After serving your country for years, it can be hard to adjust back to civilian life. After all, in the military, you usually don't have to worry about housing, food, or a steady paycheck - all of which are uncertainties now. But don't worry, there are many resources and community organizations that help new veterans find their footing.
Take Advantage of Discounts
10% off here and there doesn't seem like a lot, but over a lifetime, military discounts add up. From clothing stores to hobby stores to even places like fishing stores or gun shops, there are an array of stores offering discounts just for being a veteran. While you may have trouble finding a job for a few months after leaving the military, these discounts help lighten the financial load. Most companies military discount policy can be found online or by calling the store.
Buy a Home
Veterans Affairs provides health care to veterans, as well as other benefits like home loans, life insurance, and funeral assistance. Having some health problems provided for by the VA can be huge assistance, especially when you're between jobs and don't have health insurance. Using their VA benefits, veterans can also get a "Veterans Affairs mortgage" which often don't require a downpayment. This is an affordable and reliable way to get a roof over your head. The best way to a high paying job is to get a college education. According to Low VA Rates, the purpose of the VA loan program is to help our nation's veterans obtain adequate housing on better terms than they could get anywhere else.
Get a Degree
The otherwise astronomical costs of college are affordable through the GI Bill. Available for veterans, the bill provides funds that can towards tuition and living expenses in college, technical school, or other job or educational training. With military experience under your belt as well as a college degree, you'll be a highly sought-after candidate in the job marketing.
Find a Community
It can be hard to connect with those who don't have experience with the military lifestyle, especially in areas with few veterans. Everyone knows about VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), but there are also many veterans clubs and organization that are active with younger veterans. There are organizations for disabled veterans, clubs based on branch service, clubs for former prisoners or war, and clubs based on which war you served in. A quick google search should bring up a list of local clubs and organizations for veterans.
The military lifestyle of living on bases and in barracks, doing different jobs, and experiencing war are challenging, but it is also a challenge for veterans to reintegrate into their civilian life seamlessly. Utilizing VA benefits like health assistance and affordable mortgages, funds for educational costs, and veterans clubs and organizations, makes the whole process significantly easier.