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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PTSD Can Pull you Down Into the Muck and Mire Like a Huge Magnate

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The White House is trying to get our minds off of Afghanistan, and on spending trillions of dollors on bills that are full of pork.

Presidnet Biden seems to be doing what ever he can to trash the military. I am hearing rumors he doesn’t like the military.

Presdient Trump loves the military. He did what ever he could to get higher funding, and praised the soldiers for their dedication.

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I am going to start sharing excerpts from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. This is against my publishers wishes.

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This chapter will be rather Long, but I want to show you the great information it has:

People Don’t Understand Me

We all know that great, and satisfying marriages are possible, But what about those who face PTSD (Post Tramimatic Stress Dosorder, ) in their marraige?

People with PTSD may affect many more than just their spouses. It could be the parents, children, siblngs, friends, or co-workers.

PTSD is an exposure to a severe trauma.

The Mayo clinic says:

“PTSD is a mental condition that is triggered by a terrifying event.”

People who struggle with it are not crazy, weak, a failure, or even a bad person. They are looking for help just like the rest of us.

Some of the symptoms of PTSD are:

  1. Reliving the event.

A. Memories of the tramatic event can come back often and at any time. You may feel the some fear and horror like you did when the event took place. For example:

+ You may have nightmares.

+ You may feel like you are going through the event again. This is called flashback.

+ You may see, hear, and smell something that causes you to relive the event. This is called a trigger. News reports, seeing an accident, or hearing a car backfire are examples of triggers.

2. You may try to avoid situations that remind you of the event.

+ You may also try to avoid situations or people that trigger the memories, You may even avoid talking about the event. For example:

+ You may avoid crowds, because they may make you feel uncomfortable.

+You may avoid driving if your miitary convoy was bombed.

+ You may keep busy or even avoid seeking help because it keeps you from thinking ot talking about the event. (You should never let this happen. You need to verbalize your feelings to let your helpers know how they can really help you. )

3. Negative changes in beliefs and feelings.

+ The way you think about yourself and others may change. There are many symptoms including the following:

+ You may not have positive or loving feelings towards other people, and may stay away from relationships.

+ You may forget about parts of the tramatic event, or not be able to talk about them. (Again, please share your thoughts. It will not only relieve your mind, but you can get the proper help that you dearly need.)

4. Feeling keyed up

+ You may always be alert and on the lookout for danger. You might suddnely become angry or irritable. For example:

+ You may have a hard time sleeping.

+ You may have trouble concentrating.

+ You may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.

+ You may want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant, or waiting room.

The spouses of a veteran with PTSD have many of their own emotions such as:

+Sleeping probems.

+ Depression.

+Wanting to run away.

+ Feeling trapped.

+Feeling hopeless.

+ Feeling exhausted.

+They may even question their faith.

There could be a possiblity of getting PTSD themselves. like getting cancer from second hand smoke.

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I read an article in Guide Posts Magazine about a wife who started having the same symptoms as her husband who was battling PTSD. A family with PTSD in it can be pulled into the muck and mire like a family who have one of their own battling durgs or alcochol.

Wouldn’t it be great to be abe to say, “Take two aspirin and see me in the morning,” and the PTSD would be all gone? The truth is that the veteran with PTSD may never totally get over it. But the people involved can learn agreat deal from it; to handle it better. They can do this and still have a good marriage

The trauma they face may never go away, but the trauma can be reduced to the point it doesn’t control the person.

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There is much more to this chapter, but I didn’t want you to give up, because you thought it was too long.

I highly suggest you aquire this book if you are struggling with PTSD. There is another chapter dealing with the same subject.

You can read that chapter in the near future right here. Better yet… Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your in box.

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Checking in with you brothers and sisters….How are you doing?

Do you suffer with PTSD? Do you dread the nights for fear of nightmares?

FEAR NOT!!!

There are over 13,135 fellow veterans here on this site who have your back.

If the world is just too crazy for you, GET HELP!!

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

!-800-273-8255…texting838255.

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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

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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.

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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.