Doesn’t every soldier dream of an amazing second life?
- Doesn’t every transitioning soldier or spouse dream of an amazing second life, after hanging the uniform? After a hard adventure in the military, isn’t that what one expects, at the least?
Yet don’t most ex-soldiers struggle in the ‘civilian‘ world – at least initially?
Where in lies the problem? What could make this transition smoother? And isn’t making this transition smoother important for the soldier, for society and for the country?
- Wouldn’t a highly trained soldier be able to use his or her skills better if he or she is better transitioned?
- Would society and the country benefit, by helping keep those skills alive, on which the country spent millions?
Here, I share some thoughts, having struggled, and having gone through the same hoops like other soldiers – till I finally emerged to the life that I had imagined. But after much needless struggle and effort.
In hindsight, I can clearly see that had someone been around to just open my eyes at the right time, and perhaps point me in the right direction, my transition would have been much smoother. So I invite thoughts from other soldiers and spouses, for the problem is ours to solve.
But first, 3 learnings, which I would like to share:
- Start preparing at least 2-3 years in advance. It took you 2-3 years to turn into a decent soldier. Isn’t it logical to expect to take roughly the same time to get ready for the world outside?
- Nobody owes you anything. If we wait for someone to help us, we will be like Godot, just waiting… Nobody owes a soldiers anything. Or if they do, they do a really good job of hiding it.
- Nobody can help you as another soldier can.