Life After the Military Service

It is a demanding, difficult, and dangerous life in military service. It’s a huge challenge for men and women who have served in the military to return to civilian life. Pew research center surveyed almost 1,853 veterans where they were asked to respond to questions regarding their experience of readjusting to civilian life. More than seven in ten veterans reported having had an easy time readjusting, but the rest of them said they found re-entry in the society a little more difficult. This stands especially true for the veterans who served in the ten years since September 11, 2011, or the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Using a technique called logistics regression, pew researchers analyzed and examined the impact of re-entry based on demographic and attitudinal variables. They found four variables that increased the likelihood of a veteran having an easy time adjusting back into civilian life and six variables that predicted to make the re-entry experience more difficult. It was found that veterans who were commissioned officers and had graduated from college before enlisting had a better time readjusting to society than those who were only high school graduates.

Also, veterans who had a clear understanding of their mission while serving also experienced very few difficulties transitioning than those who did not understand their duties and assignments. It’s also important to notice that veterans who had experienced an emotionally traumatic experience during their time of service or had suffered a serious injury related to their service were significantly more likely to report a problem with their re-entry experience. The consequences of psychological trauma are more lingering and long term. Additionally, those who served in a combat zone and knew someone who was killed or injured faced much steeper odds of an easy re-entry experience. And at the same time, a higher level of religious belief, measured by the frequency of the religious services attended, increased the odds of post 9/11 veterans having an easier time readjusting to life.  Most military veterans have PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, also called shell shock or combat stress. This usually occurs after a person experiences severe trauma or a life-threatening situation.

A very normal response to PTSD is when your nervous system gets ‘stuck.’ Veterans usually experience this, where their nervous system gets stuck in a loophole of being in a constant state of shock and stress even long after the traumatic event and the stressful situation has passed.  These are just a few things that veterans have to go through and experience when trying to readjust into society after their time in service. It is important for those around them to collectively try and understand their problems and try to help them transition back into more normal life and routine.

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