Coming home: adapting to life as a veteran

No one truly knows how it feels to come home from combat unless they’ve done it themselves. Whether you’ve returned home because of age, injury or personal reasons, it’s never an easy transition. Finding a new purpose in life can seem difficult, and you might struggle with relationships after being away for long periods of time. So, how can you adapt to life as a veteran?

Benefits  

If you’ve returned home because of an injury, you’ve become newly disabled or you’re unfit for work, one of the first things you should do is find out what benefits you’re entitled to. If you don’t know how to go about this, you may wish to hire a VA disability attorney, who can help you get the financial support you deserve. Unfortunately, many veterans in the US don’t get the benefits they’re entitled to, either because they aren’t aware or they haven’t been able to access them. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you get the benefits you’re entitled to. 

Work

Whilst many veterans don’t work after they return home for various reasons, if you would like to find work, the thought might be quite daunting. However, as a veteran you will have many excellent skills such as team-building, motivation and problem-solving that make you great for certain jobs. So, try not to feel lacking in self-confidence. There are many great online resources for veterans looking for jobs, and many employers will be understanding of your situation. 

Your home

If you’re returning to a partner and/or children, you’ll have a home to return to. However, if you’ve been injured, you might have reduced mobility, and therefore may need to make some temporary or permanent changes to your home. This might involve lowering cabinets and light switches or widening doorframes so you find your home easier to navigate. If your home isn’t adaptable, then you may need to consider moving house. Differently, you might not have a family home or you might be coming back to temporary accommodation. If this is the case, you might need to find a permanent home, and take some time decorating it to your tastes. This will help you to feel more settled in your new life. 

Emotional support

Many veterans find it extremely difficult coming home, and require therapy or emotional support. You might have post-traumatic stress disorder, or simply wish to talk about your difficult transition. Therefore, you may wish to organize regular sessions with a therapist, who will listen to your problems and assess your mental health. They will be able to help you through this difficult time and can signpost you to any other support you might need.

Finding purpose

If you’ve been injured or aren’t fit for work, you may struggle to find purpose as a veteran. This is common, but there are many different things you can do to to keep busy and find a new passion. For example, many veterans join adaptive sports teams where they connect with likeminded people and utilize their skills. Others might take up volunteering, learn a music instrument or join a social club. Whatever your interests, there are many different activities you can explore to find purpose. 

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