Veteran Cybersecurity Awareness: Navigating the Digital Battlefield

In an era where digital technology permeates every aspect of our lives, understanding cybersecurity is not just a necessity but a responsibility. Veterans moving from military life to a civilian career will find this responsibility is wholly different — and yet similar — to being in the armed forces. Discipline and strategic operation are second nature to a veteran, making them particularly suited to learning and understanding cybersecurity — enough that a career in the cybersecurity field is a viable course of action after service.

However, this digital landscape also presents distinct challenges, necessitating a different kind of vigilance.

Source: pexels.com

The Basics Of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity, in its simplest form, is the practice of protecting systems, programs, and networks from digital attacks. These attacks are usually conducted to change, access or destroy sensitive information, extort money from users, or interrupt normal business processes. Some basic things to watch out for when on the web are:

  • Suspicious email attachments
  • Unusual pop-up ads
  • Unverified software downloads
  • Links from unknown or untrusted sources
  • Offers that seem too good to be true
  • Requests for personal information in emails or messages
  • Unrecognized charges on your credit card or bank statements

If you’re more tech-savvy or have computer experience, you can also look for the following:

  • Outdated software and operating systems
  • Unexpected requests for remote access to your device
  • Unfamiliar browser toolbars or extensions
  • Unusual system or device performance issues (e.g., slowing down, crashing)
  • Devices that heat up unusually quickly
  • Unexplained data usage spikes

It’s particularly vital for veterans to be aware of cybersecurity practices as they tend to be more vulnerable to cyber attacks than the general population — a report indicated that 71% of veterans are the targets of cyber attacks, as opposed to only 60% of the general public.

For veterans, understanding cybersecurity is crucial not just for personal security but also as a potential career avenue. The skills honed in the military, such as strategic thinking, quick decision-making, and a disciplined approach, are highly applicable in the cybersecurity domain. However, the transition from a military to a civilian digital environment presents unique challenges, including the need to adapt to different types of threats and security protocols.

Phishing

Spammers send fraudulent emails or messages that mimic those from reputable sources and brands. Their main objective is to steal sensitive personal information like credit card numbers and login credentials. Phishing is particularly dangerous because it affects the user’s trust and can be difficult to distinguish from legitimate communication.

Malware

Another prevalent threat is malware, which includes viruses, worms, trojans, and ransomware. These malicious software programs are designed to harm or exploit any device, server, or network they infiltrate. Veterans, like any other user, must be vigilant about the sites they visit and the files they download to minimize the risk of malware infection.

Digital Identity Theft

Identity theft is also a major concern. Cybercriminals use various methods to steal personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to commit fraud. This can have devastating consequences, from financial loss to a tarnished reputation.

Understanding these threats is the first step toward effective cybersecurity. It’s not just about the technical know-how; it’s about developing a mindset of constant vigilance and caution, traits that are second nature to veterans. The key is to translate these instincts from physical security and combat to digital security.

Source: pexels.com

Veterans And Cybersecurity: A Unique Perspective

The skills a veteran learns as a member of the armed forces are applicable almost universally outside of the service. The military ingrains in its personnel attributes like strategic thinking, a keen sense of awareness, and the ability to quickly assess and respond to threats – skills that are directly transferable to cybersecurity.

In the military, veterans are trained to anticipate and mitigate risks, a crucial mindset in cyber defense. Cybersecurity requires someone to be able to:

  • Work in a high-pressure environment
  • Be ready to react to fast-paced situations
  • Have the flexibility to adapt to a constantly evolving environment
  • Capable of understanding complex systems.

All of these things are elements that veterans should already have after a life in the service.

However, the transition from military to civilian cybersecurity can present challenges. The cyber threats faced in civilian life, such as financial fraud, identity theft, and data breaches, differ significantly from those encountered in the military. Therefore, veterans must adapt their skills to address these more diverse and nuanced threats. The civilian sector often requires a more in-depth technical understanding of cybersecurity, calling for additional education and training.

Despite these challenges, many veterans have successfully transitioned into cybersecurity roles, bringing their unique perspectives to enhance digital security. They can close a skill gap in many organizations, and their stories serve as inspiration and a roadmap for others seeking to make a similar transition.

Practical Cybersecurity Tips For Veterans

For veterans and those considering a career in this field, adopting effective cybersecurity practices is essential for personal protection. Here are some practical tips:

Strong Passwords

Create robust passwords and use a different password for each account. Passwords should be a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and should be changed regularly. Consider using a password manager to keep track of your passwords securely.

