for all the emotions I would feel when taking off the uniform for the last time. I wasn’t prepared for losing my identity as a service member, airman, captain, civil engineer and more. It was all gone. And you would think I would have known this was coming. I was getting out of the military and starting a new path. But you can only prepare so much for the transition out of the military. You hang up your uniform for the last time and say goodbye to the years of hard work and dedication to begin something new. There just isn’t any way you can know everything about how this transition will affect you. 


I have talked to enough veterans to know that transitioning out of the military is hard for almost everyone. And the bummer is that there is no secret formula on what part of the change that will be the most impactful to you. For you, it might be the loss of community, but for someone else, it might be losing the purpose you felt while serving. Others may struggle to find the right career or even any job after leaving. There are so many different life circumstances and mental health challenges that you can’t actually prepare for until you have left the military. It just makes it really hard.

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