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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The President Has Put an Innocent Man in the Brig for Telling the truth.

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Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the Marine officer whose meteoric rise to internet fandom began with a video criticizing military leadership over Afghanistan, is currently in the brig. Qoute from his father, “They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak,” Scheller’s father said. “He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.”

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Army officials are increasing security measures at Fort Bliss after a female soldier reported being assaulted by “a small group of male evacuees” on Sept. 19. The FBI is also investigating the allegation.

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In a recent viral video, a senior airman in the Air Force asks viewers to help find jobs for service members leaving the military because they refuse to take the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine. Her video resonated with thousands of viewers, but the number of service members leaving the military due to declining the vaccine, and for which reason, is still unknown.

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Top U.S. military leaders have finally acknowledged that they knew President Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan would seal the country’s fate. The acknowledgement marks a sharp turn from the earlier narrative, where Biden and other officials said it was unlikely the Taliban would win the entire country.

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Well, I have sent you all the titles of my chapters from the Table of Contents in my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

I hope you got interested in the book by reading the description of each chapter.

I may start back sharing excerpts from the book, so keep coming back to check them out.

Better yet…go to the top of this page and “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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So many, not so fun, things are happening in our world today. As a Veteran, or current service member are you being dragged down like a huge magnate? Are you not wanting to go to sleep, becasue of the nightmares that are waiting for you?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,090 fellow veterans on this site who have your back.

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 the know you are OK.

If you are struggling too much right now, GET HELP!

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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+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.

Tenacles Can be Longer Than your Hope, and Suck the Life Out of You

+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.

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Military news…

“God needed an angel for his war, and he took the best goddamn one.” That’s from Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Duncan McClain, who gave a stirring speech in remembrance of Sgt. Nicole Gee, one of the 13 American service members killed in the Aug. 26 attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

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“More than the physical, I carried incredible terror with every single step I took. Is the land going to blow me up?” That’s from Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien, who wrote “The Things They Carried,” one of the most acclaimed war novels in American history.

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You’ve probably never heard of the Air Force’s 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, but they were the unsung heroes behind the massive airlift of Afghan refugees out of Kabul that took place last month.

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Short military news report today, because I want to share with you the last part of my table of contents, from Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life:

Domestic Violence in The Military

In the Military is is far too common that domstic violence raises it ugly head.

Time Doesn’t Always heal Wounds

A bad situation is a when a friend won’t forgive you for something you didn’t know happened.

Worry is Not the Answer

Worry is not an iIlness, but it can cause illness.

Tenacles Can be Longer Than Your Hope

Life is very frustrating. It can suck the air out of you.

Had a Rough Ride?

Negative thinking goes no where but a dead end.

There is Never a Time when You Don’t Have a Choice.

“I had to do it becasue I had no Choice.” This is not true.

Military Spouses Have a Huge Task

One of the toughest tasks in the military is to be the spouse left behind during deployment.

Tragedies Come Knocking at Our Door

We never thought good could come from a tragedy.

If Only I Would Have …

We run from scary things, but we need to face them head on.

What Are You Saving Your Talents For?

You have beautiful talents you need to be using.

Move Out of your House Called Depression

The depression rate in the MIlitary is very high.

Happiness is a Choice

People are as happy as they choose to be.

We Must Always Remember the Spouses in the Military

Spouses are the backbone in the family during deployment

The Raging Battle Against PTSD

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls, one can help the other up. (Eccl. 4:9)

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

Let the people feel the weight of who you are, and let Them deal with it.

Let’s Start a Ripple Effect

Have you ever thrown a pebble into to the lake and seen the circles form and spread out? That is the ripple effect.


That’s my story and I’m stcking to it. You have now seen all of the chapter titles from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

I am hoping that some peaked your interest enough that you will want to get the book. It will be the best thing you have ever done.

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I just may ignore my publishers suffestion to stop sharing excerpts from the book. Keep coming back to see them. Better yet…

Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do you will get all future post directly in your inbox.

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Bed check…

How is your life going brother/sister? The days are long, and the nights even longer. Do you dread trying to sleep?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,050 fellow veterans here who have your back.

However, if it is just too overwhelming right now, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free nember to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until the 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 alll…never, ever, give up!

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+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.