Phishing Awareness

Be vigilant about emails or messages from unknown sources. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails. Phishing attempts often look legitimate but can be identified by odd email addresses, urgent language, or requests for personal information.

Securing Personal Networks

Ensure your home Wi-Fi network is secure. Use strong Wi-Fi passwords and consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for an additional layer of security, especially when using public Wi-Fi.

Regular Updates

Keep your software, including antivirus programs, updated. Software updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

Data Backup

Regularly backup important data to an external drive or cloud storage. This can be a lifesaver in case of data loss due to a cyber-attack.

Social Media Caution

Be cautious about the information you share on social media. Cybercriminals can use personal information to target you or guess your passwords and security questions.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

If possible, use 2FA for all your accounts. This adds an extra layer of security, as accessing your account requires not only your password but also a second factor, like a code sent to your phone.

Mobile Device Security

Ensure your mobile devices are secure. Use passcodes, fingerprint recognition, or facial recognition for access, and be cautious about the apps you download and the permissions they request.

By integrating these cybersecurity practices into daily life, veterans can significantly reduce their risk of cyber-attacks.  

Staying Informed And Vigilant

Just as you’d watch out for dangers in the real world, staying informed and alert about cyber threats is really important. Every news article you read, and every update you install is like building a fortress around your digital life. It shows that you really care, not just about yourself, but also about the folks who trust you with their important data.

Veterans should make it a habit to stay updated with the latest cybersecurity trends and threats. This can be done through various means, such as subscribing to cybersecurity news websites. They can also follow relevant experts on social media or join cybersecurity forums and communities.

Continuous learning and adaptation are key in cybersecurity. If you’re a veteran wanting to stay sharp and keep your skills current, think about joining webinars, workshops, and online courses. It’s a handy and efficient way to acquire new knowledge while hanging out online. And don’t forget to chat with other cybersecurity experts – it’s like making friends who spill the beans on all the latest trends and security dangers.

Doing all this proactive stuff doesn’t just make you better at cybersecurity, it also gives your professional cybersecurity resume that extra boost in the industry.

Source: pexels.com

Entering The Digital Age As A Veteran

Stepping into the world of cybersecurity is like entering a whole new battlefield, and it’s one that’s constantly changing. This is especially true for veterans who are swapping their military boots for a spot in the civilian workforce. The skills they’ve picked up in the service – think discipline, sharp strategic thinking, and making quick calls under pressure – are super handy in the cyber world. But, it’s not all smooth sailing. The cyber threats they now face are a different beast compared to what they dealt with in the military.

Getting the hang of cybersecurity basics is key. It’s all about keeping an eye out for sneaky stuff like phishing emails, nasty malware, and someone trying to steal your identity online. For veterans, it means getting into the habit of using tough-to-crack passwords, not falling for dodgy emails, keeping their home Wi-Fi locked down tight, and always staying on top of the latest tricks and threats in the cyber world.

The cool thing is, all that experience veterans have from their time in uniform – staying cool under fire, adjusting to new challenges on the fly, and getting their heads around complex stuff – makes them pretty much tailor-made for cybersecurity roles. Sure, shifting gears to handle the kinds of cyber risks that pop up in everyday life can be tricky, but loads of vets have already made the leap and are doing awesome things, beefing up digital security in all sorts of places.

For vets diving into cybersecurity, it’s more than just a job. It’s like they’re continuing their mission to protect and serve, but now they’re doing it in the digital world. By tapping into their military know-how, they’re not just carving out exciting new career paths for themselves; they’re also playing a big part in keeping our online world safe and sound. Their move into cybersecurity is a real-life example of their dedication to guarding and serving, just on a different kind of frontline.

Veteran Networking: How Veterans Can Create A Strong Support Network

The leap from military to civilian life brings with it a host of unique and challenging adjustments. Veterans often find themselves navigating a new world, where everyday routines, social circles, and career paths are vastly different from their experiences in service. This isn’t merely a change of scenery; it’s a complete shift in lifestyle.

In the military, life is marked by structure, camaraderie, and a clear sense of purpose. When veterans return home, they often miss this framework, feeling unmoored in its absence. One critical strategy for finding their footing in this unfamiliar terrain is to build a robust support network.

