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Nowadays, should veterans embrace the challenges of transition into the civilian world?

Since I've been out of the Army, my life has been very difficult as a single mother (honorably discharge & MOS going on a freeze). As I read of other veterans complaining (if termed that way) about veterans not getting full benefits, I never received full benefits due to the nature of my discharge (pregnancy for the honorable standing). I am surviving. I'm currently a grant writer, working in finance, and writing a journal about economic restoration and urban development.

Even though I am sympathetic to many veterans, some I feel are going a little overboard on wanting too much. I believe that, even with PTSD, life is about dealing with pain, and that we must rise above adversity. After all, I did (even with PTSD to some respect). What doesn't kill us, just makes us stronger, and that we must behave like soldiers on the outside like we did on the inside. (IM'd a vet delicately)

Your take? (no bashing please)

Answer Question

Asked by BlueSaphire at 2:09 PM on Nov. 8, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 21 (11,698 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I have the utmost respect for veterans and believe that they should be treated better than they are in many cases. It is wonderful that you have found a career that you enjoy and are able to support yourself, but I don't like the way too many vets are left high-and-dry.

    Answer by scout_mom at 2:11 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I think there is a huge transition for some military personnel when they leave the service and re-enter civilian life. How much of a transition and the toll it takes (IMHO) depends not only on your MOS and your military experiences, but also the length of your service.

    Someone who served one term peace-time would need a lot less assistance than someone who spent 30 years in/out of danger zones. Same with military personnel who come home wounded.

    I've done charity work with the Semper Fi Fund and a good friend works for Wounded Warriors. I've seen some of these young men come home to transition out - and their whole life is upside down. When my dad got out, no one showed him how to deal with the civilian life and he had a hard time dealing with the lack of structure.

    Personally, I think if someone is risking life and limb to do a job that basically pays $2/hr, they deserve a HELL OF A LOT of help.

    Answer by geminilove at 2:17 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I do not see where people are going overboard and asking for too much. In my experience it seems to me that they are asking for what they deserve. I think that while being in the military we are treated well, ourselves and our families being taken care of. Transition to civilian life can be hard but doable. The only requests I see being made are those for injured vets. I think that this generation of military are going to be okay as they get older, but the current one is sadly somewhat forgotten. So many are left homeless because of mental and physical disabilities and they have no advocate no one that helps them get the care that they need.

    Answer by Melbornj at 2:17 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I totally agree with you.

    Answer by older at 2:21 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I believe that if you put our life on the line for this country you deserve all the benefits you were promised. So no, I don't think they should just it up and deal with it.

    Answer by hobbitswife04 at 2:30 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • Veterans, and I am one after 12 years of service, should be allowed the benefits they were promised. The VAs should not be in the middle of the worst neighborhoods with outdated buildings, overflowing with patients, and being used as guinea pigs for the medical universities that area always close by. If someone sustains an injury or an illness while on active duty, and it is considered service connected, then they should rightfully be compensated. I did not do a lie down and take it when I got out. I fought hard for my VA benefits and compensation. Nobody should have to man up and deal with PTSD like a soldier. People who get hurt mentally or physically are sick. The transition from military to civilian life can take years. The longer a person is in, the harder it is to adapt. You got out because you were pregnant and not because your legs were blown off by an IED. Big difference.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 4:25 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I can't imagine being trained in military life and then trying to segue back to civilian life. I know that Korean and Vietnam war veterans STILL struggle from their experiences. In fact, a large percentage of the homeless are veterans. It is a sad commentary of America on how vets are treated on their return.

    Answer by tasches at 5:09 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I agree with you, OP, but can only really speak from personal experience. My mother's twin brother was one of the first to go to Vietnam in 1963, when he was 17 and a senior in high school (he dropped out to enlist). He doesn't talk about much, but the bits and pieces I learned over the years included his helicopter being shot down, and his being a POW for an undisclosed amount of time (never heard the specifics). Nearly 48 years later, he has YET to get on with his life--upon returning he got into drugs and became an alcoholic although he has been clean and sober for more than 30 years. He has to take lithium for PTSD, and even though he has been awarded all kinds of stipends and cash settlements, and was granted low-income housing, has been married to his high-school sweetheart for more than 40 years, Vietnam is STILL raging in his head.

    Simply put some people are capable of moving forward with their lives, some are not.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 5:17 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • I know of many Korean and Vietnam veterans that took hold on a very succesful civilian life, even without limbs (i.e. war trophies). One even owns a bookstore that has plenty of war stories to share.

    Comment by BlueSaphire (original poster) at 5:18 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

  • happy veterans day              It may be a couple of days early...but Blue Saphire I salute you.  You are representative of the best of the best....a true American HERO.  Thank you for your service. 




    Answer by yourspecialkid at 9:29 PM on Nov. 8, 2010

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