We’ve talked before about how different retiring from the military can be from retiring from the corporate world, simply because the military has required soldiers to utilize a different skill set than the public sector does. But because the world outside of the military is so different, it’s important to realize the many different ways that they’ll need peer support training.
The feeling of family: Whether they’ve fought and died with their fellow soldiers, of whether they’ve just hung out with them for years, the military feels like family to many retiring soldiers. This feeling can leave a big gap in their lives, one that their biological family might not be able to see or even fill.
Exercise: In the military you stay fit. Sure, it’s a requirement, but it’s also something that many of them did recreationally. When they’re separated from their fellow soldiers, that exercise routine might fade away and they’re no longer getting the constant endorphins from exercise.
They’ve learned a different set of skills: A retiring soldier might know how to field strip a rifle, but he might not know how to change a home’s furnace filter. It’s not that he can’t learn these things in two minutes, it’s just that the sheer number of small inconveniences can feel like a thousand cuts. They learned thousands of skills in the military, but they’ve also been sheltered.
When dealing with those retiring from the military, it’s important to remember that their peer support training is specifically geared to their special form of transition. Find out how you can help here.