Your support network is a space where you can find healing, safety, and push for self-improvement after service. It can also help you figure out where you want to go as you move forward in life and transition to being a civilian. In such a network, veterans find a place to bond, share their distinct stories, and get advice from people who encounter the specific hurdles they face post-service.

Understanding The Need For Support

A range of emotional and psychological challenges often accompanies the journey from military to civilian life. Many veterans face mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. These aren’t just statistics; they are realities that affect veterans and their families daily. Acknowledging and addressing these challenges is the first step in building a support network that truly serves the needs of veterans.

The role of a support network is multifaceted. There are three primary benefits to a support network:

  • emotional backing
  • practical advice
  • a sense of belonging.

For many veterans, talking to someone who has ‘been there’ can be more comforting than any other form of support. Fellow veterans, understanding of the unique military experience, can offer empathy and insight that others might not.

Source: pexels.com

Why Build A Network?

But why is this network so crucial? It’s because thousands of veterans suffer from the traumatic events of service — on average, 7% of all veterans suffer from some form of PTSD, making a support network a potent — and necessary — tool to returning to civilian life:

  • Processing Military Experience: The network aids in processing the impact of military life on personal affairs. Sharing stories and experiences within this group can be a significant step in the healing process.
  • Sounding Board for Everyday Challenges: The network serves as a sounding board for the routine challenges faced in civilian life. This includes everything from seeking job advice to navigating personal relationships outside of a military setting.
  • Early Warning System for Mental Health: It functions as an early detection system for mental health concerns, providing a safety net for individuals who may struggle quietly.

Building this network, however, isn’t always straightforward. Many veterans may feel isolated or believe that they should handle challenges on their own. There’s often a stigma attached to seeking help, rooted in the military culture of self-reliance. Overcoming this mindset is crucial. A support network doesn’t signify weakness; it represents strength and the courage to embrace a fulfilling post-service life.

The need for a support network stems from the fundamental human need for connection and understanding. For veterans, this network becomes a bridge between their military past and civilian future, offering support and guidance through the complexities of this significant life transition.

Components Of A Strong Support Network

The foundation of a veteran’s support network often lies in its diversity and depth. Each component plays a unique role in providing holistic support.

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Family And Friends

They are often the first line of support. Veterans can work on nurturing these relationships by openly communicating their experiences and needs. Family and friends can provide a sense of normalcy and stability, but veterans need to educate them about their specific experiences and how they might have changed.

Fellow Veterans

Your brothers in arms share your understanding of the military experience. Groups like Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or American Legion can provide a space where veterans feel understood and accepted. These connections can offer invaluable insight into navigating post-service life and can empathize in ways that others may not.

Professional Support

Mental health professionals, especially those specializing in veteran-related issues, are critical. Therapists and counselors can provide coping strategies and treatment for issues such as PTSD and depression. Additionally, career counselors can offer guidance in translating military skills to civilian job markets — and the leadership skills of veterans can be a powerful tool in civilian life.

Community Resources

Local veteran organizations, community centers, and support groups can be invaluable. They provide a network of resources, from job placement assistance to recreational activities specifically designed for veterans.

Online Communities

Digital platforms have opened new avenues for connection. Online forums, social media groups, and veteran-specific online communities can be particularly beneficial for those who might find physical meetings challenging or are located in remote areas.

Steps To Building Your Network

Building a support network is a dynamic process. It evolves as your needs change over time. The key is to remain open to new connections and experiences, and to remember that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. This network can become a powerful tool in your journey towards a fulfilling civilian life, offering both the resources and the emotional backing needed to thrive.

Creating a support network requires proactive steps and a willingness to reach out:

Self-Assessment

Start by identifying your needs. Are you looking for emotional support, career advice, or just a social group to feel connected? Understanding what you need from your network is the first step to building it effectively.

Reach Out

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to reach out. This might involve joining veteran organizations, attending community events, or even reaching out to your old service buddies. It’s important not to be discouraged by setbacks; building a network takes time and persistence.

Build Relationships

Developing and maintaining strong relationships within the network is key. This might involve regular participation in meetings, volunteering, or simply keeping in touch with network members. It’s about creating mutual trust and understanding.

Set Boundaries

It’s crucial for veterans to understand their comfort levels and set boundaries accordingly. Not every group or individual will be the right fit, and that’s okay. It’s about finding a balance that works.

