New recruits in the military are stripped of everything they know, handed a gun, and trained to defend freedom and justice for their country. But when they return home, and are possibly looking towards retirement, the benefits they’re promised may come up short, or can be difficult to obtain.
There is a dire need for social justice for veterans. This group, often overlooked, stands to benefit from the assistance of social workers and programs such as VA home loans, though it’s tough for some to reach out after having been immersed in a culture of self-sufficiency. There can be a line of hurdles that a veteran must jump through to receive the benefits promised, and later they may still be left empty handed. Here are some recommended steps to move forward after coming home from combat, and how to go about getting the deserved benefits.
Don’t go about it alone
Veteran mental health services are essential in order to help vets recover from their combat experiences related to military service. There are a number of troubling statistics which show that not enough is being done and that many of our veterans are not receiving the care that they deserve.
Finding a counselor to aid the process of recovery is an excellent first step to moving forward after returning from combat. Mental health specialists will provide a layout of the next steps to take and cover any feelings of doubt while going through the recovery process.
Finding a home
Veterans that left for service without an already established home can utilize the benefits that are offered to them from serving in the military. One such benefit is a VA loan. Banks, mortgage companies and other private lenders provide these VA Home Loans, and they are available to military veterans and active military members only. Because VA loans are made through private lenders and are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, they do not require mortgage insurance, and there’s no minimum credit score requirement.
Finding a job
The competition in the job market is tough, and it is even more difficult to find a job for veterans. Vets that have been out of the civilian job market for many years have to compete with people who have current skills and experience on their resume.
The Military Times put together a list of the best employers for veterans. This list can help veterans get started in determining what they really want in a new vocation, without having to be locked into a career that is exactly what they did in the military.
However, some military careers, such as paralegal, medical careers and IT jobs, translate well from the military to the civilian sector. University of Nevada, Reno has recently put out tips for nailing job interviews in public health. These jobs pay very well for the training and experience veterans received in the military.
Making the most out of retirement
If there is enough financial security after leaving the military, retirement can be a rewarding stage in a veterans life. This will provide free time for new hobbies, activities and more time to spend with family and friends. But it can also bring uncertainty. Retirement, especially for veterans that are used to staying busy in a routine filled environment must continue to stay busy. Devoting time to making healthy habits, achieving financial goals, and keeping the mind active with hobbies and a rich social life.
Getting back into the swing of a normal life can be very difficult for those that served in the military for long periods of time. But with a little help and a solid plan, the transition from combat can become much more manageable.
Avery Phillips is a magical unicorn of a human being who loves everything human. She’s a fiery socialist and would love to talk about it. Tweet her @A_taylorian or comment below.