Preparing for Civilian Life After the Military Can be Very Difficult

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Military news…

An Army paratrooper accused of misconduct in 2020 in Syria was cleared of all charges during a court-martial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

(I was stationed at Ft. Bragg.)

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In a Historic First, Aircraft Carrier Abraham Lincoln Deploys Under Command of Female Captain

USS Abraham Lincoln has deployed to the Western Pacific with the first woman to captain a nuclear-powered carrier, Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt. It’s also the first carrier deployment for a Marine Corps F-35C fighter squadron.

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coronavirus on US bases

South Korean president calls for ‘rigorous’ measures to stem coronavirus on US bases

coronavirus on US bases

The South Korean government needs to work closer with the U.S. military to curb the spread of COVID-19 stemming from American troops stationed in the country, the country’s president said.

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Kansas contractor sentenced for fraudulently taking millions of federal funds meant for disabled vets

A Topeka-based contractor cheated to obtain contracts between 2009 and 2018 that should have gone to firms led by disabled veterans and racial minorities. The type of scheme involved is often called “Rent-A-Vet” or “Rent-A-Minority” fraud., prosecutors said.

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Russia’s rifts with the West keep growing. How did we get here?

Putin has shown an ability to rattle NATO leaders and keep Europe off balance, demanding sweeping security guarantees that include NATO’s ruling out any future expansion in Ukraine or other countries along Russia’s borders. NATO leaders say Moscow cannot dictate the alliance’s move

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Kazakhstan adds uncertainty to talks with Russia on Ukraine

Russia’s decision to send paratroopers into Kazakhstan, where a crackdown on violent anti-government protests has left dozens dead, injects additional uncertainty into upcoming talks over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Here is another excerpt from my ucp coming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

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Are You Trying to Finish the Race With a Broken Leg?

You have spent several years of your life serving your country. You have had many months of stress, and pain. You may be still in the trenches, or you may be already out in the private sector.

As the time gets near to facing the outside world, separate from the military, are you ready? Do you have a plan? If you are already in the private sector, have you attempted to fit in, or are you hiding from others?

What I have said here doesn’t fit most of you, but there are some who are having difficult times thinking about the future. You worry about the new approach to living. You were used to the strictness, and regimented type atmosphere, and fear that this approach will not be too acceptable in your new environment. Then you are facing a world where you make all the decisions. Some of us do not do well with no one in authority over us.

In the private sector, we have to find a new normal. The first goal at this time is to release the past. The second goal is to plan for the present. The third goal is to look to the future.

Treat each new day, in the private sector, as if there was just a new fallen snow and it has provided a white blanket for you to walk on to form a path that only you take and others follow.  

After we join the private sector, we expect our lives to suddenly be happy, trouble free, and victorious. We forget that victories come only after we fight battles and win. 

There shouldn’t be this barrier between you and what you are trying to accomplish. It is tough enough to survive in this world without other factors digging into your thinking process.

Having stress about facing the new world is like having a broken leg and trying to finish a race. It can be done, but the pain, and agony is almost unbearable.

Help yourself by taking time before you leave the military to study the ways of cooperation’s. Learn how to adjust to the new status quo. Don’t go into a new situation cold turkey.

Read up on life after the military. There are books that can guide you to walk the right path to help ease you into the new world.

Go to night school and get some college credits. There are also online courses you can take no matter where you are in the world. My son was able to get two Masters Degrees while in the military, and this helped him get a very nice job when he retired.

My first few months after I got out of the military were pretty stressful because I had a family. I had to provide, and there weren’t too many jobs to be had. I had to work at jobs I didn’t really like. Some were down right degrading, like the story I told you about working on the “chain gang,” railroad crew.

But I slowly adjusted and eventually found a job in teaching that was very good for not only providing for my family, but was rewarding as well.

Take on this world with vigor, and courage. It is almost as daunting in the private sector as it is in the deserts of Afghanistan. You are a brave soldier for facing that challenge, and I am sure you will be just as brave in the private sector. You will achieve your goals and be a very productive citizen, who has a big feather in their cap. The feather of valor, and commitment, because of your time you served your country.