Source: pexels.com

Overcoming Obstacles In Network Building

Building a support network is not without its challenges, and veterans need to recognize and prepare for these potential hurdles.

Overcoming Stigma

One of the biggest obstacles can be the internalized stigma around seeking help — 60% of all veterans with mental health issues do not seek help. Veterans often come from a culture that values self-reliance, which can make reaching out for support feel like an admission of weakness. It’s crucial to reframe this perspective, understanding that seeking help is a sign of strength and a step towards resilience.

Dealing With Reluctance

Some veterans may feel hesitant to share their experiences or may doubt whether others can truly understand or help. Building trust takes time, and it’s okay to start small. Even participating in non-verbal group activities can be a stepping stone towards more significant engagement.

Navigating Misunderstandings

Civilian friends and family might not always grasp the full extent of a veteran’s experience. It’s important to communicate openly, but also to recognize that some experiences are difficult to convey. Patience and ongoing dialogue are key.

Maintaining Relationships

Building a network is just the beginning; maintaining these relationships is equally important. This involves regular communication, mutual support, and understanding that relationships can evolve over time.

Adapting To Change

As veterans move forward in their civilian lives, their needs and circumstances will change. Their support network should be adaptable and capable of evolving to meet these changing needs.

Building A Veteran Support Network

Your support network is a web of relationships that helps everyone in it — by helping others with your strength, guidance, and understanding, they are also empowered to help you and everyone else in the network. As the network builds up, it evolves into something greater than the sum of its parts: an immovable, unshakable bedrock of support for veterans to thrive in their lives after service.

To our veterans: remember, you are not alone in this journey. The strength you showed in service can be your guide in building a robust support network. We encourage you to take that brave first step – reach out, connect, and build the bridges you need.

Your experiences, both in service and as a civilian, are valuable, and sharing them within your network can be incredibly empowering. And to the families, friends, and communities of these veterans: be there, listen, and be a part of this essential network. Together, we can build a stronger, more supportive environment for our veterans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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The Role of Family Therapy in Supporting Veterans’ Transition to Civilian Life

The transition from military to civilian life can be difficult for veterans, and it can be especially challenging for veterans who have experienced trauma during their service. Family therapy can play a vital role in helping veterans and their families navigate this transition and address any issues that may arise. In this article, we will explore the ways in which family therapy can support veterans during their transition to civilian life.

The Challenges of Transitioning to Civilian Life

Transitioning to civilian life can be difficult for many veterans. They may have difficulty readjusting to life outside of the military and may experience a range of emotional and psychological challenges. Some common issues that veterans may face during this transition include:

  • Difficulty adjusting to a new lifestyle: Veterans may have difficulty adjusting to a more sedentary and less structured lifestyle, as well as the lack of camaraderie and sense of purpose that they experienced in the military.
  • Difficulty reconnecting with family and friends: Veterans may have difficulty reconnecting with their family and friends after spending an extended period of time away. They may also have difficulty adjusting to changes in their relationships and family dynamics.
  • Difficulty finding employment: Veterans may have difficulty finding employment that is meaningful and fulfilling, and they may struggle to find a job that is a good fit for their skills and experience.
  • Difficulty managing symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions: Veterans who have experienced trauma during their service may struggle with symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

The Benefits of Family Therapy

Family therapy can be a valuable tool in helping veterans and their families navigate the challenges of transitioning to civilian life. Family therapy can provide a safe and supportive environment where veterans and their families can work through any issues that may arise during this transition. Some of the benefits of family therapy for veterans include:

  • Improving communication and understanding: Family therapy can help veterans and their families improve their communication and understanding of each other. This can be especially beneficial for veterans who may have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings.
  • Addressing relationship challenges: Family therapy can help veterans and their families address any relationship challenges that may arise during the transition to civilian life. This can include issues related to reconnecting with family and friends and adjusting to changes in family dynamics.
  • Addressing symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions: Family therapy can help veterans and their families address symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions. This can include helping veterans to process and manage their traumatic experiences, as well as providing support for their families.
  • Helping veterans to find meaning and purpose: Family therapy can help veterans to find meaning and purpose in their lives after leaving the military. This can include exploring new interests and hobbies, as well as finding employment that is fulfilling and meaningful.
  • Improving overall well-being: Family therapy can help veterans and their families to improve their overall well-being. This can include helping veterans to manage symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions, as well as addressing any relationship challenges and helping veterans to find meaning and purpose in their lives.

