For military service members, leaving the military may be a bigger challenge than the dangers and rigors of military service. A Pew Research Center survey indicates that about 44 percent of the men and women who served in the years since 9/11 find the transition to civilian life to be a difficult prospect.
The study analyzed multiple variables and how they impact the veteran’s experience of re-entry. They learned that some circumstances and characteristics were good predictors of an easier transition, while others increased the chances of a difficult transition.
Experiences that could make leaving military life for civilian life more of a challenge include, from strongest negative effect to weakest effect:
- Experienced a traumatic event
- Seriously injured
- Married while serving (post 9/11 veterans)
- Post 9/11 veteran
- Served in combat
- Knew someone killed or injured
Factors that appeared to improve the experience of re-entry for veterans include, from strongest positive effect to weakest:
- Religious (post 9/11 veteran)
- Understood missions
- College graduate
Factors that did not appear to influence the ease of re-entry for veterans into civilian life were:
- Age at time of discharge
- Have children under age 18 while serving
- Length of military service
- Number of deployments
To support service members as they navigate the transition from active military duty, explore these excellent government-sponsored resources:
- eBenefits offers service members, veterans, and family members an easy way to access and manage benefits, claims, and documents.
- The National Resource Directory connects wounded warriors, service members, veterans, their families and caregivers with those who support them.
- The U. S. Department of Labor’s Gold Card provides unemployed post-9/11 era veterans with the follow-up services they need to succeed in today’s job market.
- The Veterans Job Bank is a tool developed by National Resource Directory (NRD.gov) to help streamline the job search process for the military and veteran communities.
- CareerOneStop’s Veterans ReEmployment provides online access to resources to help with understanding and applying for benefits, planning a career, finding training, and finding work.
- The eBenefits Veterans Employment Center (VEC) provides information and links to resources to help veterans find meaningful career opportunities and take advantage of special government and partner programs.
- 2-1-1 or www.211.org offers local referrals and information on food, housing, employment, health care, counseling, and more. This service is free and confidential. It is available to anyone in the United States.
- The American Job Center network, with job search help and veterans employment representatives in every state.
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects civilian job rights and benefits for veterans and members of Reserve components. It also protects service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law and improving enforcement methods.
- Benefits.gov has a short quiz that will help you learn which government benefits you may be eligible for.
Visit CareerOneStop’s Veteran State Resources finder to learn more about what’s available in your state.