IWILL

Don’t think that people will look down on you for being a soldier. It may happen from time to time. I went through that when I was a teacher, and invited my son Colonial K.C. Bolton to come and speak to my class. He was honored to come, and the principal even had him speak to the school.

However, there were a couple of the teachers who were anti-war, and wasn’t happy that a soldier was coming to speak. They let me know about it, and I stood my ground. I said I was very proud of my son, and since I was a veteran as well, I felt they were also attacking me.  That quieted them down a little, and they even recanted their thinking after hearing my son share the need for bravery in each of the children’s lives. It was a wonderful talk and the children loved him.

I once said in a talk during a book signing,” Let people feel the weight of who you are, and let them deal with it.”

Think on this

Isn’t it funny how people want to be protected and yet frown on those who do the protecting?

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There will be more excerpts in the future, so keep coming back. 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.

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Checking in on you…How are you doing? Are you struggling now that you are a civilian?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,625 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If you are battling mentally, because of your love for others, but it isn’t working, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will no hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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You may Give up on God, But He won’t Give up on You

I had a horrible day yesterday. Satan isn’t happy that I published, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.”

I decided to put my author hat away, and put on a salesman hat. It was time to contact all the local bookstores, and gift shops.

Out the door I went all excited to do God’s calling.

The first place I went to was a small independent Christian book store called, “Wings of the Soul.” I walked up to the store door and turned the knob. It was closed!  The store was suppose to open. It was not. I left feeling a little dejected, but  moved on to the next place on my list.

The next place was a local pharmacy that had a nice gift shop. I am even close friends with the owner. He was in favor of me putting the book in his store, but he has a shop manager that I needed to contact first.

I went into the shop, and asked one of the staff if I coud meet with the manager. The lady I talked to must of ate nails for breakfast. She blurted out, ” She’s not here.” I asked when she might be back.? “I don’t know!” This went on for a few minutes, and I finally  gave her one of my promotional packets, and asked her to give it to the manager. She again blurted out,” I don’t when she may be back! She comes and goes when she wants!”

That was a wonderful adventure, but I am not done yet. I  stopped by the city library to set-up a signing there in the future. It was closed!! They close the library on Mondays due to cut-backs.

I had one more stop. It was another independent Christian Bookstore near my home. I met with the owner, and he wouldn’t budge on what he wanted for a discount, and I left a broken man.  

I then got home and opened up my email. There was an email from the manager of my local Borders bookstore in Same, Oregon. We have a signing scheduled there on November 6th from 2-4 p.m.

(If any of you life in the Salem, Oregon area, the address of the Borders Bookstore is 2235 Lancaster Dr NE. Go to Mapquest to locate it.)

He said my publisher wouldn’t send him the books he ordered for the signing until he paid upfront. He let me now that he didn’t  have the funds in his local budget to pay for 100 books. He only has enough for 35 books.

I emailed him back and said I could provide the 100 books from my own personal inventory of books I had. I hope that works out well.

All in all, a day to be depressed, and wonder where God was. Well, I found out later where God was. I went to my weekly BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) meeting.

Please understand that what was covered in this one meeting wasn’t planned just for me, but when you read some of the quotes form the meeting you will see God was definitely speaking to me.

The topic? Adversity, Trials, and misfortune.

Quotes form the lecture:

“Fear results when you believe your adversity. Faith results when you believe God’s Word.”

“Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:28 ” God causes all those things of adversity in our lives to work to good those who believe.”

” You may give up on God, but He doesn’t give up on you.”

“Be still and now that I am God.”

“God’s presence with me is my solution to fear.”

The final statement by the speaker was this:

“God will be your sanctuary as you will be a SIGN to the world when you fear Him.”

I heard the word “sign,” loud and clear. That word is in the title of my book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.”

God was telling me to get up, and dust myself off. Get back out there and try again. I am doing that today, so pray that I will be more successful because I have God on my side.

BTW… you can order the book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World,” off of my author site at www.dougbolton.com.  If you do you will get an autograph and personal note  with the book. When you get to the site, just click on “Bookstore.”

Never give up! Never ever give up!!