Tips for Finding the Right Family Therapist

It is important to find a family therapist who is experienced in working with veterans and their families. Here are some tips for finding the right therapist:

  • Look for a therapist who is experienced in working with veterans: Veterans may have specific needs that are different from those of civilians, and a therapist who is experienced in working with veterans will be better equipped to help them.
  • Look for a therapist who is accredited by professional organizations: Accreditation from professional organizations such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) or the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) can indicate that a therapist has the necessary training and qualifications to work with veterans and their families.
    • Look for a therapist who is willing to work with the VA: Many veterans receive health care through the VA, and it can be helpful to find a therapist who is willing to work with the VA to coordinate care.
    • Look for a therapist who is sensitive to cultural and diversity issues: Veterans come from diverse backgrounds, and it can be helpful to find a therapist who is sensitive to cultural and diversity issues and able to work with veterans from different ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
    • Ask for recommendations: Ask other veterans or veterans organizations for recommendations of therapists who have experience working with veterans and their families.

    Conclusion

    Transitioning to civilian life can be difficult for veterans, and it can be especially challenging for veterans who have experienced trauma during their service. Family therapy can play a vital role in helping veterans and their families navigate this transition and address any issues that may arise. By improving communication and understanding, addressing relationship challenges, addressing symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions, helping veterans to find meaning and purpose and improving overall well-being. It is important to find a family therapist who is experienced in working with veterans and their families, and who is willing to work with the VA and sensitive to cultural and diversity issues.

Ways You Can Help Veterans in Therapy

Veterans often struggle to adjust to civilian life after their service and may require additional mental health treatment. Therapeutic care is essential for the successful reintegration of veterans into society, but the cost can be prohibitive. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get involved and help these brave individuals access the care they need.

Donate Money

Financial donations are one of the best ways to make sure veterans have access to therapy. Mental health clinics serving veterans often rely on charitable donations as a source of funding, so be sure to check with them before you donate elsewhere. Any amount helps and will go towards helping veterans receive therapeutic interventions that can get them back on track.

Volunteer at Mental Health Clinics or Nonprofits

Organizations like Vets 4 Warriors are dedicated specifically to helping veterans receive quality mental healthcare services. Many such organizations depend heavily on volunteers to keep their operations running, so it’s worth getting in touch to see what opportunities may exist in your area. If volunteering isn’t an option for you, consider donating your time by providing pro bono services such as administrative assistance or legal advice.

Share Resources

Posting information about local mental health clinics or other resources available for veterans can go a long way towards connecting those who need help with those who are offering it. Additionally, sharing articles about veteran’s issues can help increase awareness and create a dialogue about the struggles our soldiers face after returning home from service abroad.

Provide Supportive Services

There are many supportive services out there specifically designed for veterans that don’t even involve therapy – such as career counseling or financial literacy classes – that can provide invaluable assistance to those making the transition back into civilian life. Volunteering your time or donating money in order to provide these services is an excellent way to show your support for our brave men and women who serve this country every day.

Utilize Available Resources

It’s important to make sure that veterans have access to the many resources available. This includes the Veterans Affairs Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255), which provides confidential support to those in crisis 24 hours a day. It’s also helpful to be aware of alternative therapies like yoga, music therapy, and art therapy which may be effective options for veterans experiencing mental health issues related to PTSD. Finally, there are local organizations in each state dedicated to helping veterans with their mental health needs; these programs may provide financial assistance or case management services which can help ensure that veteran’s receive the care they need.

Lobby Your Local Politicians

Mental health services for veterans don’t always make it onto lawmakers’ radars; sometimes it takes a push from constituents like you in order for them to better understand why these issues deserve attention and resources within their districts/states/towns/etc. Making sure politicians prioritize funds specifically designated for mental health initiatives targeting ex-military personnel is one great way you can use your voice (or pen) to enact real-world change!

Advocate for Policies that Benefit Veterans

Another way you can help veterans receive the mental health services they need is by advocating for policies that benefit them. This could include pushing for higher reimbursement rates for providers so veterans on a budget can get care or ensuring that veteran-specific mental health centers are adequately funded. It’s also important to advocate for programs and legislation that promote greater access to housing, education, and employment opportunities – all of which can create stability and security that may otherwise be unavailable to struggling veterans.

