Transition Out of The Military Can be a Daunting Experience for Military Soldiers

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

______________________________________________

Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was sentenced on Friday to receive a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeit $5,000 of one month’s pay after pleading guilty to all charges stemming from his public tirades against top military and civilian leaders.

_________________________

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston wants leaders to stop scheduling training just for the sake of it. Instead, he wants soldiers to make time for something very important.

__________________________

What follows is a long article written by a soldier going through transition to civilian life. I am using it to help those who may be struggle since they left the military:

A veteran’s ordeal after hanging up the uniform in an America he doesn’t recognize

Nothing had prepared me to live.

Sitting at the required transition briefing at my last military duty station, I watched a ridiculous civilian brief a room full of soldiers about our Veterans Affairs health and educational benefits.

I zoned in and out until he said, “Not everyone thinks your service is a good thing.”

My mind slowed down.

Before my eyes flashed all the news articles I had read about veterans leaving the service and landing amazing careers.

Weren’t headhunters recruiting Army junior officers like me? Wasn’t I being thanked every time I stepped outside the base for my service?

He was greatly misinformed. America loved its warriors.

Even if things were difficult for veterans, I was surely an exception. As an Army captain with command experience, with multiple degrees, and with combat time, as far as I was concerned, I was a damned unicorn

Then I left the confines of the base, took off my uniform.

Months and months after applying and applying and applying to hundreds of openings, I sat across from a human resources representative for a “military friendly” company. She had heard me speak at length about my service and deployments. She glanced at the resume I had specifically crafted for the job opening of head basket weaver. She calmly put down my paperwork, looked me in the eye, and said:

“Yes … yes … ” as she waved away my service with her hand, “but you have no real experience, do you?”

In the lobby sat another officer far more accomplished than I, awaiting an interview. The day after, there would be more. It wasn’t the last time I would encounter this.

My service wasn’t an accomplishment. It was a liability. It was just missed years of real employment—as far as I could see.

I started to see my visits to “hero” job fairs—with recruiters who looked dubiously upon my multiple degrees and combat experiences—as a financial and mental health liability to me. They offered no possibilities beyond accepting a resume, then citing a “poor fit” for any positions. One offered me a minimum-wage security guard position, knowing I desperately needed the work.

Where were the former officers from Forbes magazine and the poster children of Fortune 500 military websites? The real unicorns had fled the stables.

I was searching. I was searching for good examples of veterans who had left and hadn’t killed themselves or hooked themselves on drugs or lost their best selves in dead-end employment.

I was looking for an employer who wouldn’t treat me as the solution to years of fiscal monsters. The personnel mismanagement gods expected me to deliver a solution, like all mythical heroes, like those “skilled in the ways of contending” do.

I had become so wrapped up in my employment that I couldn’t see around me.

My children were growing like grass while I kept watch over at the distant sandstorms of Iraq, as if I were still driving there and wishing at times I was.

So I put away my service in a box and worked through Veterans Day. I watched resumes come across my desk that dripped in military acronyms, ones I knew would never see the light of day. I read another beautifully crafted document where the veteran had reduced his entire military officer service into a single line.

But the more I ignored who I was, the more I was reminded by my coworkers and others.

“This is probably cake compared to Iraq, right?”

“I don’t think I could have done what you did.”

During formal introductions at a company event, I hear the dreaded question come, from a tall man with salt and pepper hair.

“Where did you work before?”

I took a breath and recounted and, as an afterthought, added, “I was also in the military for a bit.”

His eyes lit up. I clenched, waiting for the usual formal questions about my sanity and the later casual questions about how many people I had killed.

Instead, he said, “Follow me.”

I resisted saying, like all good soldiers, “Lead the way.”

I walked down the hallway into his office. On the wall, hanging, were the requisite degrees and family photos.John Thampi in Tallil, Iraq, in 2005, where he served as a second lieutenant. Photo courtesy of the author.

John Thampi in Tallil, Iraq, in 2005, where he served as a second lieutenant.

In between all of them was a smudge of green—a younger version of him, standing among a group of men from the Ranger Battalion. I turned to him, eyes widened. He laughed..

It wasn’t the only time I would meet men and women like this. The veterans I had looked for in posters and magazines were all around me. They were doing what I felt I was doing, working and living, quietly and without a narrator’s voice in their ears.

I recall sitting for an interview debriefing. The company I worked for had reviewed multiple candidates, and some veterans and the HR manager asked me, “So what do we look for? What badge, what years of service, what locations?”

What was the combination that ensured the company got a mythic corporate hero instead of raving suitor-killing lunatic?

I didn’t have an answer then.

Maybe if they had the patience to hear it, I would tell them the protagonist never really comes back. Rather, it’s his friend who returns to an America he doesn’t recognize. He adjusts, and studies to become a teacher, and attends baseball games again, getting used to large crowds. I would go on to explain that he is married now and has children, and that he refuses to define himself by his service.

_______________________________________

A reminder that I have a new book coming out soon. It is called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

There will be many chapters sharing my time in the military, plus many more that speak specifically about PTSD, war wounds, depression, etc. It also is a book for all of those who suffer from “battle fatique,” and many other problems once you get out of the military.

I suggest you come back to this site often, because I will be sharing more excerpts for you to read. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

_________________________________________

So…how are your days going? Too long? Hate to go to sleep at night?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,250 fellow veterans here on this site who have your back.

However, it the road is too rough for you to walk, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK?

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

_____________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_______________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Military People Sometimes Can Not Find Happiness in Things

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

_____________________________________________

In a bizarre propaganda video released on Monday, bare-chested North Korean troops destroy bricks and cinder blocks with their bodies; bend a metal rod with their throats and perform other nutso action movie stunts.

____________________________

“The surgeons were worn out. Many died on the operating table.” That’s from Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Desautels, who led a unit of search and rescue airmen who responded to the deadly suicide bombing and gunfight at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26th.

_____________________________

This photo of 1st Sgt. Kenneth Johnson with the Arkansas National Guard captures just how breathtakingly irritating life in the field can be. In those eyes lives the dull fatigue of putting up with the Army for far too long.

_______________________________

Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was found guilty on Thursday of numerous charges in connection with his very public battle with top military and civilian leaders that began over the Afghanistan withdrawal and then morphed into a grudge match over “the system.”

“I haven’t been able to figure out how to cure suicides.” That’s from Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, said that senior leaders are still struggling to address the issue as the suicide rate among active-duty soldiers reaches its highest point in years.

Soldiers will have to wait a few more months for IVAS, the Army’s new heads-up display that looks like it came straight out of the future.

_________________________________________________

Here is another excerpt for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the trenches of Life.

Happiness is a Choice

It is a well known fact that most people are as happy as they choose to be. People go through life allowing depression to overcome them to the point where they are incapacitated. Even presidents have trouble with depression. Can you imagine the daily stress they have? It is non-stop.

Abraham Lincoln once considered suicide, he was so depressed. One of the greatest times he remembered while in office was when a little old lady came to see him at the White House, and gave him some cookies she had made. He thanked her, and it was one of the grestest moments of his tenure. A very little gesture, but it brightened a person’s life that was battling depression in life in general.

Some people accept depression, because they think they deserve it. They they have done something wrong and this is their punishment. I had some of those days myself. I often thought, I must deserve this if it keeps happening to me.

This world is not the Disney channel anymore, it is Law and Order. There are many battles to fight on many fronts.

Many people try to find happiness to overcome depression, and they fail? Why?

Because so many people think a fancy car, a big house on the hill, or own a yacht, will give them happiness, and “things,” do not give us happiness. We also seek happiness through sexual prowess, but end up with fleeting pleasures and bitter disappointments.

We try to seek power in corporations, in government, or in our own families through excessive control, but still many are unfulfilled.

What are they missing? They are missing inner joy and peace.

How do we get that inner peace and joy? It is from the love of God who provides us with all the love and understanding we need.

While we spend time in the military, or many years afterward, we need to know that the path to true happiness isn’t for “things” we own, or people we control, it is found through searching our own souls, and coming up with the ways to reach out to those around us, and when we feel the love, they return it back to us.

_________________________________________

There is more to this chapter, but I suggest you buy the book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, to be able to read the rest. The book will come out soon.

You could also keep coming back to check the excerpts out, but better yet go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will go directly to your inbox.

___________________________________________

Is your life on tract to happiness? Do you have some down moments?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,240 fellow veterans on this site who have your back.

If you can’t find happiness…GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

______________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_____________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

The President’s Generals Did Not Agree With Him on Afghanistan

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

_____________________________________________

Military news…

Quiet day in the military news today. That is probably good.

After years of development, the Air Force will try firing frickin’ laser beams from its deadly AC-130J Ghostrider gunships.

_____________________

Leaked documents reveal just how concerned the Marine Corps was about Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller’s call for ‘revolution The Marine posted viral videos to social media in late August criticizing military leadership over their handling of the war in Afghanistan.

______________________

It’s time to stop awarding the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, writes Marine veteran and GWOT Service Medal recipient Austin Dahmer. In fact, that should have happened a long time ago, he says.

___________________________________________

There seems there was a movement to try to change the mind of our president, and his lack of love for the military. Top Generals in the Military are starting to turn on him. They stated that remarks made by him as to how they left Afghanistan were wrong. They said they tried to convince him to leave some troops there and he refused. They questioned his closing of the military airport.

With all of this going on it is no wonder that the president’s approval rating is down to 38%.

____________________________________________

I will be sharing a new excerpt for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, in my next post coming up in two days.

Be sure to come back to check it out. Better yet! Go up to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to you inbox.

_____________________________________________

How does you world look to you? Is it rolling too fast. Are you dreading sleeping at night?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,225 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If the world looks too scary right now, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to call 24.7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-255…texting 838255

______________________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never fosaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_______________________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.