Allowing Veterans To Connect

It’s important to provide ways for veterans to connect with one another. You can host group meetings or events which give veterans an opportunity to share their experiences and build relationships with each other. Connecting veterans to supportive communities or organizations is also beneficial, as these groups can provide resources and a sense of camaraderie which can be invaluable in times of mental health crisis.

Educate Yourself

Finally, one of the best ways to help veterans in therapy is by educating yourself about their unique challenges and experiences. Many people are unaware that veterans face greater risks for mental health problems than civilians, or just how often these issues can arise after returning from war. You can learn more by reading books or articles about veteran’s mental health, speaking with veterans in your personal or professional networks, or simply asking questions in order to gain a better understanding of what they go through.

By taking action in any of the ways mentioned above – whether it’s donating money, offering pro bono services, informing others about available resources, providing supportive services, lobbying local politicians and advocating for policies that benefit veterans – you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of our brave men and women who have served their country. Every small effort counts and helps ensure that those most affected by war have access to the therapeutic interventions they need.

Why Veterans Can Benefit From Seeing A Therapist

When it comes to war, it doesn’t just leave physical scars on veterans. Military service can profoundly affect a person’s mental state as well as their social life. The transition to civilian life can be quite challenging. While other people eventually adjust thanks to their loved ones, there are those who may struggle more than others. For these reasons, it’s helpful for veterans to see a therapist. Let’s look at precisely how therapy can help our returning heroes.

To Move On From Trauma

Source: army.mil

Nobody can deny Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe issue. Such a disorder, of course, comes from the mental stress veterans experience during their time serving their nation. It’s essential to address this problem as it can lead to further struggles for veterans, including substance abuse.

It is where a therapist comes in. Although many veterans find it difficult to talk about their experience, asking for help is the first step in healing. Many returning members of the armed forces think therapists may never fully comprehend their trauma without experiencing it themselves. However, these experts are trained to offer guidance and teach proper coping mechanisms for their problems.

Many of those who seemed skeptical of therapy found they overcame the initial discomfort later on. Succeeding sessions with a therapist or a group proved to be helpful after all.

To Reintegrate Into Society

For civilians, it may be challenging to imagine veterans having difficulty with regular daily life. For us, military life is significantly much more difficult. While soldiers worry about their survival practically every day, we have smaller problems such as deciding what to wear during the day or having to wait too long for our coffee. Returning military personnel still find it hard to reintegrate into society.

One challenge is reconnecting with families and friends. This problem can be especially tricky for those who are married and have kids. They’ll have to start focusing on being a parent and spouse over anything else.

Another issue is becoming part of the workforce. Admittedly, looking for jobs isn’t always easy for everyone. But when you’ve been away for so long, it becomes hard to gather skills and experience employers in other industries need. Many of those who serve haven’t had jobs before becoming part of the military. This situation puts them at a disadvantage.

Dealing with the idea of structure can also be a challenge for veterans. For all of their military life, they have had a clear and defined chain of command. When they come back home, they’ll find civilian life isn’t the same. They’ll have to make their sense of structure and be able to adapt.

With all these problems, seeing a therapist can be a good idea. While they won’t solve your issues for you, they can help you find your footing and make reintegration much easier.

To Help Your Loved Ones

Source: army.mil

The struggle of coming back from service isn’t something you experience alone. While your loved ones are thrilled to have you back home, they’ll also worry about how you’ll adjust to life outside of the military. Moreover, just like how you may have problems reintegrating, they’ll also have to find a way to include you back into their daily routine.

Additionally, the struggles you face can also affect those around you. Your frustrations, anxiety, and even depression (as a result of PTSD) can stress out your family and friends.

By seeing an expert, you can reassure your family you’ll be okay. Likewise, involving them in your sessions can help them gain a better understanding of what you’re going through. Your therapist can also show them what they can do to help.

BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that provides guidance for those who need mental health enlightenment. Know more about it here, or read customer reviews through this link.

To Find A New Sense Of Purpose

Source: health.mil

Once their duty ends, most veterans find themselves asking, “what now?” During their time with the military, they always had a clear sense of purpose: to serve and protect. But can they still do that now?

It’s natural for veterans to feel like protectors, and they can still do so for their community in other ways. You can always find ways to help others around you after serving your nation. These things can be possible for you to achieve with the help of a therapist. They can guide you in finding something that will make you feel like you can give back again.

Summary

Although more people are going to therapy, there are still those who are scared to give it a go. As brave as veterans may be, they may not always be comfortable with seeking help. They’ve gotten so used to keeping up the tough persona that they forget asking for guidance is okay too.

Life After The War: Hope For Our Veterans

Our veterans made so much sacrifice for our country. Whether Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, or wherever there is conflict, they put their lives on the line just the same.  After the service that they have given to the country is over, they are left with nothing but wounds (physically, emotionally, and mentally).  And another sad reality is that not all retirees are given generous pension or even enough for them to live on for the rest of their lives.

 

Source:  nara.getarchive.net

One veteran I had the opportunity to chat with said he was overseas for almost ten years.  He didn’t get the opportunity to see his children while growing up.  His youngest didn’t even recognize him when he came back.  It was heartbreaking for him, even more, when upon his return he didn’t know how or where to start.   With his injury, he was forced to retire early, and the pension he was receiving was just enough for his needs.  He was at lost, jobless, confused, and most of his day he spent staying at home doing the chores.  This made him feel more depressed.

Source:  flickr.com

He is not the only veteran who felt that way.  Talking to more retirees, I found out that most of them have the same experience of feeling lost after they retire from the service.  Some have no choice but to do part-time jobs just to have extra income and be productive, but others find it hard to land a job. Others are thinking of going into business but don’t know how or where to get the money to start one.

 

Organizations Who Assist Veterans Get Their Life Back

In doing my research, I came across nonprofit organizations that help veterans adjust to the civilian world.   Others teach and guide them about business, and even assist them on how to get a loan to start.

Our military men are used to a life where things were laid before them by their superiors.  Everything is scheduled, everything is monitored, and almost every single thing they do is dictated to them.  In the outside world, that’s not the case anymore.  Out here is the real jungle that they have to survive without someone telling them what time to do things or what things they are to do.   They have to decide things on their own, and this is the reason why most of them fail to find hope and get their normal life back.

 

Charlotte Bridge Home

Local veterans from North Carolina formed an organization, Charlotte Bridge Home, which aims to help veterans shift from the Army to civilian life.  They reach out to veterans and guide them so they can find their valuable skills through their military experiences.   These skills will be their ticket back to finding jobs or doing business.  Charlotte Bridge Home assists the veterans in developing self-esteem to empower them by providing them with knowledge (through training) and resources to start rebuilding their lives after the military.

 

VBOC

Veterans Business Outreach Center of Florida is an organization that aims to empower Florida’s veterans and their household to be successful entrepreneurs.  They conduct training and counseling and offer resources so these veterans will be able to provide for themselves and their families.

 

The owner of Veterans 4 You, LLC, Mr. Tim Farrell, was able to expand his business with the help of VBOC.  Now, he is winning contracts from the federal government which amounts to $2 billion.

 

Former US Air Force Torrance Hart once thought of starting a business.   She believed that the skills she developed from joining the Air Force would help her a lot in this venture, and will allow her to transition naturally to her new environment.   The skills she confidently shared were her ability to be organized, disciplined, and motivated.  Torrance Hart is now the owner of Teak & Wine.

 

Life after the military is never comfortable.   This is no secret from the public, and the veterans themselves experienced it.  Good thing they decided to form these groups to help veterans pick up from where they left off or start their new life from nothing.

 

Source:  flickr.com

These organizations have helped thousands of veterans transition from their military to private citizen life, and each veteran is helped according to his needs.   Our veterans should not be treated as victims of wars, but rather wounded heroes who need healing, and they will only heal if we help them.

 

 

Life As A Veteran: How To Be Happy

Waking up one morning and realizing that you are no longer connected with the military service can be frustrating. You would feel sad as you remember all your previous experiences in the military life. What you are feeling right now is only typical for someone who has gone through a significant transition in life. We understand how tough and demanding it is to accept your reality as of the moment. Because of this, we have rounded up some tips on how you can stay happy now that you are living a civilian life.

Source: flickr.com

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A New Life Ahead For Veterans

Leaving the military life may not be the kind of choice that you voluntarily made. There could be some reasons or circumstances that prevented you from moving forward with your life-long goals in the armed forces or other military services. Everything can feel a little shaky in the beginning, but with the right attitude and outlook in life, your situation will become better. In this article, we are going to discuss what a new life ahead means for veterans.

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